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Dog Care Tips For Beginners

September 1, 2023
September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. When you adopt Fido, you’re assuming responsibility for all aspects of his life and care. That’s a huge responsibility! It’s normal for first-time dog owners to face a bit of a learning curve. After all, taking care of our canine pals requires much more than simply filling his bowl and taking him for walks. A Columbia, MD vet offers some advice on this below.

Choose The Right Dog

We really can’t overstate the importance of picking a pup that fits your life and household. A Pomeranian isn’t going to be the right choice for someone who wants a canine hiking buddy, while an active pooch with high prey drive may not be suitable for a household with small children.

Keep Up With Veterinary Care

Getting Fido started out on the right paw will go a long way here. Vaccines, exams, parasite controls, and screenings are all critical to keeping your pup healthy. We also recommend getting your furry pal fixed and microchipped, ideally during that first year. In between appointments, watch for signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, withdrawal, behavioral changes, lack of appetite, and respiratory issues. Call us immediately if you notice anything off.

Protect Fido From Hazards

Fido is curious, playful, and active. This is cute, but can also be dangerous. After all, dogs don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them. It’s important to be aware of the potential hazards. These include unsafe foods, such as grapes, raisins, and chocolate; small and sharp objects; ropes and strings; and toxic chemicals. You’ll also need to keep your furry bff leashed whenever he’s not in fenced areas. Things like pools, firepits, busy roads, and extreme weather are also dangerous. Puppyproofing is a must!

Approach Training Properly

Dogs are wonderful pets and companions, but they need some training to learn how to become Very Good Boys. When training Fido, be positive, consistent, and, most of all, patient. Never punish your four-legged pal for misbehaving: that may only make him scared or defensive. Focus on rewarding good behavior. Stimulation Make sure that Fido is getting enough exercise and stimulation. Offer your canine buddy lots of fun toys, and take time to walk and play with him daily. Don’t think of these things as chores: consider them as spending quality time with a cherished furry friend. Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Columbia, MD pet hospital, anytime!

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