WE KNOW ABOUT DOGS
Below you will find some hints on how to take care of your dog.
Thinking of a canine companion
When the idea of having a canine companion at home goes around in our heads, we must bear in mind that there will be more to it than just having ‘a puppy at home’. As a matter of fact, there will be a puppy in our lives. So, in order to make a final decision, it is important to be ready and committed to give our new friend the love and attention he needs.
That is why there are some questions we must ask ourselves to picture how our life will change with our new companion at home.
One of the most important aspects to be taken into account is how much space there is for our dog to feel comfortable. If space is limited or if there is not at least a small garden, a great idea would be to avoid choosing a dog that, when fully grown, will feel like a parrot in a canary cage. This means that if space is limited, so must be the size of the breed we choose! Puppies grow up! In a limited space, fully grown dogs will feel really shut in, which is not good if we are thinking of a long-lasting cohabitation.
Another important aspect are walks. Especially if we live in a small house or an apartment, we must know that our puppy will also be chuffed to bits when going out, getting some fresh air and sunlight, and running around in the open! Taking your dog for a walk at least once a day will be very healthy not only for your puppy but also for you.
If you understand this, you should:
1- Get the appropriate place;
2- Promise to take your dog for a daily walk
Perhaps, you are now ready to bring your new best friend home!
Our puppy at home
The moment has come at last to have your dog at home! But before bringing him home, there are several points you should consider in order to have a great experience together and, most importantly, keep your dog safe.
Fasten cables at home
Puppies may feel attracted by cables all around the house, and can play with them and bite them. By doing this, they could damage your household appliances. Besides, it could cause an electric discharge, which would put his life at risk. To prevent this, you can remove cables from the areas in which your puppy will move around. Or you can also cover them up in such a way that they are not totally exposed and cannot be reached. Cable trunking system is always a good option to organize cables and raise them off the floor.
Prepare your balcony
Puppies are restless and slippery by nature. This makes us think that it will be necessary to prepare certain places we may consider as risky, which will make them freer to walk around the house, including the balcony. We will not be worried if we secure our balcony with a balcony cover or welded wire mesh. This way, our puppy will have another place to move around, watch the outside world and get some fresh air.
Lock your closets
In addition to being restless and slippery, puppies are inquisitive as well! Closets and other storage places are usually interesting places to browse around, mess up and get into trouble. Not only will you be very upset when you see your puppy biting at your clothing or other objects, but also you must bear in mind that some items could be dangerous for your little dog. Keeping doors properly closed or locked will also help to avoid these problems.
Preparing your home for a puppy’s arrival can save you time and money. Most important of all, your little dog will be safe.
The best choice for your pet’s diet is commercial food. The food we find in veterinary clinics has gone through a series of stages and testing before going into the market. The food we buy in a supermarket not always has the nutritional value your dog needs. In addition, a dog’s diet is the key to his health.
We must choose the right food for your pet. This is not a problem since there is a wide range suitable to your pet’s breed, size, how active he is and where he lives. Once the right food has been found, you will learn to feed him the right quantity, and at the right time and place.
It is important to remember that, as your dog grows up, his nutritional needs will be different.
As regards the best time to feed your dog, the best thing is to feed him always at the same time —try not to leave your dog’s plate full of food all day long. However, he should always have plenty of fresh clear water all day long.
It is important to know that food has to do with not being hungry —regardless of the product; nutrition, however, has to do with satisfying nutritional needs based on a balanced diet. That is why we must never give our pets hot or junk food, or sweet things, since they cannot metabolize sugar.
One of the most important things for your dog’s good health and growing is having a family veterinarian who can help you with every problem your pet may have. Your pet’s vet will also arrange vaccination and deworming.
You should take your pet to the vet at least once a year; but you must pay attention to your dog’s physical and health states every day, which includes a monthly domestic checkup of your dog’s body, eyes, ears, teeth and hair, as well as a monthly control of his weight.
Having your pet vaccinated is essential to prevent certain diseases that are hard to treat or very dangerous to your dog. Most important vaccinations include Distemper, Parvovirus, Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Rabies.
The vet will keep a vaccination schedule of your dog. Prior to vaccination, it is very important to have a record of the progress of your dog’s health status since, should the dog be unwell, it could often worsen the situation. In addition, your dog should be dewormed prior to vaccination, since parasites weaken his immune system.
Your dog should be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks of age, except for rabies and leptospirosis vaccines, which are administered later. About 2 weeks after the first shot, there are several boosters for almost all vaccines. Your veterinarian will provide you with all the information in this regard.
