Just like us, humans, dogs have basic needs that need to be catered for to keep them healthy and happy. Luckily, these needs are not as many or as complex as ours are, so taking care of them shouldn’t be too difficult. You will, however, need to invest a bit of your time and effort to provide for these needs; a small trade-off for having a loving, loyal friend by your side.
To keep your dog happy and healthy, there’re five crucial needs that you will need to cater to. These are:
Your furry companion needs to be fed on a balanced and nutritious diet to help him grow and remain healthy. Research different types of dog foods and consult your veterinarian to find the perfect food to feed your pooch. Remember, don’t feed your dog human food.
Try out different types of foods – dry foods, canned foods, semi-moist foods and even raw foods – to find out what your furry friend likes best. Once you’ve figured out which food your dog likes best, you will need to maintain a regular feeding schedule so that your dog can get into a feeding routine.
Dogs get thirsty too, so make sure there is plenty of clean, safe-to-drink water available to them at all times.
A veterinarian is one of the most important people for a dog owner; make sure you find a good one in your area. Your pup should be scheduled for her first visit with a vet when she attains 8-weeks of age. This will ensure that your pooch receives all the necessary vaccinations against common canine diseases. In Australia, the core vaccinations administered to dogs are for distemper virus, adenovirus and parvovirus.
These vaccines will help protect your furry companion from common, life-threatening diseases. Your pet should be vaccinated once every year after the initial round of vaccinations. Additionally, your mutt will also need to be dewormed regularly for a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise and Entertainment
Just like you, your dog needs to be exercised and entertained to keep fit and mentally and physically stimulated. You should walk your dog at least once a day – more if your dog has high energy levels. During your walks, pay attention to your pet pal, play and interact with them, and take them to different locations to keep things interesting.
Small dog breeds and puppies require short walks of about 15 minutes while large breeds and athletic dogs could do with about an hour of exercise per day. Take it easy at first as your dog gets conditioned to exercising.
Grooming and hygiene
Your furry companion will also need to be cleaned and groomed for both health and good looks. You will need to brush your dog’s teeth using a dog toothpaste to prevent plaque build-up, and brush its coat a couple of times per week to remove dirt and shed hair.
Trim your mutt’s nails regularly to keep them short and neat – be careful when doing this so that you don’t cut the sensitive part of the nail called the quick. Your dog also needs to be washed at least once a month or more depending on how dirty they get.
Another important thing you need to do for your dog is getting them used to being around humans and other dogs. It’s up to you as a pet parent to ensure that your furry companion is a good canine citizen. Train your dog using positive reinforcement (rewards for good behaviour) and get them used to normal household activities for proper, controlled indoor-behaviour.
A good way to get your dog interacting with humans and other dogs is to take them to the park. Make sure to keep them on a leash until you are sure that they won’t misbehave when you take off the leash.
Cater to these five needs and you’re sure to have a happy, heathy dog. Taking care of your furry friend should not be a chore, so always have fun when you do it!