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Essential Tips On How To Care For Your Dog

May 9, 2008
If you're a first-time dog owner, all the requirements of their care can seem overwhelming. Just like first-time parents, you need to learn all the basics that go into bringing a new animal into your home. A pet is not something to simply bring into the home and ignore. It needs attention and basic care to live a happy life and improve your enjoyment as well. Here are a few great tips to consider when it comes to taking care of your new dog.

1. The Decision to Get a Dog

If you haven't made the final decision to bring a dog into your home yet, now is a good time to evaluate the idea and consider what kind of dog would be right for you. Think about your home and your space. Is there enough room for the animal to roam, exercise and play?

Think about your children. Are they young? Would they understand the respect and care that are needed when you bring an animal into the family? Could a large and aggressive dog be dangerous if your children became too boisterous or playful?

2. Feeding Your New Dog

What you feed your new pet is very important. A poor diet can lead to a number of health problems. It's best to stick with a quality, high protein and low fat diet that are designed for your dog's age group. If you're buying a puppy, start with puppy food. If your dog is entering old age, purchase a dog food for elderly canines.

It is tempting to routinely treat dogs with table scraps, especially when they come near the dining table while you eat and make you feel "guilty" that they are not enjoying a similar quality meal. However, there is a lot that we humans eat that simply is not healthy for a dog. (Much of what we eat isn't healthy for us either!) Additionally, feeding a dog from the table only encourages more of that pestering activity, which can be a bit frustrating - if not embarrassing - when you have guests.

3. Grooming Your New Dog

Depending on the breed of dog that you choose, it's grooming needs will change. Some dogs require daily brushing and weekly bathing while others just need a bucket of water every now and again.

It's important to occasionally clean your dog's ears, regularly look for mites, fleas and ticks, clip your dog's nails and bathe your dog when needed. If you're not comfortable doing this, take your dog to a grooming professional. However, try to stay with the same groomer so that your dog builds a comfortable relationship with them.

4. Your New Dog's Health Needs

Every dog should have regular veterinary check-ups. Not only that, but they should also receive critical vaccination shots, like for rabies and ICH. Many of these shots are required by law, so consult your veterinarian or breeder.

5. Exercise Your New Dog

Depending on their size and energy needs, your dog will need anywhere from a moderate amount of exercise to a lot. Especially during the puppy years, exercise is very important. A healthy amount of exercise can also help with behavior problems like chewing furniture, over-excitement or incessant barking.
About the Author
For information on practical dog necessities, please visit www.dog-necessities.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning issues that help you with dog care, such as dog training products, dog medical supplies, an electronic dog fence and much more.
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