Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taking Care of a New Puppy

Your puppy or adult dog depends upon you for everything in his life.  Learning about how to take care of him is the most important part of being a pet owner. Although the following dog care tips might seem like common sense, you'd be surprised how many dog owners do not follow up on regular dog care.

You love your dog and that is really important but he has physical needs too.  You are responsible for making sure your dog is happy and healthy.  Follow these dog care tips and your puppy will live a long, healthy life, always your faithful friend.

1.  Feed your dog twice a day when he is under one year old, then only once per day.  Any high quality dog food that meets the nutritional needs of a growing dog is fine.  Read the dog food label for the recommended amount to feed your dog, according to his ideal weight.  Try to avoid too many treats and feeding your dog human food.  It’s hard to resist when your dog starts begging for a treat but keeping him at his ideal weight will make him more energetic and healthier.

2.  Groom your dog every day.  Dogs love to be pampered and most dogs enjoy a good brushing.  Grooming your dog removes dead fur and helps eliminate shedding all over the house.  It also enhances the fur for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

3.  Brush your dog’s teeth at least once per week because dogs develop plaque just like humans do.  Use toothpaste made only for dogs since human toothpaste can irritate your dog’s stomach.  The first time you brush your dog’s teeth, just do it for a few seconds to get her used to the feel of the brush and taste of the toothpaste.  Eventually, your dog will look forward to having her teeth brushed.

4.  Exercise is essential for all types of dogs.  Walking your dog is the best way to bond with him and give him the exercise he needs.  Walk your dog at least twenty minutes per day.  If you have a large dog that is hard to handle, a harness helps keep your dog walking beside you.  Exercising your dog also helps him behave in the house because he used up his energy walking with you.

5.  Regular visits to the veterinarian are also a necessary part of dog care.  Make sure your dog is updated on all his vaccinations, especially rabies.  The vet also performs a blood test on your dog every year, testing for heartworms.  Using a monthly heartworm medication prevents your dog from becoming infected with life threatening heartworms.

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