Care Tips for your Dog

Before you add a new pet to your family you need to make sure you are able to care for it. If you are accustomed to cats for example, a dog requires different care because it has different needs. Love, attention, feeding and vet care are pretty much the same, but cats are independent, and a dog requires exercise and running room.

You can find pet care information at your vet’s, at pet stores and even online. You can find out about how much and when to feed, how to keep them happy and healthy, what their specific breed requirements are – don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Your vet is the best place for information. You can find out anything and everything you need to know in order to ensure your dog is healthy. Diet, weight, exercise requirements, recommended toys are all available for the asking. And, most vets will give you the information you need whether you ask for it or not, they want to make sure your pet is kept healthy and happy.

Online, you can find articles about training, housing, housebreaking, health alerts, nutritional needs and just about anything else you can think of, including clothing and accessories.

Below are a few tips to get you started:

1) Overfeeding your dog is unhealthy, so is feeding dog food that is not nutritionally appropriate. Read labels, and follow your vet’s advice as to dietary needs. What is best for one dog may not be the best choice for another.

2) Physical punishment, such as hitting or even shouting, will only accomplish making your dog afraid of you. It will not change the unwanted behavior. Scolding is fine – just as with a child. If your dog needs to be trained or retrained, there are many sources of information available. After all, you want to change the behavior, not alienate your friend.

3) Make sure your dog has had all of his shots. These prevent disease and other illness that is uncomfortable for the both of you. Regular vet visits are also a part of the general care of your pet.

4) Never, ever give a pet as a gift, unless you know for a fact the person receiving the animal wants one and can take care of it properly. Including the additional time and expense a pet requires.

5) While your dog is not a human being, he or she has feelings, too. Don’t push them away when they are craving attention – especially if you have been gone all day at work. They missed you! Your animals convey their feelings, pay attention to what they are trying to tell you. If there are major changes going on in the household or in your life, talk to your dog about it. He may not understand the words, but he will understand your body language and tone of voice, and understand that things are really ok. Praise them when they do something good, and don’t forget a treat or two!

6) Make sure your dog has an area in which to do his or her business. And, make sure it is accessible. Imagine the confusion you dog will experience if you are gone longer than expected to be, and just can’t hold it any longer, and then gets scolded for soiling the carpet. Remember the discomfort you yourself feel when a toilet is not handy – your dog experiences the same discomfort, and sometimes really just can’t wait for you to get home to let him out.

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