10 Tips on Taking Care of a Dog ...

Dogs are excellent companions for all types of people. Having one dog or many, the requirements for providing them with a good home are the same. Each breed might have a few different needs and you should know if you are able to meet these needs before acquiring the dog. I only have one dog at the moment, but have had many kinds of breeds over the years. The 10 tips on taking care of a dog discussed below are for most breeds.

10. Shelter

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If you have an indoor dog, then shelter is all taken care of. However, if your dog is an outside canine, you’ll need to make sure his house is rain proof, out of the sun, and kept clean. There are many fancy designs that can be purchased at animal supply stores. Plans for building your own dog house are available all over the internet as well.

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Dogs love to beg for human food. Despite the cute face staring up at you, don’t give in! They have plenty of nutrients in their kibble and don’t need the addition of lots of human food. Too many scraps will actually make it harder to keep their teeth clean, which can lead to tooth loss. Deciding between a self-feeder or feeding your dog at regular times might depend on the breed of dog. Some are fine with having constant access to food, while others will make themselves sick with too much food.

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Clean, fresh water is important for a healthy dog. Be sure to empty the water bowl at least once a day and refill with new water. I find it best to change the water out in the evening before I go to bed and then again in the morning. I continue to hope that a constant supply of fresh water will keep her from going to the toilet bowl for a drink!

7. Grooming

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Most breeds of dog require different grooming routines. Dogs with long hair or a thick coat need to be brushed all the time. They may even need to be shaved during the summer months to avoid heat stroke. Small dogs with short legs and long hair need to be brushed often; due to the large amount of debris they pick up on their hair. Even short-haired dogs benefit from being brushed. You’d be amazed at how shiny their coat will get.

6. Vet Checks

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I try to take my dog at least once a year to the vet, for an annual check-up. I do give her all her shots on my own, but only recommend this if you are sure about performing this task. Large dogs can be especially difficult if they are a hyper breed. Sometimes it takes two people to administer shots and it is actually easier to go directly to the vet.

5. Exercise

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While cats always find things to do, dogs will sometimes be perfectly content to lay by their human and veg-out. Taking your dog for a walk in the morning or early evening can be beneficial for both of you. I always feel much better after a long walk and my dog seems happier as well. Be sure to have a leash when necessary, to keep your dog safe from traffic and stray dogs.

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Not all dogs enjoy squeaky toys. Some canines are content to chew on a large bone or rawhide chew in place of a rubber toy that squeaks. At the opposite end of this spectrum are the dogs that sleep with their toys. It’s important to know which type of dog you have and what makes him happy.

3. Companionship

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Dogs are all about being with their human, but they do enjoy the company of other dogs as well. If you know of neighbor dogs that are nice enough to introduce your dog to, this could be great for both pups. Canines are pack animals, no matter what size they are. Even the smallest dog gets excited over meeting new friends.

2. Attention

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When it comes to attention, many people compare dogs to children. They both need lots of attention and shown how to act in public. There are obedience courses offered to people who know how to take care of their dog, but cannot seem to get a handle on their dog’s behavior. Even though it might seem somewhat mean, making your dog mind his manners shows you care about his well-being.

1. Treats

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Having treats on hand is one of the best ways to convince your dog to do what you ask. Each canine has his own disposition, just like a person. There are some that will do whatever they are asked, without any prompting with treats, while others won’t budge until they get something in return. Recipes can be found online for making homemade treats, which can save some money. If you make your own treats for your dog, then you will also know exactly what goes into them.

Taking care of a dog can be a lot of work, but well worth the rewards that come along with this effort. I hope you will find these 10 tips helpful, whether you are looking to get a dog for the first time or already have one. Do you have additional tips you would recommend to a new dog owner? What makes your dog happiest? Please share anything you can think of!

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