8 Pet Care Tips for Dog Owners

Being a dog owner is a real joy.  It promises years of pleasure and companionship to owner and dog alike.  But it is also a heavy responsibility and a long-term commitment.  Below are eight tips on how to care for that “friend” to which you have made such a commitment.

1. Keep Up-to-date on Rabies and Other Vaccinations

This is vital to your dog’s well-being.  Rabies is still a threat to our pets.  Every summer brings reports of findings of rabid bats or other wild animals.  Rabies is especially prevalent if you live on acreage or in a wooded area more populated by wild animals.

Owners do have the option of getting a one year or a two year rabies shot — or, if they are concerned about the side effects of a rabies shot another option is to get their dog a titer test, a blood test that indicates whether the animal’s previous vaccine is still active or sufficiently protecting him.  This prevents the owner from having to get a vaccine before it is absolutely necessary.  Heart worm too is a very real threat to your dog and can be avoided by a heart worm pill taken monthly.

2. Regular Vet Check-Ups

This can be combined with your dog’s vaccination appointment.  A check-up will help the vet identify any problems while they are still in the early stages, whether it be a tumor or fleas.

3. Healthy Diet

This is not to be taken lightly as we hear so often about dog foods that contain melamine or are somehow contaminated.  Many dog foods are not nutritionally balanced and fillers such as ground corn and other grains are added simply for volume.  The primary ingredient in your dog’s food should be meat.

4. Proper Training

A well-trained dog is a happy dog.  He knows what is expected of him.  He doesn’t annoy guests with a display of bad manners or repel them by jumping on them or slobbering on them.  Good obedience training also keeps him safe.

5. Socialization

It is important that your dog learn to play well with other dogs, not being the aggressor or snarling at his canine companions.  The more quality time he spends with dogs, the better behaved he can be counted on being.  So, go to the dog park, go to dog events, walk him in your neighborhood and let him visit with his neighbors.  It will make him a confident.

6. Grooming

Grooming is important to you dog’s health.  If he is matted or his nails need cutting, he is uncomfortable.  He will be constantly chewing on himself and panting out of agitation.  Also, a good groomer who grooms your dog on a regular basis is going to detect abnormalities or signs of distress or disease.  If caught early such discoveries do not have to equate to a death sentence.

7. Exercise Your Dog

If he gets enough exercise he won’t be an unholy, hyperactive terror.  He will sleep well when it’s bedtime and not be agitated and excitableExercise is also good for his overall health.

8. Obey the Leash Laws

They are for your dog’s protection.  His training will enable him to walk with you and obey your commands.

These are just a few of many tips to help you ensure that your have a happy, healthy dog and one with impeccable manners! Follow them and you will be exemplary as a dog owner.

Mark Mansfield
 

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