Dog care is vitally important in ensuring that our beloved pooches live a happy and healthy life. This topic covers everything from their diet and grooming to the amount of exercise that they receive, which may vary depending on the breed.
In this guide and those that we link to here, you can find lots of advice and guidance on how to take care of your dog. We also examine the things our dog needs (such as special types of food).
We also take a look at the time investment and life-changing commitment that getting a dog or puppy requires, which some people underestimate.
How To Take Care Of A Dog
We’re not going to preach to anyone about how to take care of their dog. But no doubt we can all agree that the most important ingredient is love. It’s the affection that we have for our furry friends that underpins the care we give them and the time and money that we invest in their welfare.
With that in mind, here are a few quick tips on dog care:
- A balanced diet – first and foremost, it’s important to get your dog eating the right food. Historically, scientists believed that dogs were carnivores, meaning they needed a meat-intense diet. However, recent research, which studies anatomy, feeding preferences and behaviours, shows that they’re in fact omnivorous. This means that they can enjoy a balanced diet of meat and plant-based food.
- Regular exercise – all dogs love to run around and stretch their legs. They enjoy exploring the wider world beyond their loving home, sniffing the scents that they pick up on street corners and lamp posts. However, all dogs need different levels and types of exercise. For example, greyhounds are sprinters. When taking them for a walk (or run), you may find them running around like mad things, only to tire themselves out after ten minutes. Whippets are similar. On the other hand, Border Collies can cover scores of miles a day (a working Collie can cover as much as 40 miles in a single day)
- Socialising (where possible—some dogs just don’t like to, including Luna sometimes) – many dogs are social creatures. They live their lives with the pack in mind. And part of that pack is their furry friends that they love to play with. Socialising dogs with other dogs from a young age is a great way to get them used to playing around with others. It can also teach them how to act around other dogs, such as knowing their boundaries. It also helps them detect dogs who may not be as receptive to their playfulness. Check out our comprehensive guide on puppy and dog socialisation here.
What Does Your Dog Need?
Every dog is unique. Certain breeds need certain foods or certain quantities. And any individual dog could have allergies that may require hypoallergenic food.
Other dogs may need different levels or types of exercise, such as whippets and greyhounds (as mentioned above).
The important thing to do before you commit to bringing a dog into your life is to do your research. Learn as much about the breed (or breeds if your dog is a cross) as you can.
You’ll find lots of resources for specific breeds of dogs on the internet, from written guides like this to podcasts and videos. In learning as much as you can, you equip yourself with the knowledge to tackle any issue that may arise.
It’s A Life-Changing Commitment
It’s important to remember that buying a dog or puppy is a life-changing commitment, akin to having a child.
Many people do not anticipate just how hard it is to raise and train a dog. They require time, work, and a lot of patience. As an owner, it’s your duty to show them the ways of the world, what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t.
This all comes through diligent training, which can cause great frustration for some owners. It’s why TV shows like Dogs Behaving Very Badly exist—some dogs just refuse to be trained (though as we learn in those shows, a lot of problems with dog care can stem from the owner).
So if you’re not prepared to change your life (like getting up first thing on a cold, wintry morning to walk your pooch), then getting a dog may not be a wise move.
Tips On How To Take Care Of A Dog For Beginners
Getting a dog for the first time is truly one of the most amazing experiences ever. It’s the beginning of a bond of love and friendship that will change your life forever, as we’ve discussed above.
If you’re new to owning a dog, you may be unsure of the best practices for caring for them. Proper dog care is essential for their health and happiness, and there are many factors to consider. So to set you on the right path, here are some essential tips:
- Provide a Nutritious Diet – A balanced diet is crucial to maintaining your dog’s overall health. Make sure to choose a high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for their age, breed, and activity level. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps or human food, as this can cause digestive issues and other health problems.
- Provide Fresh Water – Access to clean, fresh water is essential for your dog’s well-being. Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Refill the water bowl daily and clean it regularly to prevent bacterial growth.
- Exercise Your Dog Regularly – Regular exercise is vital for your dog’s physical and mental health. Take your dog for daily walks and provide opportunities for play and exploration. The amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on their breed, age, and activity level.
