Important basic dog care guidelines:
Pilling a Dog: Holding pill between index and middle fingers, press down on lower jaw; place thumb of other hand behind large fang tooth and press up on roof of mouth. Push tablet far down dog’s throat. Remove fingers, close mouth quickly; tap underside of chin.
Giving Liquids: Put one dose of medicine in small bottle. Pull out lip at corner to form pocket. Pour in liquid, in small amounts; as patient swallows, add more medicine to pocket. Elevate nose only slightly to prevent liquid from entering air passages.
Choosing the Right Dog Food: Today dogs still require a balanced diet, and the best dog foods provide a lot of different ingredients, carefully supplemented with all the required amino acids (protein), fats, and carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. A high quality diet of 80% dry food is recommended. Commercial foods are far superior to diets composed of ingredients found in our kitchens. Ask your veterinarian for the best-recommended food for your dog.
These foods contain eight to ten percent water and are a mixture of cereals, meat by-products, and vegetable protein (soy) combined with vegetable and animal fats, vitamins, and minerals. The best dry foods are expanded foods. That’s because dogs taste the fat on the outside and like it better because of their content. They also feel full sooner because the food is bulky. Their dry, rough texture helps keep the dog’s teeth and gums in good condition. To accustom a dog to self-feeding, keep a large pan of food in his/her feeding place at all times.
Semi-moist Foods: These foods contain 25 to 30 percent water and are balanced with high-protein foods. Although they look like meat, they are composed mostly of meat by-products, soybean, cereals, and chemical agents added to prevent spoilage and keep the product moist. They cannot be used for self-feeding, dogs may overeat.
Canned (Moist) Foods: This type contains 70 to 80 percent water and is highly palatable, They cannot be used for self-feeding and do not promote good tooth and gum condition.
Dog Beds and Dog Houses: Once you take your puppy home, you must decide where it will sleep. A household pet needs only a padded box or basket. Put the box in an out-of-the-way corner of a room. As tempting as it might be to allow your puppy to sleep on your bed, remember that it will be an adult dog expecting the same privilege. The habits a dog forms as a puppy will last a lifetime. A dog kept outdoors, requires a tight, dry house to protect it from wind and weather. The house should be big enough for your pet to stand up and turn around easily, but not so large that its body heat will not keep it warm. Loose bedding and a cloth flat over the door can help keep your dog snug in cold weather. The house should be built for easy cleaning and treating with insecticides to control parasites.
Exercise: The need for physical activity varies greatly among breeds, and also among individual dogs. A toy terrier may get enough exercise from bouncing around an apartment, but a hunting hound needs a great dial of activity. Try to provide regular exercise daily. If you plan long periods of strenuous work, give the dog rest stops for food and water several times during the day. Outdoor dogs get much more exercise than indoor pets, since their social habits keep them patrolling and defending their territories constantly. To stimulate indoor dogs to be more playful, provide toys. Two dogs will practically exercise themselves playing together.
Fleas and Other External Parasites: Dogs are susceptible to many external parasites that live on or are embedded in the surface of the skin. Fleas, lice, ticks, and mange mites are the most common pests. Most are easy to control with systematic treatment.
Fleas: They are especially troublesome where the climate is humid. Their bite may cause an initial local reaction, but as your pet becomes sensitized to flea bites, a more generalized reaction may occur, causing a rash to appear on many parts of the skin. Eliminating fleas from your home can be accomplished with commercial products.
Lice: These tiny parasites causes intense itching, but are easily controlled with flea powders or sprays repeated weekly for three of four applications. Look for dandruff-like eggs attached to the hair shafts and adult lice on the surface of the skin.
Ticks: Common in woods, fields, and sandy beaches, ticks attach themselves to the skin, especially around the ears and toes. Ticks can be removed with dips or can be picked off individually. Never use the tip of a hot cigarette to burn the tick. The easiest way to remove it is to dab the tick with alcohol for several minutes, and them pull it off gently with tweezers.
Mange Mites: Several types can afflict dogs. Some live in the ears or on the surface of the skin. They are contagious and cause intense itching. They are quite easily cured by insecticides. Ear mites are common in a puppy’s first few days of life. They produce a black granular discharge in the ear canal. Cleaning the ears daily with mineral oil and dusting the puppy with flea powder will usually solve ear mite problems.
Intestinal Parasites: Worms, or intestinal parasites, can be serious problems for young puppies as well as for full-grown dogs. They can be one of the major causes of dog diseases and death. The most common signs of the presence of worms are diarrhea and similar problems. If you suspect that your dog has worms, it is best to ask a veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and to prescribe the correct drug.
Heartworm Disease: Heartworms, which can severely affect your dog’s heart and blood vessels, are transmitted by mosquitos that sucks blood from an infected animal and then inject the infected larvae into a healthy dog. Treatment is difficult and should always be administered by a veterinarian.