Providing for Your Dog’s Basic Needs
- Give your dog fresh food and water. These fundamental needs can’t be ignored, even for a day. Depending on their age, puppies need to eat 3 to 4 times per day. Full-grown dogs usually eat just twice per day. Fresh, clean water should be provided at all times, so your dog can drink whenever it gets thirsty.
- Pick out the right kind of food for your dog’s size, age, and breed. Different types of dogs have different nutritional needs. Most dog food packages detail how much food should be given daily depending on the size of the dog.
- Make sure to buy food with high quality ingredients. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems and can become ill if they aren’t fed high quality food. Don’t feed dogs human food, especially junk food that’s high in salt and sugar. A good rule of thumb is to look at the first ingredient on the dog food package. If it is a meat – not cornmeal — this food will be higher in those essential proteins your dog needs daily.
- Consult with your veterinarian about how often your puppy or dog should be fed to meet its metabolic needs.
2. Make sure your dog has a cosy place to sleep. Dogs may be distantly related to wolves, but they’re domesticated creatures who enjoy the creature-comforts of home as much as we humans do. Your dog needs a clean, dry, and warm place to sleep at night. Whether your dog sleeps indoors or outside, make sure it has a space that’s sheltered from the elements with a regulated temperature.
- If your dog spends a lot of time outside, it needs a place to take shelter when it rains, snows, or gets too hot or cold. Do not leave your dog outside in inclement weather.
- Many dogs enjoy sleeping in kennels lined with comfy blankets with a few toys. Others prefer to sleep on a dog bed in their masters’ bedroom, or in a special spot somewhere in the house
3 Allow your dog to exercise every day. Dogs, like humans, need to move around to stay fit and healthy. Some breeds need to exercise for hours every day, while others are fine if they only go outside a few times each day. It’s important to understand the needs of your breed and meet them. If you have a high-energy dog, be sure it gets plenty of exercise.
- At the very least, walk your dog twice a day for 20 minutes. This is especially important if your dog has to stay cooped up in the house or apartment all day while you’re gone.
- While you are walking your dog, make sure to know the leash law in the area. Do not let your pet off-leash unless the area is enclosed and your pet is protected from traffic.
- Dogs love going to dog parks and other facilities where they get the chance to run freely. However, be sure your pet is fully vaccinated before taking it to an area with other dogs. Diseases like oviparous can stay dormant in the environment for several months putting vaccinate puppies and dogs at risk when exposed to that environment
4 Keep your dog safe from harm. Part of your responsibility as a dog owner is to keep your dog safe, just as you would a child. That means keeping your dog leashed when you’re around traffic, making sure your yard is fenced so your dog can’t run away and get into a dangerous situation, protecting your dog from larger dogs, and generally keeping it out of harm’s way.
- Microchips can help identify your dog if it gets lost. Many companies actually offer services that’ll notify you if your dog has run astray.
- For example, make sure your dog doesn’t fight with a wild animal by keeping it on a leash in areas where leash laws are in effect. Many wild animals carry dangerous diseases like rabies and osteoporosis. It is a good idea to bring your dog to a veterinarian if your dog comes into contact with a wild animal.
- Keep your house and yard free of dangerous objects your dog might try to eat, like electrical wires Puppies are the most likely to chew on dangerous objects. A good way to make sure they stay safe is to place them in a small, puppy-proofed kennel area when you are not there to monitor their actions. Use this time to train them to chew on their toys only.
5 Take your dog to the vet regularly. Your dog should see a vet about once a year to stay updated on all the necessary shots and receive an annual checkup. If your dog shows symptoms of illness in between regular appointments, call the vet and take it in for a diagnosis.
- If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, consider having the surgery done. It’s a measure recommended by the ASPCA as a way to prevent the population of stray dogs from growing.
- Your dog should receive a rabies vaccination as well as other mandatory shots.