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Dog Care Guide

Ahh, man's best friend. Dogs can be great fun, but they are a lot of work. Making the decision to get a dog is like deciding to have a child. You will be the sole provider for this dog for the next two decades. Shelters are overwhelmed with dogs and other pets that people adopted and realized they could not care for. Help prevent this by properly evaluating whether or not you are capable of raising an animal so dependent on your time and care.

Basic Dog Care Tips

Below you will find several guides that focus on specific areas of dog care. Here are a handful of tips that are important to keep in mind when raising a dog.

  • Always, always, always have your pooch wear a collar  with his or her vaccination tags and a tag with your name, address, and phone number. Even the best dog owner has had their dog somehow get loose. Sometimes these events end with the dog getting loose only to take a nap in your yard, but other times dogs may get lost. These identification tags  are a method of making it easier for your dog to get back to you as quickly and painlessly as possible.
  • Follow the laws. Believe it or not, there are a lot of legal paperwork and laws to follow when owning a dog. Dogs usually must be registered and show proof of rabies vaccination. Most cities give out hefty fines if you leave your dog's waste on sidewalks or streets, and make sure you leash  your dog as well. Contact your local animal shelter or humane society for more information on your local laws.
  • If your dog is off your property at any point, always keep him or her on a leash. Even the nicest dogs get into trouble from time to time. It is so much easier to just follow this rule than to suffer the consequences if disaster does strike. Your dog should not roam freely on property that is not your own!
  • Doghouses  are nice for playing and napping during nice weather, but dogs should not spend the majority of their time alone outside. Dogs crave companionship. Allow your canine friend to spend time in the house with the family.
  • Take the dog to the veterinarian. Dogs-- and most other animals-- should visit a veterinarian at least once a year or whenever any unusual behaviour occurs. Dogs usually dread these visits, but they are vital to a long and happy life for your pooch.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. It is proven that dogs that are fixed live longer and have fewer medical and behavioral problems. Is the procedure a bit out of your price range? Many humane societies and large pet store chains offer low cost spaying and neutering for cats and dogs.
  • Make sure your dog has constant access to fresh, clean water . Dogs often have bursts of energy, so water intake should never be limited (unless your veterinarian says so, of course).
  • Don't feed your dog table scraps! Even if you vow not to, you will think twice now and then when you have puppy-dog eyes begging you for just one taste of the roast. Be assertive and stand your ground. It is better to close the dog out of the room where you eat dinner than to give him or her table scraps.
  • Make sure your dog gets exercise! Dogs need to run around. Know your dog's personality and breed and, in turn, the amount of exercise your dog requires. If you live in a rural or suburban area, a fenced-in yard is a great way to let your pooch get some exercise. Make sure you supply him or her with plenty of toys (there are Dog toys that are plush ,tug-gable ,retrievable , and chewable ). If you live in an urban area, chances are that your dog doesn't have a whole lot of space to run around in your flat. Take your dog out for walks (or even runs) frequently. Many parks offer dog runs where dogs can run around and play with each other. These are great, but beware of fights! If you have a dog that requires a lot of exercise but you are unable to run with the dog frequently, try finding a dog walker or friendly neighbor to run with your dog!
  • If it's within your budget, definitely look around for a dog training facility. Dog trainers are amazingly proficient at teaching even the most stubborn dog how to sit, stay, speak, and heel.

Related Guides

Fetch, Fido, Fetch!

Dog Food

Dog Bowls and Feeders

Dog Housebreaking

Leashes and Collars


Dog Bedding

Dog Toys

Dog Grooming

Dog-Proofing


Flea and Tick Control for Dogs

Dog Houses

Dog Transport

Sick and Elderly Dog Care


International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see:
FR: Entretien des chiens
DE: Hundezubehör
NL: Hondenbenodigdheden Shopgids