How To Care For Your New Dog

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! Your furry companion will undoubtedly add fun, excitement, and love to your home. Of course, as with any living thing, your dog has needs to sustain its health, safety, and happiness. If this is your first rodeo, you may not know much more than providing your pup with food and water and taking them out for walks. However, being a pet parent comes with more responsibilities than you may realize. Continue reading for advice. 

Dog Nutrition

Your dog needs proper nutrition to live a long and happy life. However, their needs will vary by breed, age, and health. When choosing a dog food, keep factors like your pet’s breed, age, health conditions, dietary restrictions, and, of course, your budget. A veterinarian, pet shelter professional, or breeder can also provide recommendations to make your search easier. 

Regular Exercise

Dogs require regular exercise to sustain optimal health. While each dog is different, a general rule is to take them on walks at least three to four times a day for 10-15 minutes. 

Mix things up to keep your dog curious and entertained by taking them around the neighborhood or to a nearby dog park.  You could ask your family or friends to help with the walking schedule if you have a busy lifestyle. There’s also an option to hire a dog walker. 

Grooming Your Dog

Pet parents must also maintain their dog’s cleanliness and hygiene. Washing and grooming your dog regularly helps reduce shedding, maintain their beautiful coats, and protect them from invaders like fleas and ticks. 

You’ll need to purchase grooming supplies, including shampoo, a brush, a flea comb, and clippers (especially for long-haired dogs). You should check for fleas and ticks after walks, brush their fur regularly, and bathe your dog at least once every two to three months. 

Lastly, you should trim your dog’s hair and remove matted fur at least once every four to six weeks. You can always hire a professional if your dog is anxious or you’re not confident in your grooming skills. 

Dental Care

It’s not uncommon for new pet parents to overlook the importance of dental care for dogs. However, much like humans, the condition of your dog’s teeth and gums can impact its overall quality of life. This dog dental guide can provide additional tips on maintaining your dog’s oral health. You’ll need a toothbrush, toothpaste (designed for dogs), and a pair of rubber gloves. After brushing your teeth, reward their positive behavior by offering them a treat. 

Veterinarian Visits

Find a suitable vet for your dog. You’ll need to take your pet to the veterinarian’s office for wellness checkups, vaccinations, essential procedures (spaying/neutering), and prescriptions or treatment options for illnesses and diseases. Opt for a veterinarian with flexible hours, varied pet care services, affordable rates (or insurance options), and a friendly disposition. 

Pet Supplies

Your dog may not need clothes or shoes, but there are some bare necessities pet owners should have on hand. Some essential pet supplies include food and water bowls, blankets, bedding, toys, treats, collar, leashes, training crates, pet carriers (or seat belts), and a first aid kit. 

TLC And Entertainment

Lastly, every dog needs love, companionship, and entertainment. Neglecting your dog could lead to mental health issues, which cause them to misbehave. Make time to love on your pup daily. Snuggle with them, give them a good massage, play, and even have conversations with your furry friend. Although your dog can’t express itself through words, its actions will undoubtedly show you how much your time and attention mean to them. 

Being a pet parent comes with many responsibilities. Although adjusting can take time, once you’ve developed a routine, caring for your dog will be second nature. Use the above advice to give your fur baby everything they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Of course, you can also turn to your vet or the many online communities to get tips and tricks to make your dog’s life more enjoyable.