How to take care of a dog, 21 key factors you should know

It is crucial to learn how to take care of a dog well before taking ownership. A dog requires a serious investment of the following resources:

1. Time 2. Energy 3. Finances

By the time you finish reading this article, the first level of your education on how to take care of a dog will be complete.

Below you will find 21 key factors involved. 11 are under Basic Needs, 5 under Equipment, and 5 under Treatment.

Section 1: Learn how to take care of a dog by being aware of their BASIC NEEDS

Dogs need:

1. Toilet and obedience training. A lack of training in these two areas can result in frustration and inconvenience for the owner to say the least, and at worst the dog could become a danger to their owners, the public, and to themselves.

2. To be with other dogs or people. Leaving them alone for long periods can have a serious effect on their health and well being. Even being left alone for 4 or more hours a day can contribute to destructive behavior.

3. To be brushed every day. This is especially important if their coat has long hair.

4. To have their teeth brushed and cleaned regularly.

5. Regular walks. How far and how often will depend on the size and nature of the dog.

6. A well thought out, balanced diet. You may need to get advice from your vet. A good range of high protein, fat, and carbohydrates is needed to ensure the dog remains healthy. Often the prepared foods available in pet shops or supermarkets contain the needed balance.

7. Plenty of water: A bowl of fresh, clean water should always be available.

8. Space: a fenced in area for play and exercise. The area will need to be kept clean of dog waste to avoid a health hazard.

9. A dry, warm place to sleep out of a draught. The bedding should be aired each day and preferably washed or replaced weekly.

10. Arrangements to be cared for when the owner take a vacation.

11. A vet so you can quickly take them in case of sickness or emergency. Think out carefully your choice of a vet. What equipment and facilities does the surgery offer? What costs are involved? Does the vet communicate well with you so you feel relaxed asking questions?

Section 2: Learn how to take care of a dog by obtaining the EQUIPMENT they need

Dogs need:

1. A lead for walking in urban areas.

2. A collar and/with an identity label or tag.

3. A bed and a dog blanket.

4. A scoop to collect dog waste for disposal.

5. A good quality dog brush.

Section 3: Learn how to take care of a dog by arranging for the TREATMENT they need

Dogs need:

1. Regular checks and treatment for worms and fleas.

2. Injections to protect against serious diseases: check with your vet.

3. Regular teeth checkups by the vet.

4. Optional: Neutering.

5. Optional: Microchip implanting.

Regarding the last two optional procedures, keep these points in mind:

Apart from avoiding unwanted pregnancy, some authorities say neutering can make a dog a better pet. For example, neutered dogs tend to be less dominant, and have a lesser tendency to roam and mark territory.

Dog microchipping will allow you to easily locate your dog in the event it gets lost or stolen. Regretfully many dogs end up with new owners, or are taken to dog shelters, because their owners cannot find them. The microchip can forestall that heartbreaking scenario.

The microchip is no larger than a grain of rice. The procedure is no more painful than a vaccination as the tiny chip is implanted under the loose skin over the dog’s shoulder.

The guidelines above emphasize the need to carefully think out dog ownership. However, this is just the first part of the education.

To have an in-depth understanding of how to take care of a dog, you are well advised to have a good talk with a local veterinary surgeon who can answer specific questions relating to the type of dog that is best suited for your circumstances.

Once you have decided on a particular breed, seek out other owners of that breed and learn more about the characteristics of the dog and considerations you will have to keep in mind. You will get a very accurate perspective by talking to other dog owners.

Learn how to take care of a dog well before ownership and you will be rewarded with an intelligent, loyal friend who will give you unlimited fun and enjoyment!