Owning a dog is not the easiest task in the world, but it can be very rewarding. You can have a home with the most loving creature that will always be there for you, no matter what happens. However, if you want your new dog to have a long, happy life, you need to be prepared and adjust your home and habits accordingly.
Before you decide on a specific breed, you should learn about the requirements like various kinds of dietary habits and supplements, toys that you should buy, and training your pet is supposed to have. Here, you will find the most important things every owner has to know.
Neutering and Spaying
Neutering or spaying a dog is a stressful time for every owner. However, you have to know that it’s a standard procedure with a very low risk of complications, and you can always ask your veterinarian for an additional examination of your dog’s health. The cost of neutering a dog is not the lowest, but your pet will be in much better shape afterward.
These procedures are a precautionary measure against various diseases like testicle cancer, mammary tumors, pyometra, or prostate disease. Moreover, neutered dogs will have less desire to roam, and females won’t be susceptible to phantom pregnancy.
At last, the primary reason why people spay or neuter their dogs is to prevent unwanted puppies. While puppies are cute, the pregnancy costs are high, and in most cases, people don’t know what to do with additional pets. Finding good homes can be challenging, and breeding should be left to breeders who have an organized plan and knowledge about canine genetics. Good breeders are also concerned with preserving a breed’s best qualities for future generations.
Mental and Physical Exercise
The idea of training your dog may seem hard, but actually, it can be a great addition to your everyday life. Many dogs crave physical exercise, so before getting one, you should learn about the breed you chose to have realistic expectations about your pet’s behavior.
All dogs have to exercise, but how much and how long will depend on factors such as age and breed. For example, you can buy or adopt a dachshund, which will most likely prefer to spend most of the time sleeping on a couch, with few daily breaks for playing and running around, or a samoyed, which will crave two long walks per day, a big garden, and additional playtime with toys.
Physical exercise is not the only kind of exercise you have to take care of. A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog. Similarly to people, pets get tired of the same routine every day, and mental challenges will keep your dog happy. There are many ways you can do it, like playing hide and seek, working on new tricks, playing interactive games, or introducing your dog to new faces and animals in the park. Be sure always to reward your dog with treats whenever it deserves it!
Although dog food is not as varied as human’s, you still need to choose the right type for your dog and remember basic hygienic needs. Food and water bowls need to be cleaned once a day so the dog’s food is clean of rotting residue and mold. So, before choosing a dietary plan, you should go to the vet for blood tests to make sure your dog is healthy and doesn’t have any allergies. Then, it’s the right time to decide how you will feed your dog.
It is the easiest and most economical type of dog food. It lasts long, doesn’t have to be refrigerated, and good quality kibble will provide all the nutrients your dog needs. Kibbles can also support dental care, as the bacterias can build up around the gum line and in between teeth, causing bad breath and more severe dental issues. Abrasion from chewing kibble can help remove some of the bacteria, preventing plaque and tartar build-up. Nevertheless, if you plan on feeding your dog with kibbles, you have to know which one is of the best quality and will nourish your pet properly.
Most dogs love the canned food. It is easy to find in every pet store, but it can be quite expensive. The most significant benefit of it is the taste and texture, so even the pickiest dogs won’t hesitate to eat it. Nonetheless, you have to consider that canned food is about 70% water, and the higher the water content, the less nutrient content, so the more of it your dog must consume to get the nutritional value your dog’s body needs.
Some dog owners want to be in absolute control of their pet’s diet, so they decide on preparing the meals themselves. The raw food diet consists of raw meat, vegetables, dairy, and bones (remember that dogs can’t eat processed bones, only raw) mixed in a bowl. It will be far superior to pre-prepared food in many ways, as because of the short digestive tract and strong stomach acid, it is way easier for dogs to consume. Still, before transitioning to a raw food diet, learn about the proper amounts of nutrients, and talk to your vet about benefits and risks.
The Bottom Line
Dog ownership is a dream for many people, but a new pet is a time-consuming addition to your household. Owning a dog involves regular grooming, dog-proofing your house, buying accessories like a collar and leash, a dog bed, and sometimes even insurance. Still, there is a tremendous positive side like the love dogs give to their owners and the whole family.
The rules you establish with your new dog or a puppy will help with their behavior in later life and prevent the total destruction of your home. Remember that beyond the basics, some breeds need more training under the strict supervision of a professional dog trainer, so don’t hesitate to call for help in case of an emergency!
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