Every dog lover knows that pups can bring endless amounts of love and happiness into people’s lives. In return, their human companion’s responsibility is to ensure their health and safety by creating a dog-friendly environment at home and wherever they go. Whether you adopt a new puppy or a senior dog, you can ensure your pal lives the safest, healthiest, happiest life possible. Keep these basic rules in mind to keep your pet safe now and for many years.
1. Select the Appropriate Dog Food
A canine’s digestive system is different from a human’s. Therefore, some foods that are safe for people can be harmful or even life-threatening for dogs. A few of the most toxic foods dogs can’t eat are grapes, onions and chocolate. It’s best to feed your pup only food and treats made specifically for dogs instead of table scraps.
2. Dog-proof Your Home
Before you bring your pet home, make sure that your home is dog-proof. One of the most critical parts of puppy-proofing is hiding electrical cords to prevent your dog from chewing on them. Also, keep toilet lids closed and trash out of reach. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure you secure all medication and household cleaners.
3. Get Your Dog Vaccinated
Vaccines are essential for dogs for the same reason humans need them. Vaccines prevent serious, highly contagious, often fatal diseases, such as parvo, distemper, and rabies. Veterinarians recommend vaccinating dogs that are at least a year old every one to three years. Your dog’s vet can tell you what vaccine schedules are best for your furry friend. It can depend on your location and your pup’s current health. If you get a new puppy, ask your vet for the best time to get the first vaccines.
4. Have Your Dog Spayed or Neutered
Hundreds of thousands of dogs are brought to shelters annually. Many of these dogs remain homeless and are eventually euthanized simply due to a lack of shelter space. It’s essential to have your dog spayed or neutered to prevent overpopulation. These procedures keep dogs from the ability to reproduce. They pose minimal risks, and the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. Besides, spaying and neutering your pet decreases future health threats such as cancer.
5. Work Out With Your Dog
Dogs need regular physical activity, like people. Exercise keeps not only their cardiovascular system healthy but also provides an outlet for pent-up physical and mental energy. A simple daily walk can control or prevent destructive behaviors like chewing, barking, and digging, which are common for bored or anxious dogs. Canines are highly social beings. Therefore, whenever possible, participate in activities together, such as playing fetch, walking or hiking. One good thing about having an active dog is it gives you extra motivation to remain active.
6. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Try to clean your dog’s teeth every day. Keeping a pup’s teeth clean and breath fresh helps prevent gum disease, which can lead to heart disease and other health problems. When brushing your dog’s teeth, watch for signs of dental disease. Some symptoms of dental disease are bleeding gums, discolored teeth, and terrible breath. Some types of dog toothpaste are tasty, so you will likely find one that your dog will accept. Don’t use human toothpaste; various kinds of doggie toothpaste are available. Be sure to get a toothbrush made for canine teeth.
7. Avoid Walking Your Dog in the Heat
Your dog needs extra care during the warmer months. Walk your furry pal in shady areas or on grass to protect paws from burns on surfaces like concrete or asphalt. If it feels hot on your hand, it is too hot for your pup’s paws. You can test it by placing the back of your hand on the ground for a few seconds.
Owning a dog is a big commitment, but the daily reward of unconditional love is tremendous. By taking this advice, you will indeed have a great life with your happy, healthy, safe best furry friend.