How to Give Man’s Best Friend the Best Care

By on December 14, 2019

If you’re a new dog parent, you probably don’t know how to give your dog the best care. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to take care of your dog.

Bringing home a dog is one of the most exciting and terrifying moments! And yet 90 million dogs occupy homes in the United States.

Having a furry friend brings much joy and companionship, but learning how to take care of your dog is a must if you’re to enjoy years of fun and friendship. 

If you’ve just walked through the door with your pup, and you’re feeling at a loss of what to do, check out these dog care tips and ensure your dog is living the best life. 

How to Take Care of Your Dog: 10 Tips

Caring for a dog is much more than giving them pets, treats, and potty training. Here are 10 essential ways to care for a dog. 

1. Identification

Without proper identification, no one knows your dog belongs to you. So one of the first steps is obtaining proper identification for your dog by purchasing and engraving a nametag and attaching it to their collar. Make sure your contact information is legible in case your pup gets loose. 

Most adoption centers or veterinarians will microchip your dog. This means your dog is implanted with a small microchip that holds their information should they become lost without their tags.

2. Vets And Vaccinations

Just as you go to the doctor for check-ups and illness, so should your dog! Choosing a vet is an important part of pet ownership, as they will treat and diagnose your pet when needed or prescribe medications for illnesses. 

Additionally, you will be responsible for making sure your dog is up-to-date on the latest vaccinations in accordance with your local laws. Your vet is qualified to give your dog those vaccinations. 

3. Food

The right kind of food is essential to the health of your furry friend! Not all dog food is created equal, so if you’re feeling lost, see if your vet has some recommendations. 

Not all breeds require the same diet, so look for foods that cater to your breed of dog if needed. Make sure to give your dog the proper portions to avoid early obesity or other health-related problems. 

Also, if you’re bringing home a puppy, there are dog food specially formulated to meet a growing puppy needs. In contrast, if you’re adopting a senior dog, there are foods available for them as well. 

Every dog needs a treat now and then, especially if you’re training them! Go easy on the treats, and look for wholesome ingredients that won’t add extra calories to your dog’s diet. 

4. Flea And Tick Care

Fleas and ticks can wreak havoc on your dog’s life, and yours. Unknowingly bringing fleas into your home causes many problems for other people living with you. Ticks carry serious tick-borne illnesses that are fatal so getting rid of ticks is vital to the health of your dog. 

Check with your vet to see which flea and tick control is best for your dog. 

5. Potty, Crate, And Command Training

Training your dog to go potty outside is one of the most important things you need to do. There are various ways to train your dog to use the bathroom outside, which usually consists of a rewarding method. 

Some owners choose to crate train their dog, especially if they’ll be gone for long periods during the day, or if they’re bringing home a puppy. Crate training assists with potty training, because dogs will naturally hold their bladders when they’re in a crate. 

Don’t forget to teach your dog basic commands, like sit, stay, and come. A dog that’s undisciplined in commands becomes destructive quickly. 

6. Walk Please?

Exercise is so important in keeping your dog healthy and strong! If a dog becomes too heavy due to a lack of exercise, this can cause health problems. Your dog’s mental health benefits from exercise as it provides stimulation and bonding with you – their owner. 

Each dog breed has different levels of needed exercise, with larger breeds usually needing more vigorous activity.

7. Grooming

Just as exercise keeps your pet strong and healthy, regular grooming is needed. Grooming their coat allows your dog’s skin to stay well by avoiding matting and knots, which cause pain. Making sure their nails stay trimmed and cleaned protects their joints as they walk. 

Not every breed will need to be groomed as frequently as others. You can always groom your dog at home, or pay a professional dog groomer to do it for you. 

8. Comfort And Fun

If you think it’s uncomfortable to sleep on the floor, your dog probably thinks so too! Find them a comfortable and cozy bed or create an area for them using pillows and blankets. Designating a resting spot specifically for them could keep them off the furniture if you prefer. 

Toys are a must-have with dogs! Most dogs love to play and will love toys that encourage tug-of-war or fetch. 

9. Spay And Neuter

Spaying and neutering your pet is a personal choice, but it does offer some health benefits. Dogs that are fixed tend to have less destructive behavior issues and live longer. Talk to your vet about the appropriate time to spay or neuter your dog. 

10. Love And Attention

Meeting your dog’s practical needs is important but giving them your love and attention is just as critical. Establishing a bond between you and your dog will allow them to respond positively to you while training, especially if you show them patience. Like humans, dogs need social interaction with their life to flourish.

New-Dog Checklist

You’ve brought home your new dog, but do you have everything else? Take this list with you to make sure you have everything you need for your new furry family member:

  • Collar and ID tags
  • Dog food and bowls for food and water
  • Leash and harness
  • Bed or bedding
  • Toys
  • Poop bags
  • Grooming supplies like shampoo, brush, and nail clippers
  • Crate or carrier
  • Flea and tick control medication
  • Dog treats for training

Most pet stores will also have checklists or employees that can help you find all you need. 

Dog Care: You Got This!

You will soon be an expert on how to take care of your dog! And in return, they will give you years of friendship and memories. 

Looking for more information on how to care for your pet? Visit our webpage to learn everything you need to know!

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