Becoming a dog owner is a huge commitment and responsibility. You have to make sure to provide the dog with food, shelter, time and love.
Here are 7 rules to help you better care for your dog regardless of how long you have owned them:
1. Puppy’s place: A puppy’s place must be arranged in a convenient corner. It must never be a place in a passage, near central heating, or near doors (balcony, entrance). For bedding, you can use a mat or a rug covered with some comfortable material. Comfortable means natural, for example cotton. Do not use synthetic covers. Always keep the bedding clean. It can be helpful to have several beddings: just change and wash them from time to time.
2. Coat care: Grooming must take place several times a week. Use a special dog brush. Bathing is recommended when your dog is very dirty. Apart from that, it’s recommended to bathe a dog three times a year: in spring, summer, and autumn (try to avoid bathing in winter). Use a dog shampoo if the dog is very dirty. If not, just use clean water. After bathing, dry the dog’s coat with a towel, and keep your companion safe from draughts.
3. Ear care: Clean your dog’s ears at least once in a month. Use moistened cotton pads or special products for ear cleaning. When the ears are healthy, their inner side is smooth and has a slight amount of light sulphur with no smell. If you notice dark oozing, discharge, unpleasant odour, or if your dog shakes the head and scratches the ears often, these are signs of a possible ear infection. Take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
4. Dental care: Brush your dog’s teeth every 3 months. Use tooth powder or toothpaste without a strong taste and smell, or a special toothpaste for dogs. You can also use a special bone with fluoride for teeth cleaning. Besides, they provide a good massage to the jaws.
5. Eye care: Healthy eyes are clean, clear, with no discharge. Alarming symptoms are: redness, inflammation around the eyes, mucous or watery discharge, frequent blinking, increased tearing, a film over the eye. If you notice any of those, show your pup to a vet.
6. Nail care: Healthy nails are dark, shiny, they do not crumble and do not scale off. The nails must be clipped as they grow (if they do not shorten naturally themselves).
7. Last but not least – never buy a dog on a whim! Having a dog is a long-term relationship, so you have to choose a breed that will match you best. Also, you have to be absolutely sure that you will not get bored with a new puppy in a while. Try to get as much information about dogs and breeds as possible: search in the Internet, visit different websites and forums, ask questions, ask veterinarians and your friends.
Make sure the breed you select is right for the amount of activity in your life.
What breed did you decide on and why?