Owning a dog is a very big responsibility, and it is important to be a good pet parent to your dog. Being a caring pet parent means making sure that your dog stays happy and healthy. Here are some ways to make sure you provide a good and loving home for your dog:
1. Check that your dog is up to date on all of his or her vaccinations with your veterinarian. Also make sure that your dog is seen by a vet at least once a year for a check-up to make sure they stay healthy.
2. When at the vet, ask that your dog be given heartworm medication to prevent heartworms, which are carried by mosquitoes and can make your dog very sick. Your vet will recommend a medication to give to your dog, usually once a month.
3. Treat your dog with a topical medication such as Frontline, Revolution, or Advantage to kill and prevent fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can be very harmful to both you and your pet, so it is best to get them on a regimen of medication your veterinarian recommends to prevent them.
4. Get your dog spayed or neutered to prevent pet overpopulation and behavioral issues with your dog, such as aggression. It will also prevent certain diseases from developing in your dog.
5. Feed your dog a good quality diet consisting of a combination of dry kibble and canned foods. Try to purchase high quality brands that meet AAFCO standards of nutrition. Follow the directions on portion size so you don’t over or under feed your dog. Also provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
6. Groom your dog on a regular basis. Bathe and brush your dog regularly in order to prevent dirty, matted fur. Use only dog specific pet shampoo when bathing your dog. This also helps to reduce any skin allergies your dog may have.
7. Exercise your dog by taking him or her out for a walk in the morning and evening. During the summer months, be sure to bring along some extra water for your dog and make sure they do not get overheated.
8. Most importantly, spend time with your dog and make sure he or she is a beloved member of your family!