Selecting Suitable Home, Diet And Excercise For A Dog

Owning a pet requires one to be very responsible. They should be considered as members of the family that deserve lifelong care, not objects that can be thrown out once they have outlived their usefulness. There are also financial responsibilities that come with keeping pets, such as a good diet, housing, and health care. In order to maintain good health, there has to be routine veterinary checkups, vaccinations, control of parasites (including heartworms), dental health, and emergency treatment.

Although it costs a lot of money to take proper care of a pet, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Research has proven that the close connection between a person and his/her pet can provide considerable social and health rewards. Dogs offer friendship, a sense of worth and love without any judgement. These are things that the elderly, lonely or mentally ill people can find useful. Owning a pet can also increase the duration and quality of life. Research has shown that there is reduction in stress, blood pressure, sadness and anxiety. Given the correct guidance, children can also learn how to be more responsible, caring and committed by owning a pet.

Housing; Indoors Or Outdoors

Dogs that live indoors share our houses and even our furniture. Both puppies and adult dogs can benefit from having their own crate, which aids in their house training. Crates provide dogs with a sense of security, as they now have their own personal space. You might also find it ideal to give your pet a suitable dog bed, and provide them with a specific place to eat and drink their food and water.

Dogs that are primarily kept outdoors all the time (such as hunting and guard dogs) have special needs relating to housing, diet, and companionship. They should always be able to gain access to shelter to protect them from extreme weather. The shelter itself should be spacious enough, with a proper roof, and placed high enough above ground to keep the animal dry during rain or snow. Additionally, you must keep in mind that dogs are social creatures, and require companionship. Outside dogs need regular care and human attention in order to lead healthy and happy lives.

Diet Plans For your Dog

Most pet owners often view proper nutrition as a non-important aspect of pet ownership. There are numerous choices available when it comes to pet food, yet you must note that not all pet foods are created equally. Name-brand dog foods have undergone substantial research and quality control to ensure a complete balanced diet for your dog. Preference should go to dry foods as they ensure healthy gums and teeth, without compromising on nutritional value. Pet foods that are designed for a specific stage of a dog’s life i.e. puppy adult, or senior, can easily be purchased at grocery stores, and pet shops. There are also special diets formulated to serve specific purposes e.g. for obesity, allergies or kidney disease. These are only available via veterinarian prescription.

The feeding rate for most mature dogs is usually once or twice daily, with puppies requiring more frequent feeding. For large breeds of dogs, it is better to feed them at least two times a day to avoid bloating, which is caused by consuming large amounts of food in one meal. You can consult your veterinarian in order to determine your dog’s daily calorie needs, which can then be given in multiple feedings of equivalent proportions. Meals should always be provided in a quiet place, far from the usual family interference.  This ensures that there is adequate digestion, and prevents engorging and aggression while feeding.

During cold weather, outdoor dogs need twice their usual calorific intake to maintain body heat. Their feedings should be split up into multiple feedings to avoid digestive problems brought about by eating large meals.

One big problem that all dog owners face is overfeeding. This can easily result in obesity, arthritis, heart disease and a short life span. Quality dog food should be given in proper quantities, and few table scraps, if any, should never be more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. You should also check with the veterinarian on the proper type and quantity of food required to keep your dog within its recommended weight. If you are able to feel the dog’s ribs and spine, with very little underlying fat, then your dog is at an ideal weight.

There should always be access to fresh and clean water for your dog. This access should never be restricted unless under the express orders of your veterinarian.

Dog’s Exercise

Regular exercise is a key ingredient of any dog’s life. Dogs that do not move and play will become fat, making them susceptible to health and behavioral problems. With enough exercise, a dog develops improved muscle tone, good metabolism, and proper weight control and temperature regulation. On the other hand, too much exercise can also be detrimental, more so in dogs that are not in shape, puppies or elderly dogs. If you are an athlete, remember this before taking your dog out on a long, energy sapping run in extreme weather.

Dog’s Personality And Temperament

Dogs are social creatures that form close relationships with one another and with people. This characteristic makes them ideal family pets. Their social nature means that they require care and attention from their human companions. There are a lot of negative side effects to having a bored or lonely dog.  They will often develop behavioral problems, such as damage of property around the house or even mutilating themselves, in order to cope with the isolation and anxiety. Of course, there are particular breeds of dogs that are more hyperactive and energetic than others, such as Irish Setters, Dalmatians, and terriers. There are also breeds that are less rambunctious and mellower, such as Newfoundlands or Bassett Hounds.  The more energetic and playful the breed, the more it craves human companionship. These are the ones that are most likely to develop behavioural problems, even if left alone for a short while. You also have to bear in mind the temperament of the dog, if there happens to be small children or other dogs or pets in the house.

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