Dogs bring people joy, companionship and unconditional love. Their owners must provide them with food, entertainment, medical care and attention. Together, owner and dog make each other’s lives complete. If you already own a dog or are planning on adopting one, you have to understand what lies ahead. This article will guide you through some tips to make dog ownership easier and better for both parties.
Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.
Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.
Having fresh and clean water available to your dog at all times is a must. Dogs become dangerously dehydrated in a matter of days, so its very important to always have water ready. Dogs will also appreciate water that is clean. If you find it necessary to drink filtered or bottled water because of the quality of water from your tap, then be sure to provide your dog with the same high quality water.
Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.
Research a particular breed of dog you may be interested in before bringing him home. Lots of people make the mistake of falling in love with a type of dog, then find out later that the animal isn’t really for them. Chihuahuas, for example, are a trendy type, but very difficult to fully potty train, especially in colder climates!
If your vet gives you medication to take home and administer to your dog, be sure and ask for ideas on getting him to swallow it. Dogs differ in their tolerance of pills and badly-flavored liquids, so have a few tricks up your sleeve in case he resists. Getting a dog to take medicine is important, but often challenging.
When you get a new dog, set up an appointment for him at the vet. This is one of the first things you should do. Your dog will get a vaccination schedule and a checkup. Ask your vet about neutering your dog. Shelters are filled with unwanted animals and not neutering your dog means you could be making this problem worse.
Check to make sure your dog’s collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.
Be prepared for natural disasters that also impact your dog. Have an emergency supply of water and food for him and know in advance if your local shelter for people will allow pets inside. Too many pets are injured or lost following storms, floods and other situations that cause chaos in a community.
When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.
When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use the advice you read. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and ends with putting that knowledge to use. Start today, for your dog’s sake!