While some would consider it common knowledge, not everyone knows how to care for their best friends. The more information available, the bigger the chances that we curb animal abuse and negligence.
In this post we focus on the top eight need-to-know tips on how to care for your dog. If you know someone who needs to learn the basics, please spread the word!
1. Vet Visits and Vaccinations
A lot of people want to get pets, but never think about the ongoing costs and responsibility. You’ll need to take your new best bud to the vet for annual vaccinations and other cases. You need to keep a close eye on him to notice when he is not feeling well so that he can get the necessary medical attention.
2. Nutrition is Important
Fresh food and water are as important to your dog as it is to you. Be sure you provide a nutritious meal at least twice to three times a day. He also needs access to fresh water. That means you need to keep his bowl clean and refill it whenever it is empty.
3. Regular Exercise for Stimulation
Taking your dog for a walk is not only good for him, but it is good for you too. He gets to be outdoors with his best buddy, and burn some energy while he is at it. Some breeds require even more exercise to keep them healthy and their brains sharp. Take him for a walk at least once a day, he’ll thank you for it!
4. Training and Discipline
Just like you won’t leave a child unsupervised, you won’t just get a dog keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Training is important for both of you to understand one another better. This will also ensure that he understands and listens to your commands.
5. Spaying and Neutering
Even though there is a myth about spaying and neutering being bad for pets, it is good for them. Firstly, there is no risk of any ‘unwanted’ litters ending up in shelters and secondly, he’ll be much healthier. You should book your dog’s spay or neuter appointment the moment you get him.
6. Make Time for Him
Dogs are social creatures and need some time and attention from you. A lot of people are excited about getting a dog and as soon as he’s fully grown, lose interest in spending time with them. Always ensure you have some time to bond with him and give him your full attention.
7. Keep Him on a Leash Outdoors
When you go for walks, you are likely to come across other dogs and dog owners. Your dog’s instinct would be to say hi and might even run towards people and other dogs. Keeping him on a leash is not only for people’s peace of mind, but also for your fur-child’s safety.
8. Shower Him with Love
Lastly, you need to show your dog that you love and cherish him. A lot of the time rescue animals did not suffer physical abuse, but neglect in the sense that they were left to their own devices. Don’t be that person. Show your dog you love him and that he’s a part of the family just as much as everyone else.
Having a furry companion is not just something to share on Instagram. It takes a lot of effort, patience and responsibility. It can however be a very rewarding experience. Not sure what to feed your dog? Read this insightful piece on basic nutrition by Cesar Milan.