A vaccination schedule may vary according to place and breed. However, one of the most widely used schedules is the following:
- 6 weeks – Triple
- 8 weeks – Parvovirus
- 10 weeks – Triple Booster
- 12 weeks – Parvovirus Booster
- 16 weeks – Rabies
- Yearly – Rabies, Parvovirus and Triple.
Just like humans, all dogs must exercise. However, the type of exercise a small breed dog does is different from that done by a medium/large breed dog.
The best plan for a dog is to share time with their owners. Thus, when exercising your dog, we recommend:
Wearing comfortable clothes and jogging with your dog! If you notice your dog is exhausted, it is time to stop and go back home.
If you dislike jogging, you can walk your dog so that you both can enjoy some time in the open air every day. Work is no excuse for not walking your dog; you can hire someone you trust to walk the dog for you.
Your dog may not feel like going out when the weather is bad; but you can play indoor games as well! For instance, playing with little balls or other toys.
If you have a garden and a friend who owns a dog, why not inviting them to join and play with you?
There are plenty of activities you can do with your dog so that you have a good time, exercise and, what is more important, enjoy together!
Regular grooming not only helps to keep your dog’s coat looking great and removes the nasties his fur can pick up, but it also improves your relationship with your dog. We must be patient at first and get the dog used to it when he is small, so that he does not offer any resistance and enjoys the process.
We recommend grooming short coats once a week, but three times a week if the coat is long. Besides, we will have to groom their coats more frequently in spring and fall, since this is the shedding season.
When grooming, remove lost hair so that it does not fall on the carpet, the floor or the armchairs.
For grooming, you will need a special brush for pets, only for your dog.
First, remove lost hair, and then start to brush from head to tail and down to the legs.
Frequency for hair cutting depends on the breed. Wavy coats require a cut every six to eight weeks; silky-smooth coats, however, every three months.
Fleas and ticks
The presence of fleas and ticks will depend on the time of the year, especially in springtime.
Dogs can get these parasites everywhere —in the garden, inside the house or in the street.
There are several solutions to this problem, such as antiparasitic products for external use, or flea and tick collars. There are also natural collars, which are citronella-based or based on other natural products. Anyway, before using any of these products, you should ask your veterinarian, who will recommend the right product depending on your dog’s size and breed.
Regular checkup and cleaning of our pet’s ears are essential to prevent ear infections.
This must be done regularly, approximately every two weeks. This must be a habit since they are little puppies in order to avoid problems as they grow up.
To do the cleaning, we must primarily make sure you air and dry your pet’s ears; then, to prevent an earplug, remove ear wax with a piece of cotton moistened with an ear hygiene product recommended by the veterinarian.
It is very important that the first time you trim your dog’s nails, you ask your veterinarian for an explanation, since this is not a simple process, and your pet could get hurt. That is why it is really significant to be kind and patient during it, so that your dog keeps relaxed and does not hinder this process.
When trimming your dog’s nails, do it only in the curve so you do not run the risk of trimming them in excess and hurt your pet. Do NOT use ordinary scissors or pliers; instead, you should only use tools suitable for these types of activities. If one of your dog’s nails bleeds, do not worry; apply healing powder on it. If it keeps bleeding, contact your veterinarian.
This process must start when your dog is still a puppy. Lack of oral health care may cause serious health problems to your pet. Many times, we may ignore these problems and this may result in a whole life with no checkup.
What we recommend the most is to clean your dog’s teeth daily, using animal products.
There are many ways of doing this, such as using dog toothbrushes or clockwork bone-shaped dog toy cleaners. You should always ask your veterinarian, who will recommend the best way to do it.
A dental cleaning by your veterinarian is also necessary, in which your dog will be under anesthesia.
It is really important that your dog is healthy and gets used to all these habits at an early age.
This may be one of the most difficult tasks. The best thing is to turn it into a pleasant calm moment.
It is vital that you use special products for dogs only, in order to avoid fur problems or irritation.
Whenever you want to give your dog a bath, you should have all the things you will need at hand. Therefore, it will be easy and quick. You can also put on a dog collar, just to make it easier to grab the dog while bathing.
Now it’s time to start with the bath! First, groom your dog’s coat and then start to wet him from the head backwards. Once his fur is wet, put some shampoo and rub it well until you get a rich lather. This way, all dead cells will disappear and the accumulated dirt will be removed. Wash your dog’s face carefully so that water does not splash into his eyes. Remove shampoo with warm water, avoiding his ears. Once you finish, first dry his head well, so that he does not shake.
For many dogs, bath is not a daily activity, since as their coat is special, it could cause health problems. Those dogs that spend most of their time outdoors must be given a bath every two weeks. In the case of dogs that spend all the time indoors, we recommend a bath every three or four weeks.
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