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Basic Dog Care Information

Dogs are not only part of your family but the most loyal and loving companions that you will ever have. They stay by your side when you are happy or sad and love you unconditionally. If you go out for as little as ten minutes, they let you know how much they missed you when you come back. Our responsibility, as a dog owner, is to provide our dog with everything it requires, to live a healthy, happy life.

Always feed your dog a healthy diet, as you do not want them to become overweight or underweight. Dog treats are great but stay away from ones that contain a large amount of sugar or salt. Be aware that there are people foods potentially fatal to your dog. Some of these are chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, coffee and certain mushrooms. Give your dog only food and treats that they make specifically for dogs. Never give your dog chicken bones, fish bones or pork chop bones. There is a possibility of the bones splintering into very sharp pieces and lodging in your petís throat. Have fresh, cool water available at all times.

Dogs need daily walks, exercise and play time, so be prepared to spend time doing this. A fenced yard is great but some dogs are fantastic escape artists, so make sure your property is secure. A dog kennel that is large enough for your pet to get fresh air, look around with enough room for some exercise, is a great option for people with unfenced yards.

Dogs require grooming but how much will depend on the breed of dog or coat type. Some dogs with long hair require an hour or more of grooming daily while grooming once every few weeks is fine for others. There are dogs that require haircuts, as their coats grow continuously, such as poodles and miniature schnauzers. You should consider this when selecting a dog because, unless you cut your dogs hair yourself, it can become a little costly.

Depending on the breed, bath your dog when necessary or a few times a year. Dogís coats contain oils that protect and keep their coats clean. If you bath them too often, this can remove these oils causing the dog to have more of an odor. Bath dogs, which require haircuts, every six or eight weeks before grooming them. If you are bathing your own dog, brush or comb a longhaired dog first, as it is very difficult to untangle damp or wet hair. Start at your pets head and work your way back. A little apple cider vinegar on cotton balls works great at keeping water out of your petís ears. When there is no time to bath a smelly dog, try rubbing a little baking soda into their fur and then brushing it off.

Dogís nails need trimming occasionally. If you want to do this yourself, have the vet or a professional dog-grooming person show you the proper way. Brush your dogís teeth daily using toothpaste made specifically for dogs. This helps prevent dental problems as your pet ages.

Submitted by:

Kelly Marshall

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