Read about all the things that dogs need.
Yummy, good food
Just like you, dogs need good food to grow and stay healthy. Dogs need a variety of vegetables and protein in their diet. High quality dog foods can be found at pet supply stores.
Adult dogs can be fed once or twice a day, puppies need to be fed more often. Always provide fresh, clean water at all times. Find out the foods you should not feed your dog in Doggie Don’ts.
Lost and found identification
A dog can’t ask for help if he gets out of the house or is lost. That’s why it is so important for your dog to wear a collar, license and ID tag. You can also get your dog a microchip. It is a tiny electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice that has all the information needed to find out where your dog lives, and it won’t fall off like a collar. Have your parents or guardian ask your veterinarian about it.
Home with you
Dogs are very social animals and need to be inside with their people. A soft bed where your dog can rest will make her feel comfortable. If your dog spends a lot of time in your yard, make sure there are no escape spots in the fence. Having a secure fence is much better than tying a dog up on a chain or rope. It is never a good idea to leave a dog on a chain or rope for a length of time.
No more puppies, please
Help end the overpopulation problem by having your dog spayed or neutered. Spay and neuter are simple surgeries that prevent dogs from having unwanted puppies. There are other benefits as well. The surgery reduces the risk of some types of infection and cancer and helps with behavior issues like biting.
Sit, speak, stay
Training helps dogs and people communicate with each other. Play groups and socializing classes are good for puppies to learn how to be around different dogs, people and situations. Whenever you are training, always use positive reinforcement and praise your dog when he or she does something right. Learn more about training and dog behavior.
Let’s have fun
One of the most important things you can do is to walk and play with your dog everyday. Walking your dog on a leash or taking him to a dog park gives him a new adventure outside of the yard and also helps him to get used to lots of different sights, sounds and noises.
Toys help dogs stay busy and prevent them from chewing on shoes or other household stuff. Playing with toys is also good exercise. It is important to make sure the toy is sturdy and not too small, so your dog doesn’t choke on the toy.
Always remember to play gently and not scare your dog. Dogs usually feel safer if all four paws are on the ground. If you have a small dog who likes to be carried, remember to support her whole body, especially her back legs. When you are done holding her, gently place all four paws back on the ground.
Don’t try to pick up bigger dogs. Be calm and gentle when playing with any dog, even your own. Dogs like to chase and use their teeth when they play with other dogs and might try to do the same with you if you are too rough.
Dogs can use a bath about once a month, but you can do it more often if your dog gets really dirty. Brushing a dog will also help keep him clean, reduce extra hair left around the house, and keep long-haired dogs from getting painful knots in their fur. It is also important to keep their teeth clean, and nails trimmed.
Dogs should get a check-up from their veterinarian at least once a year. If you dog is acting unusually or you think he may have eaten something dangerous, have your parent or guardian call the veterinarian right away.
Your dog will be happy and healthy if you follow these Doggie Do’s. It is also important to know what you not to do, so be sure to read Doggie Don’ts.
You can also check out lots of other dog-related fact sheets in PAWS’ online resource library.