Bringing a dog into the home is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you are considering, or have already extended your family to include a dog, there are things that you should know. Below, you will find a list of quality tips to use to help the transition easier for you and your dog.
Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.
Groom your dog regularly. A dog requires constant grooming to keep his coat in tip top condition. Make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you start the grooming session; this is especially important if he is excitable. Keep the session quite short (5 to 10 minutes at most) until he is comfortable with the idea of being groomed. Most importantly – be sure to praise him and offer a treat after a successful grooming session!
Take your dog to the vet regularly. This may seem like an added expense that you don’t need, but when you take your dog to the veterinarian, he can screen your dog for diseases and make sure he is in the best of health. This of course prevents problems down the road.
Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.
If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.
House-training your dog will be much easier if you adopt a routine. You should go for walks regularly throughout the day and come home during your lunch break if necessary. If your dog has to be home alone for long hours, do not leave a bowl full of water unless it is very hot.
The pads of your dog’s feet can become dry and cracked, so make sure that you moisturize them regularly. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which product to use. Avoid using moisturizers that are intended for humans, because they can make the pads too soft and your dog may get hurt.
Time, energy and knowledge will make the living arrangement with a dog more enjoyable for everyone. Use what you have just learned to help the household adapt to the addition. Dogs can be great friends and companions if you take the time to train, love and care for them properly.