A dog really is man and woman’s best friend: he’s forever loyal, always a shoulder to cry on, and an endless source of laughter and happiness. However, while he constantly makes your life better, you need to ensure you’re making his life as good as you can.

1. Neuter or Spay

Unless you have plans to breed, you need to get your dog neutered or spayed. Not only does it remove the risk of unwanted pregnancies, but you can often solve future health problems and avoid behavioral issues by doing so. Think carefully about breeding your dog: there are so many unwanted dogs in the world; does it make sense to bring more in?

2. Microchip

Keep Your Dog From Getting Lost with a Microchip

While you’ll never intend to lose your dog, accidents can happen, and the best way to ensure he’ll make his way home, is to get him microchipped. From 2016, it will be part of British law to ensure your dog is microchipped, so if you haven’t had it done already, make sure it’s a top priority. Many charities, such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Blue Cross, will be offering free microchipping services as part of this scheme.

3. Vaccinations

In many countries, it’s against the law to not vaccinate your dog, so not only are you risking his health, but you could be acting illegally, and risk having him confiscated. Vaccinations are necessary to prevent the spread of disease, as well as reducing your dog’s likelihood of getting some horrific and fatal illnesses.

4. Training

Train Your Dog

There’s no such thing as a bad dog, only a bad owner. Badly trained dogs can be a nuisance at best and dangerous at worst, so it’s your duty to make sure he comes when called, and won’t attack other people or animals. If you aren’t sure how to implement a training scheme, seek advice from a professional. There are no excuses for badly trained dogs, and it will only be him that suffers.

5. Correct food/water

Think carefully about your dog’s diet! While he may love snacking on your leftovers, it might not be the best for his digestive system. Speak to your vet or a nutrition specialist to put together a diet best suited to your dog and his lifestyle. Many pet food companies are happy to offer advice on what to feed, and have a huge range of feeds.

6. Daily exercise

Daily Exercise for your Dog

Dogs are naturally working animals, and this shouldn’t be forgotten when you pick up your first pup. They need a considerable amount of exercise, and if this isn’t provided, you could find yourself with an obese, unfit and unhappy dog. Different breeds require different amounts of exercise: dogs like Border Collies, Huskies and Labradors are bred to be working dogs, so need constant exercise.

7. Company

If no one’s in the house all day, you need to make sure your dog has some kind of company – whether it’s a person, another dog or another animal. Dogs will get to an age where they’re happy to stay at home alone, but young or nervous dogs should always have someone around them. Obviously there will be times when you can’t be with your dog, and often leaving the TV or radio on can help. If you can’t guarantee that your dog will have some form of company for the majority of the day, consider looking into dog walking services, or consider whether it’s the right pet for you.

8. Insurance

You need to be able to offer your dog the best care money can buy, so if something goes wrong, you need to know you’ll have the money to pay for his healthcare. Even routine jobs and check-ups can get expensive, so unless you can ensure that you’ll be able to pay for it, insuring your dog is the safest option.

Guest Post:  Written by David Lewzey of pet insurance company Helpucover. Visit them online at www.helpucover.co.uk for cat, dog and rabbit insurance.


Filed under: Dog Care

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