It is estimated that around 48% of households have a dog, and for good reason! These beautiful creatures are loyal, offer unconditional love, and benefit your life in a whole host of other ways besides offering emotional support. They encourage you to get out and about, as they require daily exercise; they boost your immune system; and for hundreds of disabled individuals, they make seemingly impossible day to day tasks feasible. They really do become part of the family! However, it’s important to remember that dogs aren’t only there to benefit us. When we take on a pooch, we take on a whole lot of responsibility, as they become entirely dependent on us. It becomes our role to ensure that they are happy, health, and well looked after at all times. So, whether a pup already forms a part of your family unit, or whether you’re planning on taking one on, here’s everything you need to (or are going to need to) know in order to provide them with the best quality of life possible.
Veterinary Care and Insurance
Every dog is going to require some form of veterinary care during their life. Whether this is immunisations, microchipping, and weighing when they are pups, or regular worming, flea treatments, and general check ups throughout the rest of their lives, you’re going to find yourself at the veterinarian’s at some point or another. You also need to make sure that your pooch has access to great quality veterinary care if they experience injuries or illness. Now, as we are all well aware, veterinary care tends to come with an extortionate price tag. This is why it’s extremely important that you have insurance for your pet too. This is going to be a monthly outgoing, and prices can vary drastically depending on your dog’s age, breed, and previous health record. But it is absolutely necessary. Comprehensive pet insurance will ensure that no matter what care your pet needs, they will be able to receive it. So, browse the different policies out there and get the best that you can afford.
While some dogs are higher maintenance than others when it comes to grooming, you are going to have to provide all dogs with a certain level of grooming to keep them in good condition. First, you should focus on their coat. All dogs have different coats and, generally speaking, there are six different types of coat that dogs can have – each will require different care. The six main types are smooth, silky, wool, wire, a double coat, and a combination coat. Smooth and wire coats can generally be maintained easily from home. You just need to invest in some dog shampoo (this is specially formulated to clean fur at the same time as soothing sensitive skin), then wash them in the bathtub and make sure to rinse them well. Long silky coats, wool coats, and combination coats will probably require specialist grooming. These dogs tend to moult less, which allows their hair to grow in the way it does. However, if left unattended to, their fur is likely to knot. A specialist groomer can trim and shape their fur, as well as wash and dry them effectively. Once your pooch’s fur has been seen to, you will also have to trim their nails with dog nail clippers. It’s important to remember that dogs do have nerves in their nails, so if you’re unsure what you’re doing, you should let a groomer or vet do this on your behalf.
The majority of people assume that they can just pick up any dog food from the grocery store shelves and that it will do. But you do need to put a little more thought into your dog’s diet. You should look into your dog’s individual nutritional needs. Different breeds will require different amounts of food, and individual dogs may have special needs to be catered to, such as sensitive stomachs. So, check in with your vet and see exactly what you should be feeding your pet. Personal preference and taste will also come into play – you’ll soon tell if your dog doesn’t like a particular flavour, texture, or brand of food. Try different options and you’ll get to know what they particularly enjoy.
These are just a few different areas of your dog’s life that you should focus on improving. Always bear in mind that your pooch relies on you, so don’t let them down!