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How To Take Care of a Dog: A Basic Guide to Caring For Your Best Friend

A dog is for life. Learn how to take care of him, and he’ll be your companion for years to come. Dogs need care and attention - provide well for your furry friend, and it’ll be loyal to you forever!

Every dog is unique, and each one you meet will have its own personality, its own needs, and its own wants. This is one of the reasons why being a dog parent is so fulfilling - you really do reap what you sow. While we can give you tips and provide you with essential information about dogs, it’s just as important to get to know your pet, and learn how to provide them with the life they deserve.

Yes, dogs, like children, need routine and balance, but once they’re part of the family, they’re worth every effort! In fact, caring for a dog can be one of the greatest joys of your life.

How to take care of a dog: top tips for a happy pup!

Learning about dog care is essential for a calm, well-behaved pooch; whether you’re adopting a rescue pet, raising a puppy, or just want your dog to live a better life, our top tips are here to help you.

Your dog needs a loving home (inside)

A dog needs a loving home and to feel appreciated throughout its life. Dogs are highly perceptive, highly emotional, and highly charged animals (much like their human owners!). To respect this, dog owners need to provide their pets with basic doggie needs.

While they love being outside, dogs need the warmth and comfort of a home, and the safety of their own sleeping area inside the house. They should never be kept outside. In fact, dogs can become ill, or even die, in harsh outside conditions, particularly if it’s cold or raining. If you have to keep your dog outside for a prolonged period of time, then you need to provide it with a kennel or shelter. 

Welcome your dog inside your home, and it will quickly become part of your family!

Dogs love to eat

We’ve all seen a dog wolfing down its meal. While they do enjoy food and they must be well-fed, responsible owners need to take proper care of their dog’s nutrition. There are very few things that dogs won’t eat, of course, so owners need to ensure that their pet has a balanced and nutritious diet. 

There are many pet foods on the market, but try to select quality food from the store.You can ask your vet for advice.  After all, your dog deserves to eat well. You can also add a few treats into their diet, and it’s okay to give them a little bit of human food every now and then (although beware of food that can be harmful to dogs, such as chocolate. If you’re not sure, don’t give it to your pet!). 

Dogs need companionship

Dogs aren’t solitary animals. They’re social creatures, and they need companionship just like we do. There’s a reason they’ve long been called man’s best friend, and that’s because they crave the friendship of their human owners once they’ve become attached. 

Dogs form strong bonds, and will stay loyal to you for the rest of their life, as long as you take proper care of them. It’s important that you keep your companionship consistent, giving your dog as much time as you can. Create a consistent routine and try not to leave your dog at home on their own, if you can avoid it. Your dog needs you, their owner, as much as you will come to need them!

Dogs need to socialize with other dogs

But dogs don’t just need human companionship; they also need to interact and socialize with their own kind. A lonely dog is an unhappy dog, so it’s important that you find opportunities for your pet to run around with other dogs, to play, and to have fun. With this in mind, it’s very important that your dog is trained to socialize with other dogs. They can learn this at a dog-training facility, or a puppy school if your baby is still a baby (more on this later).

If your friends have dogs, then you can arrange playdates. If you’re visiting your family, and they have a dog, ask if you can bring yours along. 

If you really learn how to take care of a dog and have the time and space to look after more dogs, then you could start thinking about bringing home a few permanent doggie friends too (expand your doggie family!).  

Dogs love exercise

While we’re talking about playing with other dogs, dog owners need to keep in mind that one of the best opportunities for dogs to socialize is when they’re out on their walks.

Dogs love to exercise, and just like humans, dogs need exercise to stay fit and to stay healthy. Regularly exercising your dog is an important part of basic pet care, and it can give your dog the long and happy life it deserves.

The exact amount of exercise that your dog needs depends on its breed and its age (younger dogs need more than older dogs to release all their energy!), but at a minimum, owners should be walking their dog at least once a day.

A daily outside walk is especially important if you don’t have a large garden for the dog to run around.

Don’t overlook dog training 

An important part of proper dog care is dog training. A well-trained dog can live a happier life. You can confidently allow your pet to play with as many other dogs as it likes when you're in the local park, you can leave your dog at home on its own while you’re at work, or you can bring them along to visit family and friends!

Training starts early, and you can invest in puppy training classes to help teach your dogs the basics. But dog training isn’t just for your pet. It’s for you too. It gives you, the owner, training tips and tricks from professionals and from other dog owners, and it’s a great way for the two of you to bond .

If you’ve adopted an older hound, that’s no problem. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, and you can continue training your pets for many more years to come. But don't try too hard - older dogs can have various health problems, so don't make them run or jump for too long. Consider buying a dog ramp for bed if you think your dog shouldn't be jumping very often. 

Dogs should have regular check ups

If you’re feeling unwell, you visit the doctor, right? You might be prescribed medication or given a few tips to live a healthier life to get rid of the problem. Unfortunately for dogs, they can’t tell you when they’re ill, but they do suffer from sickness and injury, just like people.

For that reason, it’s important that you take your dog to your local veterinary practice at least once a year for an annual checkup. You can even take out doggie insurance to cover the cost of care or treatment if your dog gets really sick. 

Regular check-ups will let you know if your dog is keeping fit and healthy or how you can change their lifestyle for a happy home life!

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