Owning a dog is a huge responsibility as they have complex needs and no two dogs are the same.
Looking for ways to care for your dog? See our top tips below:
1. Provide a safe, clean and comfortable space for your dog
Keep your dog living its best life by providing it with a space of its own. You need to make sure that it has a place which is safe and keeps your dog cosy and content.
2. Ensure clean water and fresh food is always available
Be sure to clean out and refill their food and water bowls daily, to keep your dog hydrated and well-fed. Make sure no food is left out for long periods of time, and that your pet always has access to fresh water.
3. Feed your dog an appropriate diet
Many human foods are toxic to dogs, so don’t give your dog scraps. Chocolate, for example is extremely dangerous and could be fatal. Consult your vet for dietary suggestions according to the nutritional needs of your dog, based on its size, age, level of activity and breed. Underfeeding or obesity can significantly reduce a dog’s quality of life.
4. Ensure your dog gets adequate exercise
Dogs love nothing more than 'walkies', so make sure your dog is walked daily and has opportunities to exercise and play. Some breeds require more exercise than others. To find out how to best care for your particular breed, our Pawfect Care tool can help.
5. Training and behaviour
Ensuring your dog is well-trained is essential for both you and your pet. As social creatures, dogs love to be taught new tricks and enjoy spending time with their owner. But they also need consistent, firm boundaries. Positive reinforcement and training classes can help if your dog is prone to problematic or undesirable behaviour.
6. Look after their health
To keep your dog healthy and happy, have them checked by a vet regularly and be sure to keep their vaccinations up-to-date. Contact your vet immediately if your dog appears ill, in pain or shows any unusual behaviour. They may be unwell and need some kind of treatment.
7. Maintain coat, claws and teeth
Regular grooming and maintenance is essential to keep your pet healthy. Matted or dirty hair can cause severe health complications. Certain breeds of dogs will require more grooming and bathing than others. But they all need their coats to be brushed and kept clean. Always use dog-friendly shampoo and make sure your dog’s coat is dried thoroughly after bathing.
Keep your dog's nails well-trimmed; long nails make it harder for your dog to walk and can become painful. Your vet can do this or advise you on the safest practice. Make sure you ask your vet to check your dog’s teeth too, as dental care is critical.
8. Microchip your dog
Microchipping is required by UK law, and the details must be kept up-to-date. This means any vet or animal shelter can scan the chip and see your contact details. So, if your dog strays or is taken by someone, you're much more likely to be reunited.
Giving your dog the best care and attention can depend on its breed. Use our Pawfect Care tool to learn all about your dog's breed and their quirks and needs.