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Having a dog takes much more than feeding, bathing, and playing with them. It’s much more about making sure they are safe and healthy. We can say that taking care of a dog is similar to having kids. Dogs have the same needs of being loved, cuddles, fed, cleaned, and taken to regular checkups. They, too, can get sick, suffer from a certain health condition, and even have a disease. In order to take good care of your beloved furry friend, you need to know how to keep your dog healthy and safe.
If you are a first-time dog owner, you may not be sure how to look after your pooch. To help you out with that, in this article, we provide you with 10 ways to ensure their health and safety. Let’s check them out!
1. Feed Them With Healthy Food
You know how they say, “You are what you eat”? Well, the same goes for dogs. Namely, if you give your pooch healthy food, it will be healthy and if you give them poor-quality, carb-rich, nutrient-lacking food, they’ll be unhealthy and prone to developing certain health issues.
Therefore, you need to feed your dog with quality, nutritious food, without any artificial additives. It’s the only way to ensure a well-balanced diet and healthy life. Having in mind that pure protein is the essential nutrient for dogs, any product that doesn’t contain it in that form, shouldn’t be bought. Moreover, you need to be aware of inexpensive products as they tend to contain by-products and fillers.
2. Take Your Dog to Regular Checkups to the Vet
One of the basic ways to keep your dog healthy is by taking them to regular checkups to the vet. They will examine your dog and make some analyses to make sure everything is fine. In case, there’s an issue, they’ll perform a more thorough examination and tell you what to do next.
And, of course, there’s vaccination as one of the essentials for keeping your pooch safe and sound. This will protect them from certain health conditions and disease, or at least help them recover from the same.
3. Prevent Pests from Attacking Your Dog
We believe we can all agree that there’s nothing more obnoxious than pests. So small, yet so annoying and stubborn. From worms to fleas to ticks, you need to protect your dog from these tiny insects. To do that, you need to use flea, tick, or another pest treatment products, especially in the spring and autumn months. There are many products you can choose from, starting from flea/tick collars to shampoos to pills. However, to make sure you use the right product, you should always consult with your vet first.
4. Dog-Proof Your Home
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that taking care of dogs is similar to taking care of babies. Here’s a mother thing that proves that. Namely, you need to dog-proof your home to protect your pooch from getting in touch with items and products that may harm them. This especially goes for poisonous substances like medications, prescription drugs, antifreeze, and household cleaners. Also, you need to check your garden for poisonous plants, such as tulips, lilies, and azaleas, and remove them.
5. Sterilize Your Dog
No matter how cruel and devastating this seems, it’s one of the best ways to keep your dog safe. Why? It’s because female dogs and their offspring can produce tens of thousands of dogs in several years. With so many dogs in this world, many of them, unfortunately, are left of the streets or abandoned. If you don’t want this to happen to your dog and their offspring, you should sterilize them after they produce a pup or a few.
Apart from this one, there are a few other reasons to sterilize your dog. The first one is to reduce the risk of your dog developing cancer. The second reason is to prevent male dogs from becoming aggressive towards people and other pets when there’s a female dog in heat. And, the last reason is to prevent them from escaping from their home and getting into dog fights with other unsterilized dogs as a result of chasing a female they want to reproduce with.
As you can see, the best way to prevent all these things from happening is by neutering your dog. You may feel sorry for your pooch but at least you’ll rest assured they stay healthy and safe.
6. Install a Dog Fence in Your Yard
If you don’t want to keep your dog on a leash at home, you can install a dog fence in your yard. These fences prevent your pet from leaving your property without you knowing that. They are also great for training your dog.
You can choose between wired and wireless containment systems according to your needs. Namely, the wired systems are perfect for yards with irregular shapes. The wireless ones, on the other hand, are great for regular-shapes yards and owners who detest wires and digging to install those systems.
No matter which type of dog fence you choose, you will make the right decision for keeping your dog safe. It’s because these systems prevent your dog from escaping and give them the freedom they need to roam around.
7. Use a Leash When Outside
If you use a containment system, you don’t need to keep your dog on a leash at home. On the other hand, if you don’t use this type of system, you should keep your pooch on a leash to prevent them from running away or attacking people as a result of being scared by something or getting into a fight with other dogs.
But, even if you use a dog fence, you should always keep your dog on a leash when leaving your home. It’s the best way to control their behavior to prevent unwanted events, such as running after the pizza-delivery guy or other dogs or getting hit by a car after running on the street.
8. Pay Extra Attention Around Water
Although dogs are known as natural-born swimmers, they can also fall into water accidentally and drown as a result of becoming too tired to swim. You should be extra careful if you have a smaller dog or a dog with a short or pugged nose as they are at a higher risk of drowning. That’s why you need to secure your dog with a floatation device or ensure they are safe when around water by keeping them further from the water.
9. Microchip Your Dog
Microchipping is a great way to keep your dog safe. The procedure involves a microchip slipped under the dog’s skin by a vet. The chip contains all the important information about the dog so that in case it gets lost, it will provide the owner’s name and other data to find their owner. Even if the dog is rescued from the street and take to an animal shelter, the staff there will scan the chip and find the owner in no time.
10. Never Leave Your Dog Alone in the Car
Leaving your dog alone in the car may cause heat exhaustion, especially during the hot summer months. This is because a closed car can produce enough heat to damage your brain or even kill you in just 15 minutes.
Another reason not to leave your dog alone in the car is that it can be stolen. This is especially the case with purebred dogs. But, even if your dog isn’t purebred, it can still be stolen as used in dog fights or sold to labs for animal experiments.
That’s why you should either have someone stay in the car with your dog, with door(s) or windows open, or take them with you. If the latter isn’t possible where you go, it’s better to leave it at home with the other members of the family, or even alone.
As you can see, taking care of a dog is not an easy job. They have lots of needs and you need to think of a lot of things when having a pooch. Just like babies, they need a lot of attention and care. That’s why you need to make sure you do everything you need to satisfy their needs.
The 10 ways provided in this article will help you keep your dog healthy and safe. We hope they will help you take good care of your beloved pet for many years to come. After all, it is you who chose them, so you need to dedicate a big part of your time to ensure they are protected.
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