Congratulations you are now a proud dog owner! If you are wondering what to do next with your newly found friend, here are a few things that you should probably do to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Take them to the vet
Your dog needs to see a doctor at least once a year. Dogs are just like humans and they need to visit the vet regularly in order to stay healthy. Physical exams should be done annually as dogs are very good at hiding what is wrong with them. It is common for pets to have life-threatening illnesses and conditions for years without their owners being aware of them. Vets will usually do a full physical inspection to check for problems such as knee injuries in dogs.
Shots / Vaccines
Vaccinations are important for pets as there are many fatal diseases such as rabies, heartworm disease, canine distemper, and Lyme disease. There are many diseases that can spread to owners as well which are called zoonotic diseases. Vaccinations will be important not only for the health of your dog, but it will be important for your family and those around you as well.
Brush your dog’s teeth
I know it sounds funny, but dogs are just big babies that cannot take care of their own teeth. According to the AVMA, 2% of dog owners actually brush their dogs’ teeth. It’s very common for dogs to have dental problems and “8 out of 10” dogs will. When you visit the veterinarian make sure that you have your vet check the teeth of your dog and ask them before starting any dental habits. Important things to note when brushing your dogs’ teeth are to never use human toothpaste and to use a small toothbrush for dogs with smaller mouths or who are just new to the dental care idea.
Learn what foods are toxic
Surprisingly there is a lot of food that we love that dogs probably love too but are poisonous and could end up killing your furry friend. Chocolate has a few symptoms that go from mild to the extreme such as vomiting diarrhea, thirst, seizures, tremors, and even death. Bacon can lead to pancreatitis, upset stomachs, and death. The bacon your dog eats will make your dog drink a lot of water which can kill them. Salty food can also kill your dog by giving seizures, bloat, and very high body temperatures. There are many more things that are poisonous for your dog but a good rule of thumb is to stick to dog food and keep the human food for yourself.
Your dogs will not keep themselves clean and it’s important that you clean them. Dogs can get parasites or infections if their fur is not cleaned properly, so regular baths can be very helpful. Depending on the type of dog you will also need to trim their nails.
Vet visits, vaccines, dental care, being aware of poisonous foods, and grooming are all things that you should do for your dog to make sure that they are happy and healthy, but these are just a starting point. There are many things that you should be doing with and for your dog that we really couldn’t cover in this list, so get out there and just have fun! Your dog is probably just very content to have you around so make the most of it.