Every dog owner knows that at some point they will have a question, whether they are the seasoned show owner or the new pet owner with their first dog. At some point there will be something happen in which they will need some help. When that time comes, hopefully you will know exactly where to find the information you need, quickly and without stress. I am going to give some great advice to all pet owners. Some is common knowledge, while others are rare tidbits of advice that I pull off the shelf to help the dog lover inside.
Tip #1. Finicky eaters are the result of switching the food too often. You need to search around and find a food that is healthy and balanced by a reputable company that you know and trust. Once you find this search for a variety of the food that your dog enjoys, once that occurs do not change foods unless either that brand/flavor is no longer manufactured, or unless your vet tells you that your dog needs a special diet. Many dogs become very picky eaters after having a rotating diet because they learn that if they dislike a certain food, the next meal will be something completely different. This is a very bad habit to teach your dog, regardless of their age it is not good to keep switching their food constantly. Pick one and stick with it, unless the vet orders something new.
Tip #2. Big dog vs. Little dog does matter, especially when you are talking about food. The rule of thumb is that dogs who are under 20 pounds fully grown need to have a special diet that is typically about 30% more calories than a dog that is in the 20-75 pound range. As you can imagine that is a rather large difference in calories, in today’s market there is a huge variety of dog foods available in different brands, and most brands offer specific varieties that are made for both extremely large and the tiniest of the small dogs. Look for the brand and variety that fits your dogs’ needs, check with your breeder as well as vet for recommendations as to what is best for the size of your dog.
Tip #3. Giving your dog medicine can be one of the worst experiences to get used to. True headaches appear when a dog must take medicine on a constant basis for some reason, a simple way to help ease the agony of medicine time is to ask the vet about having the medicine compounded into a treat. This way your pooch will not object to medicine time, but rather be thrilled with it. If the vet’s office is not equipped to set this up for you, ask what you can safely mix the medication with to make it easier regardless. Pooches are less likely to fight taking the medicine if it tastes really good.
Tip #4. Your garden while it may be your favorite place should never be your dogs’ favorite place. Many vegetables and fruits that we as humans love and adore grow on plants that are very harmful to your poochie. Spinach and tomato vines are just some of the most common found in many gardens. This can upset your puppies’ stomach badly, and if enough is indigested can cause your beloved pooch to die!
Tip #5. Elevators are not your dog’s friend, not now, not ever! If you have a small dog, never allow them on an elevator unless you are holding them; if it is a larger dog only allow elevator rides when wearing a leash and collar. Small dogs can easily be caught in the doors and be strangled; larger dogs are also at risk, but not as easily as the small dogs.
Tip #6. A dog run is a great idea if you want your dog to be outside, this keeps them confined to a specific area so they cannot get lost, out in traffic, or hurt by any other neighborhood dogs. A good general rule for a dog run is twice as wide and at least four times as long as your dog. This makes a rectangular shape, which is best for a run. If you decide to have more than one dog in the run, additional space will be necessary to ensure they have plenty of room to move without harming each other.
Tip #7. Do not cut your dogs hair very short in the summer. Despite what you think, this can cause more damage than you would think. While the average person thinks that the shorter fur makes the dog more comfortable, it actually can enable the sun to quickly burn your poochies skin! Dogs are generally not happy about sunburns at all, as it is very difficult to sooth the burn once it occurs.
Tip #8. Your dog should never be allowed to roam around the neighborhood unsupervised. A doggy playpen, or exercise pen is a great idea for those who do not have a fenced yard to contain their furbabies in. You need some form of boundary between your pet and the other pets in the neighborhood. I personally have had a very tiny furbaby of mine attacked and killed by a neighborhood dog that was in MY yard! There was literally nothing I could do about it, I never did find out where the other dog lived, and have not seen it since. So I am out my beloved baby, and the neighborhood dog is still somewhere, hopefully in his or her own yard. You as a pet owner do not want to be on either end of that situation.
Tip #9. Small and toy breeds as well as older dogs can all benefit from doggy stairs. Yes, this may sound strange the whole idea of buying stairs just for the dog but they can be great. Small dogs are not always able to jump up on the bed where they typically sleep or even the couch where they love to hang out. Much less if they jump down from those heights, they are risking breaking a leg. The stairs are extremely cheap compared to the expense of an emergency vet bill when lil Fido decides to jump at midnight once the eleven o’clock news is over. Older dogs who are starting to experience difficulty in walking and jumping can also benefit from the stairs. They help greatly reduce the amount of stress and pain on the joints and bones as they move.
Tip #10. When your male needs to be neutered consider doing the chemical procedure instead of the surgical procedure. This is something that should be carefully discussed with your vet so you know all of the pros and cons to this decision. This is less invasive than a typical neuter procedure as it involves a shot that causes permanent sterilization, instead of using surgery to get the same effect. Some people who choose this method are not happy with the results however, because the hormone levels are still the same, and the marking and humping behavior still continues despite the fact no offspring can be produced.
We will continue further with more suggestions at a later point in time for the dog lover in ways and suggestions on how to maximize your furbabies life. Enjoy the time you have with your darling and spend lots of time together. Go play some fetch, or even tug of war to keep your close bond and do not forget that nightly walk.