We’re going to share some tips and ideas that can help you care for your pet and maybe even organise some dog themed events or challenges of
Grooming your pet regularly is important, not just to keep them looking and smelling clean, but to check them for fleas, ticks and help keep them healthy.
Always brush your dog thoroughly: Matted hair and knots can snowball and become untameable when wet. If left unattended not only can the coat get out of control but bacteria and other nasty germs can build up and cause painful infections. For a longer thicker coat try a pet hair cutting comb to remove loose hair and spread oils from the skin throughout the coat. For shorter coats something like a pet grooming glove will suffice
When you are finished brushing your dog make sure to give them a treat and praise them for good behaviour.
Don’t make the mistake of just filling the tub and putting your precious pet in to have them sit in the dirty water. Make sure to rinse them continuously, a hose attachment for the sink, bath, or shower head or a pressurized hose nozzle is ideal (luke-warm water is best).
(Tip: Try a pet bath mitt set for a more controlled and gentler wash that your pet will enjoy)
Make sure to remove the collar and keep it off until your pet is completely dry (possibly later that day or the next morning) otherwise it can cause sores around the neck. When shampooing, try diluting the wash so you don’t get thick residue on the coat, completely avoiding the eyes and ears. Make sure not to leave ANY shampoo residue or dirt on your pet as it can cause itchy red hot spots.
Check with your vet to find out what diet is best for your particular breed of dog, but for the most part domesticated dogs are carnivores that eat some omnivorous foods. Here are some general tips that can help.
Provide some variety, most breeds will benefit from having a premium quality dry food to snack on during the day. If you’re often out and about then try a pet food feeder to make sure your pet isn’t going hungry when you’re not home.
Have fresh water available, a pet water feeder is ideal as dogs can dehydrate easily so they need to have access to water at all times.
DO NOT FEED your dog the following: onions, garlic, chocolate, nuts, fruit, fruit stones, anything containing caffeine, avocado, bread or bread dough. Talk to your vet for an exhaustive list and remember that fatty and sugary foods are also bad for your pet.
Play & Exercise
Playing with your pet is not only beneficial to them, but for you as well! Daily exercise is vital for fitness and mood, different breeds may require more or less, but it’s important to keep it regular. Often destructive and anxious behaviour like digging, biting, excessive pacing and tearing up shoes can be caused by a lack of exercise. The aim is to work up a healthy pant (showing their reaction to body heat) but not a harsh wheezing, indicating your pet has been overworked.
- Fetch: never underestimate a classic! Make sure to use softer objects that won’t hurt your dog like tennis balls, ropes or squeak toys (a soft stuffing free dog toy is ideal and mess free)
- Games & Tricks: Simply teaching your dog to shake, roll over and crawl is a great for their mental activity; make sure to reward them with a treat for obedience. Try to think of new tricks to keep it interesting!
- Walks: a great way for your dog to enjoy different smells and discover new frontiers. Make sure your dog is equipped with leash and collar/harness and it’s good to carry a water bowl/water, treats and something to clean up after your pet; this long handled scooper is ideal for walks.
Taking your dog to the local park is a great way to do all of these things and trains them to socialise too. Make sure to always have treats handy to reward them for obedience and help them associate all forms of exercise with fun and attention.
(Tip: If you tend to walk and exercise your pet at night a safety flashing dog lead will provide high visibility and make them clearly noticeable to nearby vehicles)
Taking care of your four legged friend is a responsibility but also a great joy and your time together should be cherished. Appropriate discipline is important but positive reinforcement and reward goes a long way, and always lets your pet feel loved.