A Dog Care Guide for the First Time Owner

Like any new endeavor, owning a dog for the first time has a learning curve. There will be things that are completely new to you regarding caring for your dog.

The best way to learn how to care for your dog is to ask questions of professionals and those who are experienced dog owners.

Basic Needs all Dogs Have Regarding Personal Care

Dogs need to be fed, groomed, exercised and taken to a vet for care. Grooming involves brushing or combing the coat, bathing, and brushing his teeth.

Each breed of dog will have different grooming needs. Every dog no matter the breed needs regular grooming. It is generally not as easy as it seems to cut your dog’s hair properly.

It is best to take your dog to a dog’s groomer for best results. Dog breeds such as Poodles will need to be groomed professionally.

Part of grooming is clipping the dog’s nails. Typically you will need to clip your dog’s nails about every 6 months.

White nails are easy to see where the “quick” of the nail is which is the blood nerve line in the nail that needs to be avoided so as not to make the nail bleed and to avoid pain.

Dental Care for Your Dog

It is important to brush your dog’s teeth because they can’t do it for themselves. A dog should have the teeth brushed on a regular basis such as after eating.

Never use human toothpaste when brushing a dog’s teeth. Toothpaste that is formulated especially for dogs is safer to use than toothpaste used by humans, which may harm dogs.

Most dog breeds require a bath approximately every six months. Any more than that will dry out the skin by removing the protective oils contained naturally in the dog’s skin.

Human shampoo should never be used as it can cause damage if it gets into the dog’s eyes or even damage the coat of the dog. It is better to use plain water or specially made dog shampoo.

Helpful Information Regarding Your Dog

Other dog owners have been through it all and what they haven’t someone they know has experienced it. Your vet is an invaluable source of information on looking after your dog at all stages of his life.

You can find books at the library about caring for your dog as well as videos and DVDs. There is an endless supply of dog articles and dog blog entries giving advice on dog care.

If you purchase a dog from a breeder ask questions of the breeder regarding the needs for this particular breed of dog.

If you adopt the dog from a shelter or dog rescue group ask anyone on the staff for helpful tips on caring for the particular dog you are adopting.