Proper Dog Care
Taking proper care of your dog is a necessity if you wish for your dog to live a long, happy, and healthy life. In this article we will cover the ins and outs of properly caring for your dog.
Water is the most important thing for a dog to have in order for it to live not only healthily but also to live at all. It is because of this that it is very important for your dog to have a clean water supply. If you live in an area where you drink bottled water instead of tap water due to the quality of the tap water then you should also give your dog bottled water. In general if the water is not good enough for you then it is not good enough for your dog.
A sudden change in water, even if the new water is just as clean or cleaner than the old water, will upset your dog’s stomach. It is because of this fact that it is recommended that when changing water supplies you give your dog its old source of water with some of the new water mixed in. Over time you mix in the new water until it is completely comprised of the new water. If your dog is drinking much more water than normal and/or it is urinating much more frequently you should take your dog to the veterinarian as this can be a sign of serious illness such as diabetes or kidney disease.
A proper diet is almost as important for your dog as its water supply.
Your dog should have a nutritionally balanced diet comprised of things that they can easily digest. That way the food has the nutrients the dog needs and the nutrients can be absorbed due to the foods high digestibility. Foods with low or unbalanced nutrients or low digestibility can lead to digestive issues characterized by loose and large stool.
When looking for dog food look for food that say “Complete and Balanced” to indicate its proper nutritional content. Also look for foods with high protein and quality ingredients such as meat, poultry, eggs, and cheese. These ingredients promote proper digestion, ensuring your dog actually absorbs the nutrients in the food. You may be tempted to buy cheaper food, but buying the more expensive brands can actually save you money in the long run. This is because the more expensive foods have a higher nutritional value and are easily digested. This high amount of nutrients allows the serving size to be smaller making the cost per serving on par with the generic food brands. Also the better nutritional content keeps your dog healthier and thus can save you from costly visits to the veterinarian.
Regularly grooming your dog can greatly aid it in feeling happy and healthy. Imagine how much better you feel when you shower. It works in the same way for dogs. Although dogs don’t need to be bathed nearly as often.
You don’t need to bathe your dog all the time, only when they start to smell. To bathe your dog fill a bathtub partially with warm water and place your dog in it. Wet your dog and lather it with specially made dog shampoo. Then wash off the shampoo and lightly towel dry your dog. During all of this you should talk to and praise your dog to keep it calm. Make sure that if it is cold you dry your dog thoroughly to prevent them from becoming too cold.
You should brush your dog regularly. This brushing helps to keep them clean, remove sdead hair, spreads out natural oils, and stimulates blood flow. You should brush all the way to the skin but keeping careful not to apply too much force and irritate the skin. How often you brush and the type of brush you use should differ depending on the type of hair your dog has.
For short haired dogs, or dogs with two layers to their coats such as huskies, you should brush at least once a week with a natural bristle brush. For long haired dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers you should brush daily with a steel pin brush. Although for dogs with wavy fur such as Poodles you should use a fine curved wire slicker brush.
You should frequently check your dogs feet for foreign objects or cuts. If there are foreign objects remove the objects with tweezers and treat the foot with antibiotics. If there is a small cut simply treat if with antibiotics but if there is a large cut a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.
You should also cut your dogs nails anytime they are long enough to touch the ground or make a sound while they walk. To trim the nails you can use a dog nail trimmer but they are not recommended as they can splinter the nail. A more recommended alternative is to use a special device that sands the nail down. You should cut or sand the nail down to the point at which the nail curves as going too far will result in cutting the quick of the nail and injuring the dog. If you do cut the quick you can stop the bleeding with a styptic pencil or a bar of soap.
With the high maintenance needs of your dog you may be wondering what to do if you are gone for more than a day and are unable to take care of your dog. Many times people resort to having friends watch their dogs but most often your friends aren’t as attentive to your dogs needs as they should be. This is why it is recommended that you send your dog to a dog boarding service if you are gone for more than a day and can’t take your dog with you. These dog boarding services will provide all, often times more, of the maintenance you provide your dog regularly. They will feed, bathe, brush, and exercise your dog while creating the same positive atmosphere you create for your dog at home. The people there are professionals who know what they are doing and do it with a smile. They create such a pleasant environment for your dog that your dog might not even know you’re gone!
Cooper Mountain is a freelance writer for Cooper Mountain Kennels, the best Portland dog boarding and grooming service available, based out of Beaverton.