As any dog owner knows, having a pet means a lot of love, but a lot of work. In order to have a pet that is well trained and healthy, you must care for your dog properly. That means routine check-ups by a veterinarian, as well as the daily care of walks, feeding and playtime. When it comes to dog care, there are a few basics that every dog owner should follow, no exceptions.
When you welcome your new pet to the family, make sure that he is properly tagged, meaning that he wears identification that can be visibly seen if he becomes lost or escapes from the backyard. A collar with an identification tag is best and should include your name, address and phone number. For added protection, opt to have your pet microchipped by the veterinarian. The microchip can then be detected, even if your pet’s collar comes off, and you can be reunited with your pet.
In order to protect your dog, make sure she is vaccinated against common pet-related diseases, such as rabies, ticks or heartworm. Besides getting routine shots and medication, dogs also need regular checkups by veterinarians, who can listen to their heart and check for other ailments. An important part of having a dog means getting him neutered, preferably as a puppy. Most dogs do not come spayed or neutered, but there are many resources that make this affordable for dog owners. Reach out to your local human society for inexpensive rates on spaying and neutering. If you have the money, then opt to have your dog spayed at the veterinarian’s office using a laser, which is less painful and invasive for the dog.
Ideally, you want to have a large, fenced in backyard for your dog to play in. Yet with all the dog owners living in condos, apartments and townhomes, this simply isn’t always the case. If you don’t have a large yard for your dog, make sure he gets out to the dog park or on regular walks and runs through the forest preserve. Another important part of dog care is feeding your pet a nutritionally balanced diet, so make sure that you discuss with your vet the best choice of food for your pet. There is special food for puppies and senior dogs, as well as vitamins your dog may need.