Owning a dog can be very rewarding but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. A dog is totally reliant on you and the family. While a puppy looks like a gorgeous play thing they are real, live animals who have real needs.
First things first! When you bring home your puppy or rescue dog do get them thoroughly checked out by a vet and ensure they are microchipped and that their vaccinations are up to date. Both are equally important.
1. Feed them a balanced, healthy diet and leave water out so that they can drink whenever thirsty. A dog that eats mainly dry food will drink more water so keep the water bowl topped up. Poor hydration will have a massive impact on their long-term health.
2. Ensure they get regular exercise but not too much for a puppy. While some dogs don’t like the wind and the rain they do still exercise. Remember, you also need to invest in poo bags so that you can pick up the poo after your dog – it’s the law!
3. Set some rules – where they can and can’t go. Our pets aren’t allowed upstairs but it’s very much up to the individual. Also, ensure that your dog or puppy is housetrained – they do learn quickly.
4. Invest in a dog bed or pillow in a quiet place that’s out of direct sunlight so that they don’t get sunburned on a hot day.
5. Brush your dog regularly and a regular wash is a good idea, too.
6. Teach your children how to treat and act with and around your dog. Accidents happen when a child taunts or gets the dog uncontrollably excited.
7. Have your dog checked annually by the vet. Dogs also need annual vaccinations.
There is plenty of advice online if you are ever looking for tips but when in doubt ask an expert!