A dog is man’s best friend! This is absolutely one of the truest phrases ever uttered, but looking after your pet dog is a serious business and a big commitment.
Before you can undertake caring for a pet dog, you have a lot of things to consider.
It’ll be well worth it, though, as dogs are the most popular pet in the UK.
Before you bring your dog home
Once you have decided on keeping a dog as a pet, you will need some basic equipment and supplies before you even bring him home.
- Good quality food (specialist puppy food, if you’re bringing home a younger dog)
- A plentiful supply of drinking water
- Food and water bowls
- A dog collar and lead, collar
- Grooming brush, comb and canine chew toys.
Feeding your dog
Depending on the age of your new pet, there are different feeding requiements that they require.
- Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old need four meals a day
- Puppies three to six months old need three meals a day
- Puppies six months to one year need two meals a day
- When your dog is one year old, one meal a day is usually enough.
For some dogs (such as larger ones or those prone to bloat), it’s better to continue to feed two smaller meals. Premium-quality dry food provides a well-balanced diet and may be mixed with water, broth or some canned food. Your dog may enjoy cottage cheese, cooked egg, fruits and vegetables, but these additions should not total more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily food intake.
Dog exercise and grooming
You can help keep your dog clean and reduce shedding by brushing her frequently. Check for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or dirt will stick to soap residue.
Every dog needs daily exercise for mental and physical stimulation. The proper amount depends on the breed type, age and health status of your dog. Providing enough exercise will improve your dog’s health and prevent household destruction and other behavior problems common in underexercised dogs.
Housing your pet dog
You will need to provide your pet with a warm, quiet place to rest away from all drafts and off of the floor. A training crate is ideal. You may wish to buy a dog bed, or make one out of a wooden box. Place a clean blanket or pillow inside the bed. Wash the dog’s bedding often. If your dog will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, you will need to provide her with shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it’s cold.