Basic Dog Care Proper Care for Your New Dog Mar 30, 2009 Jennifer Wagaman
New pet owners need to understand the basics of proper dog care in order to provide their pet with a long healthy life.
Taking proper care of your dog is important. In order to provide the best home you can for your dog you must provide food, water, exercise and a safe environment. There is a lot that goes into proper care for a dog, but the rewards of a loyal family pet are vast. Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog
Just as there is healthy and unhealthy food for people, there is also healthy and unhealthy food for dogs. First of all, most human food is unhealthy for dogs. Avoid giving your dog table scraps as there are foods that can be dangerous to dogs. In addition, feeding your dog from the table can create behavior problems. Dangerous foods for your dog: Grapes and raisins Chocolate Onions Products with Caffeine Macadamia nuts/walnuts Tomatoes Nutmeg Bones (chicken, turkey, etc) The core/pit of fruits Alcohol Mushrooms Human food that is generally okay for your dog: Carrots Green beans Lettuce Yams Apples When choosing a dog food, it is important to do your research. There are a lot of choices on the market today, but just because something is popular in the stores does not mean it is healthy for your dog. Foods that contain animal by-products are unhealthy for your dog. According to peteducation.com, by-products include "lungs, spleen, kidney, brain, liver, blood, bone… [chicken] heads, feet, and internal organs.” [accessed March 30, 2009] It is best to find a food that contains the actual meat instead of by-products.
Providing Food and Water for Your Dog
It is important to provide your dog with food and water each day to meet nutritional needs. Your veterinarian can recommend the proper feeding schedule for your dog, and there are guidelines listed on bags of dog food as well. In general, a healthy adult dog should be fed once or twice daily. Exercising Your Dog
It is important that your dog receive daily exercise. Daily walks and other types of exercise provide numerous health benefits including weight maintenance, cardiovascular health and a healthy metabolism. In addition, providing your dog with daily exercise will help curb and prevent numerous behavior issues. Providing a Safe Environment for Your Dog
While a fenced yard is not a requirement for owning a dog, it does help. Your dog needs a safe environment to go to the bathroom, whether in a fenced yard or on numerous leashed walks throughout the day. Your dog will also need a safe place to get out of the weather if left outside, whether a covered porch or doghouse. Dog proofing your home will help prevent your things from becoming chew toys, and keep your dog out of potentially dangerous situations. Proper supervision is important and it may be prudent to crate train your dog to provide a safe environment inside your house. If you decide to crate train your dog, it is vital that you do not leave your dog crated for long periods of time. Routine Veterinary Care
It is important that you take your dog for all routine veterinary care visits. This includes a series of puppy shots followed up by annual or tri-annual boosters. In addition to basic vaccines, your pet will need an annual exam to ensure that he is healthy. Your veterinarian should be your first stop whenever you have questions regarding the health of your dog. It is important to provide proper care for your dog from day one. Do your research to find the best food for your dog and take the time to provide the things that your dog needs each day including water, exercise and a safe environment.