Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Caring for your Dog

1. High-quality food and treats, fresh water at all times, bowls
Buy the highest quality food you can afford; your pet will be healthier and live a longer life. Stainless steel bowls are nice; they can't turn into chew toys for the dogs.

2. Shelter, bed, crate (as needed)
Your dog should spend as much time as possible indoors. It increases the quality and length of their life. If outdoors they should have a place where they can take shelter from inclement weather; it's the law. When indoors pups will generally be happy to sleep anywhere - some like a nice puppy bed. Crates can be handy when you have to be away, when pets are still being housetrained, or when they are sick or injured and need to be contained.

3. Monthly preventative treatments
A topical flea treatment/preventative (about $10/month) and oral heartworm preventative (also about $10/month) should be given at the same time every month. You can get it from any vet. You can also get a two-in-one product such as Revolution, which is convenient and saves money - it is about $10/month.

4. Yearly wellness exam
Your vet will check to make sure your pet is well and healthy. They will give appropriate vaccinations and check for heartworms. This exam is very important for the health of your pet.

5. Leash, Collar, ID tag, registered microchip
An ID tag and microchip are invaluable if your pet goes missing. It is important to check your dog's collar every couple months to make sure it still fits properly. You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar comfortably. It should not be too tight or too loose. You should also register your pet with the city. You will need to provide proof of a current rabies vaccination and registered microchip.

6. Spay/Neuter procedure
Responsible pet owners alter their animals. It decreases health risks for them and helps keep animal overpopulation down - a major problem for the city of San Antonio.

7. Grooming items
Oatmeal shampoo and a good brush are really all you need. If your dog has floppy ears you might carefully clean them out with q-tips from time to time. If your pet is active their nails will usually wear down on their own. You can clip them or take them to be clipped as well. Teeth brushing is optional, but not necessary if you feed them quality food.

8. Toys
Nyla bones and Kong toys tend to last longer and provide hours of enjoyment. Supervise your pet to make sure they don't ingest parts of toys.

9. Love, Attention, & Exercise
Dogs are highly social creatures and loyal without end. The more affection you give them, the better your relationship will be. They should be played with daily, and highly active/anxious dogs should also be walked daily.

10. Training
Potty training and commands are fairly easy to teach with positive reinforcements. Praise your dog with a high-pitched voice when they do good, and give them a stern 'no' when they are doing wrong. Treats are also good reinforcements.

No comments:

Post a Comment