How to look after your new puppy or dog and what they need.
Many people buy dogs and puppies and outrageously have no interest in finding out how to take care of these amazing animals properly. In a day when information is free on the world wide web, there really is little excuse not to find out.
What to feed your dog.
What food to get your dog is the most obvious thing people think of. If you have a young puppy, you will need puppy food as this contains more calories and nutrients for a growing dog. Similar to the needs of a growing child, a puppy needs more calories as their body is doing some hard work growing and developing. Amounts and how many times you need to feed the dog will depend on the size, and a guide will be provided on the side of the dog food.A dog food product will show you what the dog food contains in order of largest content. If the first thing listed is meat, then you have a great product. You also need to look out for dairy such as eggs or the dog food isn't really up to much and will not be as quality as other dog foods available.Another issue is if your dog has any medical requirements. There are specialist dog foods available for dogs with problems such as needing joint care or renal problems. The bag of dog food will clearly state that it is for that specific ailment if it is specified for that illness.
Make sure a separate bowl for water is always available to your dog, even if you add it to food.
So a quick reminder is Protein is king for your pet dog.
Grooming your puppy or dog.
You will need to make sure that you keep your dogs hygiene in check. Some things you may be comfortable to do yourself, you may wish to go to a grooming parlor for others.
Check ears and wipe out with dog wipes to keep clean.
Make sure your dogs claws are short and trimmed. Make sure you know exactly how to do this, I suggest getting a groomer to show you the first time. If you cut the nails too short you can hurt your dog and make his feet bleed.
Their anal gland needs checking. Most dogs will do this themselves and secrete fluid from their anal gland by scraping it across the floor. A groomer also checks this if asked.
Clean your dogs teeth with a dog brush. There are special dental care products for your Canine friend, be sure to make sure they are appropriate for your dog.
Buy a brush if your dog has a long coat. Short coat varieties, such as pit bulls do not need brushing for knots, but they enjoy the contact and it does help stop them shedding everywhere.
Bath time will mean you need dog shampoo. Myself I prefer to use a flea shampoo that repels fleas. It usually has tea tree in, which I do not mind, although my husband hates the smell of.
Flea and worm your new puppy or dog.
Depending on the age and size of your dog, will depend on what make you need to buy for your dog. Some dogs are clever and even when hiding tablets in food, will be left to your amazement in the bottom of the food bowl. If this is the case, either put it in a quarter of a slice of bread and jam. If you do not wish to do that, there are powder forms available. Most worming tablets cover at least the three common worms. Make sure you are covering your dog for all of them. Frontline are a great make and they charge nicely too.
Flea drops can be bought that go at the back of the dogs neck and cover your dog for up to 12 weeks. If they are going to get them they will. It is like children with nits.
This is completely up to you and where your dog is sleeping. If you are handy, make your own and use wadding and some used curtains to sew a dog cushion together. When I am training a puppy, I use baby blankets from the pound shop ( dollar store), as they are big enough for a puppy and small enough to throw in the washer after little accidents.
You can however decide whether you wish for your dog to be in a dog basket, bed or training crate. I choose the training crate after 13 years of owning dogs, because my first and most well behaved dog, was a mischievous puppy and ate my kitchen. I mean she ripped the floors up, pulled drawers out and to pieces. A training crate is reasonably cheap on line, but make sure you get one that will be big enough for your dog to stand up in and turn with out being cramped. I have had comments such as this is cruel, it is not cruel and you can leave the door open all the time, I close the door for bedtime, feeding time and when I leave the house for school runs with my 10 week old puppy. It is HIS space in a home with 4 children and two other dogs, that is important for their sense of security and comfort.
Your dog will need one to two decent length walk depending on the size of your dog. If you can not do this because of work, there are a lot of great dog walkers out there. Ask around BEFORE you get your dog.
Don't forget as well as the things I have mentioned a dog needs love, time and patience. And if it gets bored it will chew, so save yourself heart ache when it chews your sofa and buy your dog some chew toys. These can also be from a dollar store.
Also it is usually a legal requirement that your dog has a collar and tag, you can make these as glamorous or plain as you wish. A tip here is not to put your dogs name on it, or someone can steal your dog and look like its owner when the dog reacts to its name. Put your contact number on and address if you wish.You can also get dogs microchipped with your details at most vets now. This will not fall off, but sometimes they can not be found easily by a scanner.
Most of all have fun and get to know each other, but do not get a dog if you have not got time or money to do all I have mentioned.