Being a dog owner comes with a lot of responsibility. There’s making sure your dog gets the right amount of exercise, ensuring their diet provides your dog with all the nutrition they need, and keeping them happy and occupied with toys and plenty of play time.
And then of course there’s the training, socialisation, and catering for the individual needs of your dog, all of which require plenty of thought and energy.
Our furry pals more than make up for the care they need by being such fantastic companions, and with their unconditional love and trust. But there are a few key elements of caring for a dog that can often be overlooked by pet owners.
Here are three things you might be forgetting to do for your dog:
Keeping them parasite free
There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog in discomfort, scratching at their coat because they have an uninvited guest taking up residence, or suffering the effects of worms. Fleas are external parasites that can infest your pet’s coat, and their bedding (and even their human family!). Flea bites are irritating and painful to dogs, and can be easily avoided through the use of a treatment that can be given orally or applied topically to your dog. Dogs are also susceptible to worms, including heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Regular preventative treatment is important to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer from worms. Talk to your vet about the best treatment options for your dog, and help avoid the distress and irritation of fleas!
Grooming for a clean and shiny coat
As well as giving you a chance to check your dog for aforementioned parasites like fleas, grooming should be a regular part of your dog-care routine. Grooming helps keep your dog’s coat clean, helps remove dust, dead skin and tangles, and can reduce the amount of fur that accumulates and is then shed during the regular moulting periods. Grooming is especially important for long-haired dog breeds, as without it, their fur can end up matted and painful. It’s best to establish grooming as a habit early in your dog’s life, so that it becomes an enjoyable bonding activity for you both.
Doggy dental care
Some people think that dogs have bad breath and that this is just normal but actually, your dog’s breath should just have a neutral smell. Therefore, if you are noticing a bad smell, it could be a sign of dental disease. Dogs’ teeth need regular brushing to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Using a dog toothbrush or a soft-bristle human brush, you can brush your dog’s teeth and help avoid tooth and gum decay. Ideally, this is something you would teach your dog to accept when they are young. If you have an older dog, it’s worth chatting to your vet about options to take care of their gums and teeth. It’s also good to incorporate a dental check into your dog’s annual vet visit to be on the front foot if they do have any dental decay or gum disease developing. By taking care of their health, you can make sure your dog is happy and healthy, and enjoy all the benefits of that special relationship with your canine friend.
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