Just brought your new puppy or dog home? Here are some tips on how to look after your new pet!
Providing a healthy and balanced diet through quality dog food will prevent your pet from becoming obese. Avoid feeding them sloppy or soft food which reduces the dental health and rather include a combination of protein, veggies and a small amount of starch, depending on the amount of exercise the dog is doing. Don’t feed chicken bones, rib bones, lamb or pork bones which can easily be shattered and tear the intestinal lining. Using veterinary food might seem more expensive, but is better in the long run for the dog, saving you money on medical bills and resulting in less food being required per serving.
Hydration is essential in caring for your pet, especially in the hot African climate. Avoid pool water which contains high amounts of chlorine and HCL acid or salt. Check that the water bowl is free from slime or mud, or other contaminants such as insects which might have flown in!
In caring for your dog, regular exercise and walks out of the property stimulates the dog's brain and helps them keep up with what is happening in the neighbourhood. Dogs who exercise generally have fewer behavioural problems.
A dog is a man’s best friend – he/she really does love hearing your voice and the attention you give to them. Dogs are social pets and love to interact with “their” people. The tone of the voice is quickly interpreted by the dog as good or bad.
A great tip in caring for your dog, is TLC. Talking, walking, feeding and cuddles all help your pet to be healthy and feel loved.
Training can be done at home. It is simple: when the dog shows good behaviour, reward them with a rub or a well done! They might not understand the words, but the tone of your voice is all you need.
Dogs' teeth can get filled up with plaque quickly. Caring for your dog includes teeth brushing with doggie toothpaste (which is pleasant for the dog) and chewy hooves/long bones that do not splinter help to clean their teeth. Dogs' teeth not being cleaned could lead to gingivitis (gum infection) and result in the dog not being able to eat. Further complications in the form of heart disease and general ill health could follow as the infection works through the animal.
Caring for your dog includes regular grooming. This is particularly the case with long haired dogs who need regular brushing to prevent matted hair. Matted hair can make the dog feel hot and is also a great place for insects to rest. Caring for short haired dogs means using a softer brush which helps the hair come out and prevents scratching. Long nails tend to break or chip on a hard surface, can be very painful for the animal and present an infection risk. Using anti tick and flea shampoos helps keep your dog healthy. Remember to use animal shampoos to prevent allergies and strong smells for the dog.
Annual immunisations protect your dog against rabies, canine distemper, hepatitis, and respiratory viruses. Dog vaccinations need to be given as prevention, as they will not work once the dog is already sick.
Dogs love to be with their humans and don’t cope well when left alone for long periods. Going to kennels can be stressful as it removes them from their environment, and you might need to give extra vaccinations as a preventative measure.
Caring for your dog might mean adding sun block on sensitive areas in certain breeds. Generally, the paler dogs such as pit bulls or Jack Russells have a tendency to pale and sensitive skin which could lead to skin cancer. A bit of sunscreen on areas such as nose, tummy and ears can protect them from the UV rays.
A pet sitter is the ideal solution if you don’t know what to do with your dog over the holidays. Let us love and care for them, ensure they get the food they need and are safe.
For a pet sitter in Gauteng, contact Paws n Claws, a trusted and experienced pet sitter in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Midrand and Centurion.
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Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the welfare of your pets. We are dedicated to help you care for your pet whether at home or going away.
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