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How to Care for Your Pet Dog

Pets require a lot of care and attention. Getting a pet is very exciting; you must however remember that your new companion will need you to do some things for him.

Just like humans, animals also have needs that when fulfilled will ensure that your pet is ok both mentally and physically. The five freedoms of animals cover the needs that all animals ought to have in order to be content.

These five freedoms include freedom from hunger and thirst, pain injury and disease, discomfort, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.

So how do you care for your dog to ensure that all these freedoms are met and your dog is living a quality life?

1. Accommodation

Most pet dogs will live indoors, but whether your dog lives indoors or outdoors ensure that your dog has a clean, dry and warm place to sleep. You can get your dog a basket or a kennel where he can sleep. If you want to restrict the movement of the dog, choose a proper sized dog crate. The crate may be lined with a blanket.

2. Health

Keep your dog disease free by taking him to the vet for regular check-ups. In addition ensure that he gets the necessary inoculations and he is given worming tablets. If your dogs looks depressed or has any issues that affect his well being, a trip to the vet should answer your questions. Never assume that the disease is minor, let a doctor examine the dog. Some inoculations may require booster shots, for this asks the vet to give you the schedule.

The dog’s teeth should be cleaned regularly to avoid build up of tartar which causes the teeth to look discoloured. Dental hygiene will also make sure that your dog doesn’t develop halitosis (bad breath).


3. Grooming

This involves processes such as nail clipping, trimming the coat to remove any tangles, ear cleaning and cleaning of the teeth.

Long nails are painful for the dog and they may cause injury if the dog scratches someone. Nails should be clipped regularly using a nail clipper. Clip the nail bit by bit, never clip a whole nail as this is very painful.

Cleaning of dog ears is done using a cotton swab and some baby oil. Clean ears will minimise risk of infection and make the area unsuitable for growth of bacteria and fungi.

4. Exercise

Ensure that your dog gets enough exercise. Dogs require exercise to keep them fit and also for good health. Keeping your dog active will ensure that he does not become obese and also gives you the chance to teach him something new during play. Sitting in the house all day can make your dog bored and this may cause him to be destructive.

Physical activity will also aid in good bone development especially in young dogs.

5. Nutrition

Proper diet is essential for growth and development. Most dogs only require one meal a day, but ensure the dog has unlimited access to water. Smaller dogs may require more meals but do not feed a dog too much.

Overfeeding leads to obesity. Feed your dog at regular times and avoid giving him titbits from the table as this will lead to bad behaviour. The dog may refuse to eat his own food since he is expecting food from the table.

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