Whether you’ve just adopted a new puppy or you’ve had dogs your whole life, there’s bound to be something on this list of dog grooming tips you didn’t know, but should.
As someone who has worked in animal hospitals for over 5 years and is an avid dog lover, I promise you this massive list of 12 dog care tips will help you become a better pet parent.
12 Dog Care Tips
1. Prevention of parasites
Fleas are the most common external parasite that can affect pets and can cause skin irritation, hair loss, pimples, and infections. Fleas can also introduce other parasites to your dog or cat. All your pet needs is to swallow a flea, and they can become infected with tapeworms, the most common internal parasite affecting dogs and cats.
Prevention throughout the year is key. Regular control of fleas and intestinal parasites, as well as heartworm prevention in endemic areas, are important.
Since some deworming medications for dogs can be deadly to cats, talk to your vet about how to keep your precious pet worm-free, flea-free, and safe..
2. Routine checkups are important
Just like you, your pet may develop heart problems, arthritis, or toothaches. The best way to prevent these types of problems or detect them early is to visit your vet every year.
Regular checkups are the most important way to keep pets healthy. Annual vet visits should cover nutrition and weight control, recommended vaccinations, parasite control, dental exams, and physicals.
3. Neuter and neuter your pet
Eight million to 10 million pets end up in US shelters each year. Some are lost, some are abandoned, and some are homeless.
Here’s an easy way to avoid increasing that number: have your dogs and cats spayed and neutered. It is a procedure that can be performed at six to eight weeks of age.
Neutering and spaying not only reduce the number of unwanted pets; It has other important benefits for your pet. Studies show it also reduces a pet’s risk of certain cancers and reduces a pet’s risk of getting lost by reducing their propensity to wander.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Many dogs and cats are overweight or obese. And just like humans, obesity in pets carries health risks such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
Douglas says that overfeeding our pets is a major cause of obesity, adding that keeping our pets well-groomed can extend their lifespan.
Because pets need far fewer calories than most of us to realize: just 185-370 per day for a small, sedentary dog; Just 240-350 calories per day for a 10-pound cat: Talk to your vet, who can make feeding recommendations based on your pet’s age, weight, and lifestyle.
5. Routine vaccination
For optimal health, pets should be regularly vaccinated against diseases such as rabies, mange, feline leukemia, and hepatitis in dogs.
How often to vaccinate your dog or cat depends on their age, lifestyle, health, and risks, so talk to your vet about the right vaccinations for your pet.
6. Provide a rich environment
A rich environment is another key to the long-term health and well-being of your canine and feline friends.
Pets need mental stimulation, which could mean daily walks, scratching posts, window posts, and toys for your cat. That means playtime with you, which not only helps tone your pet’s muscles and doesn’t get bored, but also strengthens the bond with your four-legged friends.
7. Microchip and tattoo your pet
Lack of identification means only 14% of pets find their way home after getting lost. Fortunately, the microchip and tattoo can allow the pet to be reunited with it.
About the size of a grain of rice, a microchip is inserted under the skin in less than a second. It requires no batteries and can be scanned by a vet or animal control officer in seconds.
8. Pets need dental care too
Just like you, your pet can suffer from gum disease, tooth loss, and toothache. And just like you, regular brushing and dental cleanings help keep your pet’s teeth strong.
Dental disease is one of the most common preventable diseases in pets, but many people don’t even look in their pet’s mouth. It is estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by the age of three, leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. In addition to regular dental cleanings by a veterinarian, periodontal disease can be avoided by taking proper care of the owner’s teeth. Owner care includes brushing, rinsing, and dental treatment.
9. Never give medicine to people
Medicines made for humans can kill your pet. In fact, in 2010, the ASPCA listed drugs for humans among the top 10 toxins for pets.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen are the most common pet poisoning culprits, but antidepressants, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and acetaminophen are just a few of the human medications that pose health risks to pets. Human drugs can cause kidney damage, seizures, and cardiac arrest in a dog or cat.
If you suspect your pet has consumed your medication, or something toxic, call your vet.
10. Proper restraint in a vehicle
You buckle up for safety when you’re in the car, shouldn’t your pet? Unrestrained pets in a car are a distraction to the driver and can put the driver and pet at risk of serious injury. To keep pets safe in transit:
- Never allow pets to ride in the front seat, where they risk serious injury or death if the airbag deploys.
- Do not allow dogs to ride with their heads out of the window or untethered in the back of a pickup bed. Both practices put them at risk of being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident.
- To keep pets safe, lock cats in carriers and then secure them with a seat belt. For dogs, there is the option of a special harness attached to a seat belt or a well-secured crate.
11. Make annual appointments with the vet
Let the experts check your dog regularly for any health problems and provide you with the best-personalized information to keep your precious pup healthy for many years to come.
12. Touch your dog’s nose
Your dog’s nose should feel wet. The level of humidity will vary between dogs and depending on the time of year, but a healthy dog will have a cool, slightly moist nose because dogs secrete sweat through their noses to cool down.