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Now and then, I find that it is a good idea to refresh my dog care routine. When you have pets, you can often forget the basics. Taking on a pet is a huge commitment. You have a responsibility to look after that pet no matter what happens. After the pet honeymoon period (in this case, when your dog stops being a puppy) many pet owners lose interest. Taking care of their pet becomes secondary to everything else in their life. They add pet care to the long list of chores they already have to deal with each day, and their pet becomes a burden, instead of a joy.
You should make sure that you enjoy caring for your dog. Remember, as his or her owner, you are the primary caregiver. You need to make sure that your dog gets the best care possible every single day. If you are struggling with pet care, or just need a quick refresher guide, read on. Here is the fall 2014 guide to perfect dog care.
Dealing with naughty dogs
If you have a hectic life and your dog often gets left home alone, this is a problem. You may find that even as your dog gets old, he or she will ruin things in your home while you're away. When dogs are lonely, they get scared. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety and find it difficult to adjust to their owner being out all the time. If you have this problem with your dog, there are ways you can try and combat the issue. The first way you can deal with the issue is to give your dog reassurance when you are home. You might be mad when you come back to find your pillows ripped open and feathers across the floor, but don't shout. Your dog is showing signs of stress and anxiety. The worst thing you can do for your dog is shout at him or her.
Try and train your dog to enjoy short separations from you. When you are home, you likely spend all your time in the same room as your dog. Instead, leave the room for half an hour and see how your dog reacts. Come back and bring him or her a little treat as a reward. Training your dog to understand that you're coming back will help to solve the problem. Many dogs think that their owners will never return when they leave. That is what causes the separation anxiety. By showing your dog that you will always come home, he or she will start to adjust to your routine.
Grooming and getting rid of fleas
Grooming is an essential part of your dog care routine. When you first got your dog, as a puppy, you likely spent hours grooming and cleaning him or her. Once the novelty wore off, you likely forget to clean your pet. Make a habit out of grooming your dog once every two weeks. If your dog plays outside a lot and tends to get messy, give him or her a thorough dog bath. If he or she has long hair, you should make a point of brushing out the hair every couple of weeks. Remember, dogs can get pet fleas at any age. Many people tend to check puppies for fleas all the time, but forget to check grown dogs for fleas. When your dog is out and about, he or she could pick up all manner of bugs and fleas. When you see the signs of fleas, it is important that you treat your dog right away. Over time, fleas breed, and your dog could end up with many fleas in his or her fur. Your grooming routine will help you check for fleas on a regular basis.
Walking and exercise routines
Walking your dogs when you have come home from a long day at work may be the last thing on your mind. If there is bad weather or you feel tired, you may put off your dog's daily walks in favor of resting and getting warm. At every point in a dog's life, exercise is vital. In the same way that humans need constant exercise to stay healthy, your dog needs exercise too. You should make sure that you take your dog on a walk every day (twice a day if you can manage it). When the weather is bad, take your dog on a short walk so that he or she gets a chance to stretch his or her legs. You may have been out all day tiring yourself out, but your dog has been inside waiting for you to return.
Killer food and what to avoid
When you get a puppy, you pay close attention to what food you give him or her every day. As you get used to having a dog in the home, you often end up giving him scraps of food and leftovers from dinner. You should make a point of understanding what food is bad for your dog. There is a long list of food you should not feed your dog on a daily basis. Everybody knows that chocolate is bad for dogs, but what other food should you avoid giving your dog? You should never give your dog garlic, onion, cheese or milk. These basic ingredients can harm dogs and make them sick. That is because each of these ingredients contains things that your dog cannot breakdown in digestion. Stick to feeding your dog pet food and plain meat when in doubt.
Noticing symptoms of illness
When you see your dog every day, you know better than anyone else when something is wrong with him or her. Look for any changes in behavior or personality. For example, if your dog used to be well-mannered, but becomes aggressive, this is a cause for concern. Make sure that you pay close attention to the needs of your dog on a daily basis. Many pet owners mistake a change in their dog's personality as a normal part of him or her getting old. Sure, your dog will slow down as he or she gets old, but he or she should not begin to be aggressive. If you notice a drastic change in your dog's behavior, something might be wrong with your dog's health. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
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