Dog Care

There”s a reason dogs are known as man”s best friend. Your dog is a faithful and loyal companion who”ll sit by your side through the good times and the bad. He loves you even when you”re in a bad mood and misses you as soon as you walk out the front door.

With all the unconditional love your dog provides, it”s no wonder that you want to give him the best care possible. Keeping reading to learn some tips on how to take care of a dog.

Dog Care Basics: Essential Dog Health Care Information

A dog”s needs are pretty basic. In order to stay happy and healthy, your dog requires:

  • Exercise: Your dog needs regular exercise to stay healthy and active. You should take your dog on regular walks and also incorporate other fun exercises into his daily routine. For example, you could throw the Frisbee to him in the park, go for a run on the beach or play fetch in the yard. Simply leaving your dog outside in your yard during the day is not adequate exercise; most dogs require at least an hour of brisk walking every day.
  • Food: Your dog needs to eat a balanced diet. However, each dog”s nutritional needs will vary, so you”ll want to talk to your vet to determine the best diet for your dog. You”ll also want to discuss portion size and feeding schedules, to ensure that you”re not feeding your dog too much or too little.In addition to food, you should always have bowls of clean, fresh water available to your dog.
  • Grooming: To keep your dog”s coat and skin healthy and clean, you”ll want to wash and brush him regularly. There are many shampoos and conditioners on the market. If you aren”t sure which ones are right for your dog, ask your vet or groomer. She”ll be able to point you in the right direction. Dog skin care is also important, and will help keep a dog free of fleas and ticks.
  • Medical Care: Dog medical care is important to sick or injured dogs, but is just as necessary for healthy dogs. Make sure you take your dog to the vet on a regular basis, and that he is always up-to-date on all of his vaccinations. Seeing the vet regularly is the best thing you can do to keep your dog healthy.
  • Shelter: Like any living thing, your dog needs to be sheltered from the elements. If your dog lives in the house with you, he is probably living in ideal conditions. However, if he is an outside dog, you need to provide him with a doghouse to shade him from the heat. If you live in a cold climate, you should place blankets in the doghouse to keep your dog warm.If you live in an area that experiences extreme cold or heat, it is best to keep your dog inside. Some breeds, such as bulldogs, are more sensitive to extreme temperatures.

All a Dog Really Needs

Still confused about what your dog needs from you? The following poem might help guide you:

A Dog”s Prayer

by Beth Norman Harris

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world”s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest, and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I draw my fate was ever safest in your hands.