- Keep Up With Vaccinations – Vaccinations are essential to protect your dog from infectious diseases. Follow your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination schedule and keep up with routine check-ups to catch any health issues early on.
- Provide Regular Grooming – Regular grooming is necessary to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Brush your dog’s coat regularly to prevent mats and tangles, and bathe them as needed. Trim your dog’s nails and clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.
- Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment – Ensure that your home is safe for your dog. Keep hazardous materials, including chemicals and medications, out of reach, and provide a comfortable and cosy bed for your dog to rest in. Consider crate training your dog for their safety and comfort.
- Train and Socialize Your Dog – Proper training and socialization are essential for your dog’s well-being. Start training your dog as soon as possible and be patient and consistent. Socialize your dog with other dogs and people to prevent behavioural problems and ensure they’re comfortable in different environments.
By following these tips, you can provide excellent care for your dog and ensure their health and happiness. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian for any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s care.
How To Take Care Of A Dog Ear Infection
Some dogs can suffer terribly from ear infections. And as an owner, you may already be well aware of this and the vulnerability some breeds can have.
There’s nothing worse than watching your poor dog sitting glum and in discomfort. We just want to help relieve the pain. Here’s some guidance you can try which may help your furry friend:
- Recognise The Signs – Common signs of a dog ear infection can include ear odour, redness and swelling, discharge, and scratching or shaking of the head. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Keep the Ears Clean – Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly can help prevent ear infections. Use a gentle ear-cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian, and apply it to a cotton ball or soft cloth to clean the ear. Be careful not to insert anything into your dog’s ear canal; this can cause further damage.
- Give Your Dog Their Prescribed Medication – If your dog has an ear infection, your veterinarian will likely prescribe medication to treat the infection, such as ear drops. Follow the medication instructions carefully and ensure that your dog completes the full course of treatment, even if the symptoms appear to have improved.
- Monitor Your Dog’s Progress – Keep an eye on your dog’s symptoms and monitor their progress throughout treatment. If the symptoms persist or worsen, contact your veterinarian for further advice and treatment.
By following these tips, you can provide proper care for your dog’s ear infection and prevent further complications. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian for any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s health and care.
How To Take Care Of A Dog With A Cold
If your furry friend is showing signs of a cold, it’s important to provide proper care to help them recover quickly. Here’s some advice on how to take care of a dog with a cold based on trusted and official sources such as veterinarians:
- Lookout For Symptoms – Common signs of a dog with a cold include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and watery eyes. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Provide Plenty of Rest – Like humans, dogs need plenty of rest when they’re feeling under the weather. Make sure your dog has a comfortable and quiet place to rest, away from drafts and noise.
- Encourage Hydration – Hydration is important when your dog is sick. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times, and encourage them to drink by adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth to their water bowl.
- Administer Medication as Prescribed – Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help alleviate your dog’s cold symptoms. Always follow the instructions and complete the full course
- Prevent the Spread of Illness – If you have other dogs in the household, take steps to prevent the spread of illness. Keep your sick dog separated from other dogs, and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
By following these tips, you can provide proper care for your dog with a cold and help them recover quickly. If you’r ever unsure or concerned, just give your vet a quick call for professional advice,
Learn More About Dog Care
We have lots more guides about dog care on our site that you may find useful. Below, you can find some of these links:
- How much is Tails dog food?
- Head here to learn more about Luna’s Pack
- How to look after a dog – a guide by the RSPCA
- Learn about white noise for dogs with anxiety
- Head here to learn about using a white noise machine for dogs
- Or go here to discover some useful tips on how to take care of a dog well
- How to make natural dog treats
- How to make natural dog training treats
- How often should you treat your dog for fleas?
- To get some advice on how to take care of a dog for beginners, this guide offers a breakdown of the fundamentals
- Head here to learn how to look after your dog in hot weather
- Here’s a handy guide on using white noise for dogs during fireworks
- This guide explains how to take care of your dog after getting spayed
- If you’re thinking of checking your dog into doggy daycare, head here to see if it could be good and suitable for your dog. See the pros and cons of day centres and work out whether or not it could be suitable for your dog.