1. Healthcare and Vacinations
When you pick up your new puppy or dog make sure that you are given all relevant paperwork showing up to date vaccinations. Make an appointment for your new dog to visit your vet to have a thorough check-up and be weighed. They will be able to advice on worming, flea and tick protection and necessary vaccinations to protect the dog from potentially fatal diseases. Returning once every year for a doggy MOT to check heart healthy, mobility, dental disease, lumps and bumps and so forth is essential. A holistic approach to your dog’s health will be of benefit in the long run.
2. Worming and Flea Protection
Organise regular weigh-ins with your vet to enable adequate protection against worms and fleas / ticks. The products available from vets are far superior to any for sale in the supermarkets or pet shops.
3. Dental Healthcare
Getting your dogs teeth checked is important to guard against tooth and gum disease which if left untreated can result in smelly breath, or dangerous painful diseases.
4. Micro chipping
Having a microchip fitted is a quick painless procedure that could be the difference between a lost dog being speedily reunited with its owners or not. Do make sure that should you move you change your registration details and give any holiday addresses as a dog can get lost anywhere.
5. Health Insurance
Having adequate health insurance for your dog not only gives you peace of mind, but could save you fortunes and will enable you to make sure he / she receives the best treatment for any health problem or injuries. All policies, however, are not the same so do your homework before buying. Many less expensive policies don’t give lifelong cover so could end up costing more.
Unless you are a professional breeder neutering your pet around six months of age is advisable to avoid unwanted pregnancies and potentially life threatening medical conditions such as breast cancer and pyometra (womb infection). In male dogs scent marking and aggressive behaviour lessens following neutering and you haven’t the worry of them chasing bitches on heat.
7. Training and Socialisation
Begin training your puppy as soon as possible, although you will have to wait until all vaccinations are complete before attending classes. Training is invaluable, even with an older or rescue dog, to establish a bond. The older or rescue dog will require more time and patience to train as the dog needs to unlearn bad habits as well as learn the new ones. By consistently demonstrating that you are the dogs pack leader many undesirable behavioural problems can be avoided. It is natural for a dog to look up to an alpha pack leader. Similarly, dogs by nature are social animals and need to be socialised with as many different dogs and humans as possible.
8. Food and Exercise
Feeding a healthy natural complete dog food that does not contain cheap fillers, artificial flavours, preservatives or colours and is correctly balanced is essential for your dog’s well being. This kind of food will help keep your dog active and healthy with a strong immune system and glossy coat. In addition allocate time for exercise, at least two walks a day including periods of freedom off the lead on open ground. Before committing to a breed or size of breed – research just how much exercise the animal will need.
Unless you have many working dogs and therefore need an outdoor kennels a dog is best living in the house with the family – his ‘pack’. He should be calmer and more relaxed as a family pack member. Using a crate in the early stages can be a useful aid to toilet training. There are numerous dog beds on the market including those that are raised to prevent condensation and coldness from stone / tiles flooring.
10. Dog Car Seat Covers
It is an extremely important accessory, not only to protect your car but also to make your dog comfortable while you travel. All dogs enjoy a good dog car seat cover or a dog hammock. Try our state of the art Tapscott K9 dog car seat cover and hammock.
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