It’s said that dogs are man’s best friend. As with any friendship, the relationship between you and your pet is a two-way street. You give each other love and affection, but you, as Fido’s owner, have an added responsibility to ensure that he is happy and healthy.
Protections from the Elements
Your pet will need shelter to protect them from the ever-changing weather conditions. It is important that they have a safe space where they can get some shade on hot days and stay dry when it rains. You could invest in a kennel and equip it with some comfortable bedding or your pet can live with you in your home.
Food and Water
It is imperative that your dog has access to clean water every day. Water not only keeps your pet hydrated and helps regulate their body temperature, but it also plays a significant role in their digestive process.
There are many different varieties of dog foods available at your local store. Just as you would adhere to a specific diet for your baby or toddler, so too should you make certain that you feed your dog the correct food for their age. During regular visits, your veterinarian will assess your dog’s weight and general health. They may also make recommendations regarding additions to your dog’s diet, including vet-specific nutrition ranges, or dietary supplements.
The easiest form of exercise for your dog is a walk or a round of fetch in the back garden. A daily doggy workout will not only keep your pet in prime shape, but it will also improve their bone density, blood pressure levels, and cardiovascular health. Walking your dog on a leash also teaches them discipline and to recognize you as their pack leader.
Bathing and Grooming
You should bathe your dog at least once a month unless they are particularly dirty. Some people wash their dogs more frequently, but this can lead to conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. Like exercise, bathing your dog will also increase your bond.
In between bathing sessions, you should brush your dog. This affords you the opportunity to check your pet for any sores or parasites. It also thins their fur, preventing matting, and allowing the growth of a fresh, glowing coat. There are all kinds of grooming brushes for dogs available that fit every budget. If you’re not sure what one is best for your breed, speak to the owner of your local pet shop.
Some dog owners want their dogs to share their beds. Others have a space in the home set aside for their pet, complete with their own dog beds and bedding. Neither of these camps is wrong. If you do decide to have your dog share your bed, it is important that they know it’s your bed, that they are not allowed to take it over. If they are to sleep at the bottom of the mattress, reinforce that instruction with praise every time they remain in their spot.
With these guidelines to get you started, you and your dog should have a long, happy life together.