Having a dog can be daunting. It is easy to get lost in the wave of tips and things to do from well-meaning friends. Caring for your dog does not have to be confusing. We make it simpler for you by giving you a checklist of must-do’s to care for your dog.
1. Have your dog licensed. This includes vaccinating it for rabies and other steps or legal requirements that you can get from your veterinarian, animal shelter personnel and humane society.
2. Spay your dog. Aside from controlling animal population and making sure that you do not have to deal with unwanted puppies, there are many benefits in neutering your dog. Spaying your dog can help it have a healthier and longer life. It also reduces behavioral problems, lessens the chance that it will bite people or run away.
3. Read up on dog health issues like feeding and nutrition, training, grooming and bathing. Arm yourself with information on how to properly care for your dog’s health. Keep abreast with current news related to your dogs, like the recent melamine contamination in some dog foods. Educate yourself on how to keep your dog healthy and apply it.
4. Have your dog regularly checked up by the veterinarian. You must choose your vet carefully by making sure that he or she does not only have the credentials and capabilities to care for your dog, but also the facilities and personality to carry out the work.
5. Keep your dog under control at all times. This means that you would need to have it on leash outside your home, especially when you are not looking.
6. Give your dog a balanced and nutritious pet food, and lots of fresh water.
7. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. Physical fitness is one of the benchmarks of a healthy dog. Walk it, play with it, and take it jogging. Ensure, however, that you do not over exert your pet.
8. Fit your dog with a dog collar and dog ID tag. Put its name, your name, address and other contact details on the tag. This will help anybody who finds your dog return it to you in case you lose it.
9. Train your dog. If you can not, look for professional trainers to do it for you. A good training helps control your dog’s behavior. It also gives you a great opportunity to bond with your pet.
10. Proper shelter is a must for caring for your dog. Provide an area inside the house where your dog can roam free, stay in, rest and spend time with the family. If you have an extra room, you can set it up for your pet. For larger dogs, you can have a doghouse outside your house for it, but make sure it gets to spend bonding moments with the family.