Owning a Dog – Tips for First Time Owners

Although a great number of people own dogs, not all of them know how to do so correctly. If you intend to take the responsibility of dog ownership seriously, there are quite a few things you’ll need to know. Here are a few useful tips for first time dog owners.

Home

It is vital that you provide your canine with a safe environment in which to live. Indoor dogs will be in proximity to all sorts of hazards such as electrical cords and objects that they can choke on. Dog-proof your home to the best of your ability, paying particular attention to chemicals that can cause poisoning like household cleaners, antifreeze, etc.

You should also be aware of the various species of shrubs and plants that are poisonous to dogs. Having any of those around your home is a disaster waiting to happen. Some of the most poisonous plants include tulips, mistletoe, and lilies.

Food

It’s obvious that you will need to feed your dog on a daily basis. The quality of the food he eats will have a direct impact on his health, both now and in the future. It’s not always necessary or even best to pay for the most expensive brand of dog food. However, it is important to choose a high-quality brand.

As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to give your dog too many types of human foods. Some of them can upset his digestive system considerably. Foods like grapes and chocolate can even be fatal for dogs, so you’ll definitely want to avoid those.

Exercise

Your dog needs exercise on a daily basis. Exercise obviously helps prevent obesity. However, it also offers other benefits such as increasing blood circulation, promoting strong bones, and providing mental stimulation. Running and jogging with your dog are two of the most common ways to meet his daily exercise needs.

If you like to hike, you should consider bringing your dog along. Dogs can also be adept at swimming. Classes designed for canines are also good for providing exercise.

Grooming

When owning a dog, you will also need to set aside time for grooming duties. To keep the hair coat in excellent condition, it will need to be brushed on a regular basis. Breeds with longer hair will need to be groomed much more often, especially if you want to keep hair from ending up all over your home.

In addition to brushing your dog’s hair coat, don’t forget to brush his teeth daily as well. Canines can develop oral problems like gum disease and infections just like we can when we don’t pay attention to our oral health. Buy toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for dogs; don’t use one made for humans.

Owning a Dog

Pests

Pests such as fleas and ticks can make your dog quite miserable due to constant itching. However, some pests can also lead to health concerns. Combat fleas and ticks using various methods such as collars, shampoo, powder, and monthly medication. Monthly heartworm medication is also a good idea since heartworm disease can be a fatal disease that’s easily prevented.

Vet

First time dog owners will need to do research in order to find a quality veterinarian for their pet. Vet appointments should be made on an annual basis to ensure that your dog is in good health. Catching problems as early as possible increases that chances of dealing with them successfully. As dogs get older, it’s best that they be seen twice a year.

Owning a dog is a joyful experience. Keep these tips in mind to help your canine friend will live a long and healthy life.



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