Dogs are amazing creatures that bring joy to our lives. They are also a lot of work! If you’re new to taking care of dogs, or if you just want to make sure you’re doing everything correctly, read on for 11 tips to take care of dogs like a pro!
1. Provide Your Dog with a Well-Balanced Diet
Dogs are carnivorous, which means their primary source of food should be meat-based protein. However, unlike cats, they are not obligate, so you have more options on what to feed them.
For example, do you know that you can give them mushrooms? As long as they are not toxic, shrooms can add more texture and nutrients to their food. Even better, you can invest in a container mushroom farm and grow these fungi for you, your canines, and even your community (surely, you have other dog-loving friends there).
Dogs can also survive by eating kibbles or dry food alone. However, you need to buy the best your money can afford. Many cheap brands of dog food are loaded with fillers and low-quality ingredients.
In short, make sure your pup’s diet is well-rounded and high in quality. You’ll both be happier for it!
A good diet for dogs also includes plenty of water. Make sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water and keep an eye on their intake – especially during hot weather or if they’re playing hard.
If you’re ever unsure about what to feed your furry friend, consult with a veterinarian to create the best diet possible for them.
2. Watch Their Weight
It’s easy for dogs to become overweight, especially if they’re not active or eat too much. Unfortunately, an obese dog will have difficulty moving around, so its quality of life is low. It also puts pressure on their joints and vital organs like the heart and lungs (leading to potentially fatal consequences).
Besides giving them a well-balanced diet, let them exercise. Try walking with your canine friend once or twice every day. This activity will help them lose weight and encourage you to bond with them. Even better, if you’re also overweight, walking your furry friend can also motivate you to drop the excess pounds.
If you think your dog might be overweight, consult with your veterinarian to get an accurate weight and come up with a diet/exercise plan.
3. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly
Just like us, dogs need to have their teeth brushed regularly to keep them healthy and free of plaque and tartar buildup. You can purchase a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste.
Start brushing your dog’s teeth once per week when they are young, and gradually increase the frequency as they get older. To brush their teeth, lift their lips and gently brush the outer surfaces of each tooth.
As with anything new, it may take some time for your dog to get used to having their teeth brushed. Be patient and reward them afterward with a favorite treat!
If you’re having trouble brushing your dog’s teeth, talk to your vet about what options are available that will help keep your pup in good oral health.
4. Trim Your Dog’s Nails Regularly
Overgrown nails can be not only unsightly but also painful for your pup. They can also snag on things and cause your dog to trip or fall.
To trim your dog’s nails, you will need a pair of clippers. If you’re unsure how to do it, ask your vet to show you or watch a video online. Be very careful not to cut the blood vessel that runs down the center of each nail. You can usually see where it is by looking at the base of the nail. If you accidentally cut too far, it will bleed and be painful for your dog.
If you’re not comfortable trimming your dog’s nails yourself, ask a vet or groomer to do it instead. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every six weeks or so depending on how quickly they grow back.
The best time to trim is right after baths when the nails are softer than usual (but still dry). This makes them easier to cut down without causing any pain for Fido.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Dog When Outside
Not all dogs are fans of being outdoors, and some can be quite skittish. If you have a dog that likes to escape the yard or wander off, be sure to keep them on their leashes at all times when outside.
For dogs fearful of loud noises like thunder or fireworks, consider using an anti-anxiety vest, a calming coat designed to help reduce your pup’s stress levels under such conditions.
Make sure your dog has a good ID tag on their collar in case they do get loose and someone finds them. You can also microchip your pup, which will help reunite you with them if they’re ever lost.
If you live in an area where there are coyotes, bears, or other wildlife, be extra careful when letting your dog outside – even on a leash. Do not leave them unsupervised for any length of time.
Keep in mind that not all dogs should be allowed to roam freely outdoors. Some may be prone to getting into trouble (like digging up gardens or chasing cars). If this is the case with your pet, keep them confined to a designated safe zone.
Taking care of a dog can be a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. By following the tips in this article, you can help keep your pup healthy and happy.