Basic dog care rules

Dog walking

Dogs need exercise, and a good walk is the perfect way to provide it. A healthy dog is a happy dog, and regular walks will also help keep your pet in shape.
When you’re out walking your dog, be sure to keep him on a leash. This is for both his safety and the safety of others. You don’t want your furry friend running into traffic or getting into fights with other dogs.

Also be sure to clean up after your pet. Leaving piles of poop all over the neighborhood is not only gross, it’s also illegal in some areas. Carry a baggie or two with you whenever you take Fido for a walk, and dispose of his waste properly when you get home.

The American Kennel Club recommends taking your dog for a walk at least once a day for at least 10 minutes. However, in hot weather or during periods of intense training, you may need to walk your dog more often.

Dog nutrition

Dogs are like people in that they need to eat a balanced diet to stay healthy. Just as you might eat different things on different days, your dog should have a variety of foods, too. In general, dogs need about two cups of food per day. This can be split between two meals or given all at once. You’ll want to feed your dog food that is made for dogs and not people; human food isn’t nutritionally complete for dogs and could make them sick.
There are many types of dog food on the market, so how do you know which one is best for your pup? The first ingredient listed on the label should be some type of animal protein (e.g., beef, chicken, lamb). Other good ingredients include whole grains (e.g., brown rice), fruits and vegetables (the more colors the better), and omega-3 fatty acids (which help keep skin healthy). Avoid foods with high levels of sodium or sugar; these can lead to weight gain and health problems down the road.

Bathing a dog

Dogs need to be bathed regularly, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your dog once a month, but some dogs may need more or less frequent baths, depending on their breed and lifestyle.
Before you give your dog a bath, make sure you have everything you need: shampoo (preferably made for dogs), conditioner (if needed), towels, and an old shirt or towel that can be sacrificed to protect your furniture from water spots.

Fill up the bathtub with warm water and add the appropriate amount of shampoo – usually just one squirt will do. Wet down your dog completely and start lathering him up with the soap. Be sure to get all over – behind the ears, under the chin, between the toes – really anywhere that dirt or grime may accumulate. Rinse off all of the suds thoroughly before finishing up with a final rinse using cold water (this helps close pores). Towel dry your pup as good as possible before letting him shake off any excess water himself; finish drying him off with a towel when he’s done shaking his fur out. Apply conditioner only if recommended by your vet or pet groomer. If so applied, leave it in for two minutes before rinsing it out completely. Finally, give your dog his usual brush-out session to help keep his coat healthy and free from mats

Dog teeth cleaning

Every dog needs basic care, including teeth cleaning. How often your dog needs its teeth cleaned depends on the breed, diet and age of your pet. Generally, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week.
To brush your dog’s teeth:
Use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs.
Wet the brush in warm water and add enough toothpaste to cover the bristles.
Rub the bristles around all of the surfaces of each tooth using circular motions. Be sure to get behind each canine (fang) as well as on top of them – these are some of the dirtiest areas!
Finish by giving your pooch a good rinse with water

Use only specialized toothpastes and brushes for dogs.

Dog combing

Dogs need regular combing to keep their coats healthy and free of mats. Combing also helps distribute the natural oils in a dog’s coat, which keeps the skin healthy. How often you should comb your dog depends on his or her coat type. Short-haired dogs may only need to be combed once a week, while long-haired dogs may need to be groomed every day.

To groom a dog, first make sure he is comfortable and won’t try to run away! Then use a slicker brush or metal comb to work through the coat, starting at the neck and moving down towards the tail. Be careful not to pull too hard on any mats – if they’re really bad, you may need to cut them out with scissors (but always consult with your vet before doing this). Finally, give your dog a good brush-down with a soft brush or towel.

Trim Your Dog’s Nails Safely

Dogs need their nails trimmed on a regular basis to keep them from growing too long. If they grow too long, they can curl under and make the dog uncomfortable. Long nails can also be dangerous if the dog steps on something sharp and cuts his or her foot.

There are several ways to trim your dog’s nails safely. One way is to use nail clippers designed for dogs. These clippers have a small hole in the end of them that you put your finger through to hold onto the nail while you clip it. Another way is to use guillotine-style clippers, which work like scissors with a circular cutting blade at one end of them (you can also find these at most pet stores). You may also want to invest in a good pair of animal safety gloves, as these will protect both your hands and your dog’s skin from getting nicked by the clipper blades (and vice versa!).

No matter which type of clipper you choose, always take caution when trimming your dog’s nails – go slowly and only cut off what is necessary each time so as not to cause discomfort or bleeding. If you’re unsure about how much length to remove, ask your veterinarian for guidance; they should be able to tell you how often (and how much) needs trimmed off each nail during a typical grooming appointment.

Dog eye cleaning

One important part of caring for your dog is cleaning their eyes regularly. This can be done either with a special eye-cleaning solution or just warm water and a cloth. Be sure to clean around the corners of their eyes where dirt and gunk can accumulate; otherwise, it can lead to infection or other problems.
How often you should clean your dog’s eyes depends on how dirty they get. If they tend to get messy, then you should probably do it at least once a week; if they’re relatively low-maintenance, then every few weeks should suffice. Just be sure not to wait too long between cleansings, as that will only increase the chances of an infection setting in

Dog ear cleaning

One of the most important aspects of dog care is keeping their ears clean. Dirty ears can be painful and lead to infection, so it’s important to know how often to clean your dog’s ears and how to do it properly.

Most experts recommend cleaning your dog’s ears once a week. You’ll need some ear cleaner (available at pet stores), cotton balls or Q-tips, and a gentle touch. First, wet your dog’s ear canal with the ear cleaner – you don’t need much, just enough so that the cotton ball or Q-tip will glide easily into the canal. Gently insert the cotton ball or Q-tip into the ear canal and move it around in a circular motion; then remove it and discard the dirty cotton ball/Q-tip. Repeat on other side if needed. If your dog has long hair near her ears, you may want to trim it back before cleaning her ears – this will help keep dirt from building up in her hair follicles.

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