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How To Care For your Pet Dog
He will be there by your side, as your loving companion – he will give you protection if the need arises. Pet dog owners in turn must know how to take care of their pet dog, and be responsible for it. Dog needs are simple and easy to follow. When puppies come home they need lots of love and attention. They may be a little stressed at first, as this is probably the first time they are away from their mother and peers. It is important that you begin the process of socialization, generally integrating your new pet into your family and learning to relate to people and other animals through gentle play, interaction and having happy encounters with family friends and pets.
A stress free environment for your puppy
Try to avoid sudden noises such as screaming children or sliding doors. Also limit the visitors your new puppy has – gradually allow him to get used to more and more strange sights.
Provide a warm comfortable bed – or alternatively a cardboard box with several layers of newspaper and a washable blanket on top. Make sure that your puppy will also fit into it as it grows. Place the puppy’s bed where you want it to sleep like an adult or adult dog – usually the best place will be a quiet, private corner. For the first few nights – the calming period – a fluffy toy and a bottle of warm (not hot) water placed under the bed will help. A puppy can be noisy and restless at night immediately after separation from its companions. A small radio or ticking clock can help with comfort.
When the puppy is awake during the day – give lots of body contact and talk to your puppy in a soft voice to show friendship and an emotional voice to show disapproval of any unwanted actions.
Keeping your puppy safe
The following are things to consider when preparing for the arrival of a new puppy. Shut off household and garden chemicals.- Make sure electrical cords are out of reach.
Be extra careful when using lawnmowers, skateboards, roller skates or any other type of item.
Make sure the puppy can’t get through any swimming pool exercise.
Teaching your puppy house rules
The new member of the ‘family pack’ must learn that you are the pack leader and that you are the bottom dog in the pack. Once the new puppy knows its place in the family hierarchy it will be happy and easy to learn to obey commands. The puppy will look to his pack leader to protect him and make decisions for him.
It is best to start by feeding your puppy the same food it ate before it joined your family. You can introduce any changes slowly over several days to avoid causing digestive disorders. Commercial puppy foods are recommended and later commercial adult food – a good quality dry food with a good balance is essential. A constant supply of clean water should be available. A deep stainless steel or clay bowl will keep the water cool and in the heat ice can be added to the water.
Play time with your Pet Dog
Puppies love to play and this helps them grow and learn. In the early days when they played among their peers, it gave them practice and it was a way for them to compete for their position in the pack. Do not be harsh with your puppy – but it is still important in these early stages that your puppy learns that family members are dominant. Chewing helps puppies through teething – but it’s also a way of exploring their surroundings. This need is easily satisfied with edibles and toys. Make sure they don’t look like things you don’t want to eat, for example how does the puppy differentiate between your old shoes and all the other shoes in the house?
Puppy Dog Potty Training
Imagine the lack of a toilet. Take your puppy outside as soon as he wakes up, as well as before and after every meal. Go outside with your puppy – this is very important. Take it to a specific area of the garden and wait until it is finished – always praise the puppy afterwards.
The Importance of Exercising Your Pet Dog
The harness is designed for a puppy, this way you can’t force the puppy enough on exercise. Senior dogs also need exercise and play – walking the dog every day is great, or playing in the park with a ball or stick. If every day is too difficult to manage, try at least four times a week.
Caring for your dog
Get your new dog groomed, trained and examined as soon as possible. Your grooming kit should include a dog brush and comb. Set up a daily routine where you check your dog’s mouth, teeth, eyes, ears, stomach, hands and other parts of his anatomy, and even though he may not need grooming anyway. If your dog is groomed regularly you will only need to bathe it if it is dirty or smelly. It is best to use cold water and brush the dog first. Use an appropriate dog shampoo and dry with your own special dog towel, before drying. Nails should be trimmed as needed depending on the type of dog and the surface that the dog often walks on. If it is a hard surface they walk on the nails will fall off naturally. There are special dog nail clippers – if you are not confident with this procedure ask your vet or a dog groomer to show you the procedure.
These simple steps will ensure that you, your family and the new addition to the family will have a happy, healthy and playful time together.
(c) By Katharine Logan, 2005
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