Just over 60 million households in the United States own at least one dog.
Dogs are man’s best friend— they are loyal, loving, and forgiving.
So how can you give your dog the best life that it deserves?
Scroll down to discover all the basics of taking care of dogs, along with several helpful tips that will help give fido a happy and healthy life.
Prepare Your Home
Getting a new pet can be fun and exciting, but you will need to prepare your home for your new furry family member.
Before getting your puppy you should already have a place in the home where the dog’s crate and food can go. They will need their spot to relax and eat, it also becomes a comfortable spot for them.
You should also have a backyard or live near a park to get your dog the exercise it needs. The bigger the dog, the more space they require.
You may need to set up baby gates and cover-up loose cords before you bring your dog home. This will prevent them from injuring themselves and chewing through cords.
Many people also recommend putting away all of your shoes in a closet, especially if you have a teething pup.
Buy the Supplies
Getting a puppy is like adding a new member into your family and just like us, they will require some supplies.
One of the first things that you should buy before or when you get your dog is a collar and leash. You can shop online for these items and customize them with your address and pet’s name for identification.
You will also need to buy a pet bed, chew toys (for teething), a ball, and food/water bowls. Those who are doing crate or kennel training will also need one, this is recommended for early training before they are potty trained.
Depending on how fast your dog will grow, you will need to replace some of these items and get larger sizes.
Find a Local Vet
Finding a local vet that you can go to is one of the first steps in taking care of dogs.
This part of getting a dog can be intimidating, but with enough research, you can easily find a good vet to keep your dog in healthy shape. Many people get recommendations from friends and family for a good vet, while others look up reviews for local businesses online.
If you are concerned about a scared puppy going to the vet it is best to give them a happy, no-pressure visit before scheduling an appointment.
Bringing your dog to the vet, without an appointment, can help them familiarize themselves with the environment and staff. This will give them a positive initial experience with the vet and not make them as scared to come back.
Get Them on a Balanced Diet
After you have spoken with your dog’s vet, you may have a better understanding of your dog’s needs.
Depending on the type of dog you have and their health, you need to make sure that they are on a healthy diet. High-quality organic food is recommended for dogs and can give them the nutrients that they need to grow healthy.
Talking to your dog’s vet can help you get a better idea of what foods you should be feeding fido. Dog food can cost anywhere from $120 to $900 per year, depending on the quality bought.
Dry foods tend to cost less than raw, refrigerated options. You can also get your dog all-natural treats that will give them more nutrients and protein.
Eat This and Not That
There are many foods that humans can eat that dogs can eat as well. However, not all foods are safe for your pup.
You must be extra careful before feeding your dog foods. Just because you can eat them, doesn’t necessarily mean that their bodies can digest certain items.
Bread, cashews, and cheese are safe for dogs to eat, however, almonds are not.
Not all nuts are digestible for dogs, and some are even toxic. Chocolate, garlic, and onions are common foods that dogs cannot consume. You should seek professional help if your pet has gotten into these items.
Eggs, fish, rice, honey, and milk are all safe for your dog to eat. Peanut butter and popcorn are also safe treats for your furry loved one to snack on. Be careful with popcorn, however, the kernels can be difficult for them to swallow at times.
Training is a long and exhausting process that is completely worth it in the end.
Although the training period feels like it lasts forever, it won’t be long before your pup is following your orders and going to the bathroom outside.
Getting small training treats can help encourage your dog to follow orders without overindulging. You can give them simple commands, and when they follow them, you reward them with a treat.
Consistency is extremely important during the training phase. Following the same schedule, every day can help them get potty trained quicker and learn patterns faster.
It is best to avoid punishing and yelling at your dog. This does not help their understanding, it only intimidates and scares them.
The best advice for training is to be patient, this phase won’t last forever.
Training courses may be needed if your dog has too much energy and doesn’t want to listen.
Throughout the process of training your dog, you should be introducing him or her to as many people and dogs as possible.
Familiarizing your dog with people and animals will help make them more comfortable around them in the future. If your dog is isolated and doesn’t meet people often, it may be more temperamental.
Socializing your dog is an important step in properly training your dog.
If you live near a local dog park or even a shopping center that allows dogs, try to bring your pet there to get them around unfamiliar people.
Dogs that could be aggressive should be on a strong leash. It may be recommended to put a comfortable muzzle or leash over there mouth to prevent bites if they feel threatened.
Touching your dog’s paws is also recommended while they are young. Getting them comfortable with their paws being touches can make nail trimming much easier for the future. It can also make cleaning their paws easier after they run through the mud.
Taking Care of Dogs with Separation Anxiety
Bringing a dog into your life creates a lifetime friendship. Sometimes, however, your dog may have a difficult time separating from you.
If your dog tends to destroy toys or pieces of furniture every time you walk out the door, you may have an anxious pup. Signs of separation anxiety can consist of digging and scratching at doors or furniture, chewing, barking, howling, and even urination.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may show these signs after you leave them alone, or just before you leave.
There isn’t a known cause for this anxiety, but it can be triggered by several traumatic events. The dog displays these behaviors do to a natural response, don’t punish them for this behavior, they can’t help themselves.
Separation anxiety can become a difficult thing to deal with when you want to leave home, so what ways can you help your pup cope?
Leaving clothes or blankets out that smell like you may help keep fido calm when you leave. Remaining calm when leaving and coming home, and not giving them a lot of attention can also help them deal with anxiety over time.
Take a Paws and Appreciate Your Dogs
Taking care of dogs is not always an easy job. Yet dogs seem to remind us every day that we have them, why we have them.
Their love, forgiveness, and happiness are contagious, especially when they are raised in a healthy and happy home.
Giving your dog a warm and comfortable home can keep them calm. It is important to do thorough research on local vet clinics near you. You should also find a healthy diet for fido and get them plenty of toys to play with.
It is important to give your dog love, compassion, and care. You are the person that they rely on for food and living, don’t let them down.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles on creating a happy and healthy home for your family and pets!