Owning a dog is really a rewarding experience and all the care and love you lavish on your dog will be returned 10 fold by this loyal and loving companion.
Below we have broken down the level of care for a dog in to Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly steps to give you an idea on what is involved in caring for a dog.
Food: you should feed your dog twice a day at regular intervals. The amount of food required is based on the size of your dog. The recommended amount is usually published on the packaging of the dog food you
are using. Be careful not to over feed your dog, tempting as it may be, they are prone to over eat if allowed!
Water: your dog should have access to fresh clean drinking water at all times. In warm weather check their water level throughout the day.
Exercise: every dog needs some form of exercise during the day. It will vary from breed to breed. Exercise can take many forms like long walks to playing fetch in the garden. Exercising your dog is an enjoyable experience and should encourage the whole family to get out and about.
Grooming: again this varies from breed to breed. Some dogs will require daily brushing to keep their coats free from tangles.
Sleep: provide your dog with a comfortable sheltered area to sleep in.
Grooming: all breeds of dog require weekly grooming. Even if your dog has short hair they will still need brushing at least once a week to remove dead hairs and to keep their coats shiny.
Grooming your dog should really be a relaxing and bonding exercise for both you and your dog.
Infection: breeds who have long ears should have them checked regularly for infection or sores. Dogs who have wrinkles on their faces should have those folds checked for infection and to ensure the skin within the folds is dry.
Worming: It is extremely important to worm your dog on a regular basis, especially when you have children. This treatment is usually given in tablet form. Depending on the brand of tablet you are using, you may need to treat them monthly or bi monthly. Read the instructions carefully to ensure the correct dosage is being given. If you are purchasing the tablets from your veterinary clinic, they will usually ask the weight of the dog and advise which tablet to give and how often. They have the facility to weight animals, so if you are unsure of the weight of the dog ask them to weigh it for you.
Fleas and Ticks: this treatment is usually applied to their back between their shoulders. This should be applied in dry weather to prevent it washing off before it has had a chance to work. The best time to apply it is usually at night before bed. Again, your vet can recommend the correct dosage for the size and weight of your dog.
Grooming: depending on the breed of your dog a visit to the grooming parlour may be on the list of monthly things to do e.g. Poodle, Bichon Frise, Yorkie. Having its coat clipped on a regular basis will keep it manageable and easier to maintain.
Annual Check Up: your dog will need a yearly check up with your vet to ensure all its required vaccinations are up to date. While there, the vet should check your dog from head to tail and ask routine questions on the general well-being of your dog. Ensure that the vet checks their nails and clip any that may be over grown. Also, ask for their teeth to be checked and for advice on good dental hygiene for dogs.