Raising a dog is a big undertaking and long term commitment. The responsibilities that come along with owning a pet are numerous, however so are the rewards. This article aims to provide you with a few useful tips to help you with the different aspects of owning and caring for a dog.
Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.
You may know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but you may not know the specifics. Chocolate is dangerous because of the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous, with a high amount of stimulants. White chocolate contains the least amount of stimulants. Take you dog to vet if he ingests chocolate.
Provide your dog with rawhide to chew on rather than actual meat bones. Genuine bones can chip, and the pieces may become stuck in your dog’s teeth or digestive system. Rawhide is healthy for their teeth and gums, so don’t share your bones, even if the dog wants it!
Dogs love to eat grass and other plants. When you’re outside, this may not be much of a problem, but if you maintain houseplants indoors, chances are they are poisonous to dogs. Before bringing a dog into the home, make sure all your houseplants are well out of reach of a dog who may be tempted by a green tasty treat.
Keep your dog warm during winter with the latest in canine fashion and accessories. You may think it’s just for show, but dogs need protection from the elements too! Keeping your dog’s paw-pads dry is essential to their health in sub-freezing weather, so invest in suede or leather footwear and pick him up a coat while you’re at it. Make them instead if you are creative!
If you’re on a tight budget at home, think carefully before getting a dog. They actually cost hundreds of dollars annually, but many people don’t realize this until they’ve actually forked over the money. Depending on the size and regular maintenance requirements of your new dog, you could be getting in way over your head and forced to part with him later so make sure beforehand.
Remember that dogs are creatures of habit and anything you start with him will be expected in the future. If you’re not keen on him sleeping with you, don’t let him do it only on occasion. Likewise, if you don’t want him begging at the table, never offer him a bite of people food. He will learn and accept things if you are consistent.
Check to make sure your dog’s collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.
Accept the aging process in your dog and know how to meet his changing needs. Your older dog may require dietary changes, more rest and not be as playful as he once was. This doesn’t mean he should be left to grow old in a corner. Adapt to his needs and make his golden years enjoyable!
Help your dog to stay active mentally and help him to exercise enough. Find ways for your dog to help you each day, such as training it to fetch the morning paper. Your dog is always going to feel like it’s a part of your family while getting trained so that it’s mentally fit.
The pads of your dog’s feet can become dry and cracked, so make sure that you moisturize them regularly. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which product to use. Avoid using moisturizers that are intended for humans, because they can make the pads too soft and your dog may get hurt.
Before you add a dog into your lifestyle, consider both the pros and cons of this decision. While a puppy’s face is adorable, you must consider everything as far as providing care. Take everything into consideration first to make sure you can provide your puppy with everything that he needs and to be able to manage it successfully.
If you pick up a dog from a shelter, make sure that he has been seen by a medical professional. You don’t want to bring home a sick dog unless you are aware of it, particularly if you have other dogs at home. Make sure to ask if the dog you have chosen has been around sick dogs in the past few weeks as well.
Be thoughtful about breeding your dog. Repeated breeding of a female can evetually lead to severe health problems for both the dog and the puppies that is born from her. If you plan to breed be sure to do your research first so that you can be sure that you are doing the right thing for your animals.
Make sure there is one policy in your home for giving your dog table scraps. While some owners do not give their dog any table food at all, yet others wait until the family meal is done. This causes less confusion on the part of your dog, and makes meals much easier for your family.
If you are looking into getting a dog you should ask as much about the dog that you can think of. For example, you will want to know about its mannerisms, level of activity and how affection it is. Ask whatever you can think of, so that you do not regret your decision later.
There are few greater joys in life than the love you can share with your loyal companion. It won’t always be a walk in the park but the rewards are more than worth it. Enjoy your pup and continue to learn more to help keep your lives happy and healthy.