Dogs are lovable pets and great addition and even assets to any home, which is why we bring you tips on general dog care to help you better tend to your dog or puppy. If you are buying a dog or adopting one, it is important you know how to care for your dog in order to secure your dog’s health and happiness.
General Dog Care – Feeding
When it comes to feeding even for dogs, there are specifics you need to know:
- Puppies who are 8 to 12 weeks old require four meals a day.
- Puppies 3 to 6 months old require three meals a day.
- Feeding for puppies that are 6 months to 1-year-old needs two meals a day.
- Once your dog reaches his first birthday, you will only need to feed your dog one meal a day.
- Some dogs, including larger canines or those that are prone to bloat, are better off with two smaller meals.
When it comes to the kind of food that your dog should be fed with, premium quality dry food offers a well-balanced diet for adult dogs, and it may be mixed with water, broth, or canned food. Cottage cheese, cooked egg, or fruits and vegetables can also be enjoyed by dogs, even though these additions should not total more than ten percent of their daily food intake.
Puppies, on the other hand, should be fed high-quality, brand-name puppy food (large breed puppy foods for large breeds). Try as much as you can to limit the intake of ‘people food’ as this may result in vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems, and may cause very picky eating habits and obesity. Make clean, fresh water available at all times, and ensure you wash food and water dishes frequently.
Giving your dog periodic vaccinations can benefit your dog a whole lot. Discuss with your vet to know the best vaccine option to take.
Medicines and Poisons
Please never you ‘self medicate’ your dog a medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. In case your dog happens to ingest poison, or you suspect so, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour animal poison information at (888) 426-4435.
Exercise is good for dogs in burning calories and stimulating their minds, and staying healthy. Individual exercise needs may differ depending on breed or breed mix, sex, age, and level of health. Exercise also comes in handy in helping dogs relieve boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Making time for supervised fun and games for your dog(s) will satisfy many of your pet’s instinctual urges to dig, herd, chew, retrieve, and chase.
With proper grooming, your dog will stay clean and reduce shedding with frequent brushing. Have him checked for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather. Note, most dogs do not need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Ensure you carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or the dirt will stick to soap residue.
Here’s how to handle a dog. To carry a puppy or small dog, you have to place one hand under the dog’s chest, with either your forearm or other hand supporting the hind legs and rump. Do not attempt to lift or grab your puppy or small dog by the forelegs, tail or back of the neck. If you do have to lift a large dog, then lift from the underside, supporting his chest with one arm and his rear end with the other hand.
You have to provide your pet with a warm, quiet place to rest away from all drafts and off the floor. You may also need a bed or a training crate, with a clean blanket or pillow placed inside. You have to wash the dog’s bedding often enough, and if your dog will be spending a lot of time outdoors, then ensure that he has access to shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather, and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it’s cold.
Licensing and Identification
When it comes to licensing, just follow your community’s licensing regulations. Ensure you attach the license to your dog’s collar. This should be along with an ID tag and implanted microchip or tattoo, which can help in securing your dog’s return should your dog be lost.
Fleas and Ticks
Daily inspections of your dog for fleas and ticks during the warm seasons are very essential. You can use a flea comb to find and remove fleas. However, there are several new methods of flea and tick control.
Spaying and Neutering
Female dogs are to be spayed while male dogs are to be neutered by six months of age.
Dog Supply Checklist
As a dog owner, here are the things you would be needing to make your dog living comfortable:
- Food dish
- Premium-quality dog food and treats
- Water bowl
- Dog toothbrush
- Dog bed or box and a warm blanket or towel
- Training crate
- Carrier (for smaller dogs)
- Collar with license and ID tag
- Brush &comb for grooming, including flea comb
- Water bowl