For all of us who have tried to drag an unwilling, reluctant dog to a bath, dog care is not something merely to be sneezed at. If you are a pet owner, you have almost certainly seen the woebegone, accusing eyes of your lovable bundle of bedraggled wet fur trying to figure out what he or she did to deserve such an unkind fate as bathing!
OK people, so let’s just tick off all the things that we need to keep in mind when we talk dog care: we’re talking grooming, bathing, feeding, immunizing, walking, basic obedience training (believe you me, this is as much for your dog as for you), and last but certainly not least, a lot of affection, and love and cuddling!
Shedding can be Hair Raising: Now you can love your dog to death, but you can still hate getting dog hair in your soup (yes it can happen), or on your pillow, or on your really spiffy black sweater (eeks! your dog is a gorgeous golden retriever who doubles as a shedding factory)! So unless you have a completely hairless dog, and those are a bit of an acquired taste let me tell you, shedding is something that you just have to find a way around. The simple solution to this is regular grooming. What comes off on your dog’s brush necessarily will not come off on your pillow, or car upholstery, or sweater, or sandwich or other stuff which does not taste very good with dog hair as an accompaniment. So give your dog a regular brushing: daily would be good especially if your dog is a long haired variety and since most dogs love a good vigorous brushing the you will be rewarded with a lot of slavering affection from your dog and will reap the obvious benefits of a relatively hair less home! To an extent the parasite problem is also kept in check with regular brushing, since you come to know about any parasites before they get to be a problem.
Bathing: Use your nose to know when: There is no hard and fast rule about bathing your dog, but a good rule of thumb is to let your nose decide and that is usually every two or three weeks. When the doggie pong starts to make itself felt a bit, it’s time to head for a bath! If bathing your dog outside is a possibility then that is the best option. You will save yourself the hassle of cleaning up your bathroom later, because we are all aware of the mess that can be created by a wet dog shaking himself rather vigorously to get rid of the excess water. Also bathing the dog outside saves you the bother of having to drag him, willy-nilly to bathroom, and can be a fun activity especially if you have kids around. You don’t need to use anything fancy; a decent deodorizing dog shampoo is good enough.
Don’t feed to fatten: Obesity can be as much of a problem for your pooch as it can be for us human beings. So it’s a good idea to figure out how much food your particular dog breed needs, because a lot of dogs are silly enough to go on eating without realizing how much is too much. The rule of thumb for feeding is, twice is enough: most dogs need to be fed only two times in a day. Dogs need a lot of protein so make sure that the dog food that you use contains the right proportion of all the stuff that a dog requires.
Exercise: Let your dog take you for a Walk: Don’t kid yourself that you are taking your canine for a walk; most likely your dog takes you for a walk. When it is time, your dog is sure to nudge you gently (or not so gently) in the direction of the door. Pick up the leash and your dog is most likely going to be dancing around in delight! That dogs love their walk is a no brainer. That your dog’s walk is good for you as well, is an often overlooked benefit of having a dog as a pet. If you have a big dog, he will need plenty of exercise, a fairly long daily walk (or two) then becomes regulation. This can be a very good work out for you as well, and the fresh air will do you a power of good. If you have children around the house who are old enough, include them in this daily activity, it’s great bonding time!
Immunizing– A healthy dog is a happy dog: Most vets have a proscribed immunization chart which plots the schedule or time table for a dog’s immunizations. Read it up carefully and set yourself reminders for what is due when if you are the scatterbrained sort. Don’t forget immunizing is as important for you and your family as it is for your dog. A lot of diseases, especially skin related problems are possible to pass on to humans from dogs. It is a good idea to tell your vet to give your dog the once over when you go for the immunizations, if there are any problems that you have overlooked, then can be addressed. You can also request the vet to clip your dog’s toe nails because long nails can be more of a problem than you think. It can make them more prone to falling, joint problems later in life, etc.
Sit, Stay, Heel: Mostly, if you can train your dog to obey just a few basic commands, this makes for a happier pet and a happier owner. Dogs generally are happier when they know who is in charge; remember they are pack animals and enjoy structure, direction and knowing who is in charge. That unquestioning loyalty that your dog lavishes on you stems from his respect for you as being in charge. He knows that you know what is to be done and he trusts you to tell him.
Love your dog to death! You know when they say; if you have a dog, you never come home to an empty house. You dog will always give you a warm, rousing welcome, because his love is truly unconditional! A dog’s loyalty is legendary and your dog really can be your best friend! He does not mind if you’ve been bad or good. If you want a pet, be prepared to treat him like a member of the family, taking care to lavish time, love and affection on him. If you don’t love your dog, perhaps you are better off not having one? Certainly a dog is better off without an owner who has no interest in him. Dogs seem to need affection much like a child does and you can often read the rebuke in those melting, beseeching eyes when to fail in that duty of yours.
Losing a pet can be devastating but when you balance that against the wonderful moments you have enjoyed with your pet, it will far outweighs the sorrows that will ultimately befall you. Your pooch and you have something special going: enjoy it, celebrate it!
Inaya Sandoval is a full-time writer and editor. A postgraduate in Australia and an MBA in Marketing with almost ten years of researching and writing experience, he has written on practically every niche on the web. Currently, he is working with Puppy Playground as a content writer.