Dog on Lawn

Taking care of your dog is as simple as giving them a loving, safe home, right?  Not quite.  Though that is incredibly important, it is not all that is involved in proper and complete dog care.  Having a pet is a fun and rewarding experience and the relationship can be life-changing for both you and your dog.  But, because your dog cannot speak, it is necessary that you be your dog’s advocate and care-taker.  Every dog has a different personality and needs but there are some basics of care that are universal across all dog breeds.

  1. Healthy Food
    • Sure, your dog would love to eat a pound of cooked bacon every day. And, they probably would if left to their own devices.  But as your dog’s caretaker, you need to ensure that you dog is getting the appropriate amount of healthy food.  This will help protect your dog’s health, prevent obesity, and encourage a long and healthy life.
  2. Adequate Hydration
    • All dogs need access to clean drinking water. Always ensure that your dog’s bowl is full of clean water, and give them a special treat by giving them cool water, particularly during the summer when it is hot outside.  If your dog is not drinking enough water they can become dehydrated (signs and symptoms include panting and lethargy).
  3. Veterinary Appointments/Checkups
    • Just like you need well-checks with your doctor to ensure all if right with your health, your dog does as well. With consistent veterinary appointments you can get your dog the vaccinations and health treatments they need to give them a long, healthy life.
  4. Consistent Grooming
    • Though some dogs are shorthaired breeds, every dog needs to be groomed on a regular basis. It will help keep them healthy and smelling their best.  This includes routine haircuts, nail trimming, brushing and more.
  5. Dental Care
    • Every dog needs proper dental care to ensure their dental health. Dental disease can occur in any dog which can make it difficult for your dog to eat or be debilitating to their overall health.  Brushing, dental checkups, and treats that encourage dental health will help keep your dogs teeth their healthiest.
  6. Bathing/Hygiene
    • Almost every breed of dog needs to be bathed on a routine basis. Dogs sweat just like humans and they will start to smell if they have not been bathed.  Additionally, dogs play outside; roll around on the ground and more so bathing may be necessary due to certain activities.
  7. Bathroom Accommodations
    • Dogs need access to a place to relieve themselves. This may vary depending on where you live but someone either needs to be around to open a door a few times each day to allow your dog to go outside and go to the bathroom, or they need to have access to a dog door or place they can go to the bathroom on their own.
  8. A Cozy Place to Rest
    • Not every dog will want to sleep on a dog bed but every dog needs somewhere comfortable to rest. This may be a crate with a cushion, a dog bed, a cozy blanket placed on the ground or sofa, or with you in your bed if you prefer.
  9. Exercise
    • Every dog, regardless of age, needs exercise. Exercise needs will vary depending on your dog breed and age but every dog should have access to a yard to play or be taken on frequent walks to get adequate exercise.
  10. Love & Affection
    • Every dog deserves and wants love and affection. It is perhaps the most important part of proper dog care.  Dogs will show affection in different ways such as play, cuddling, kisses and other gestures.