Your dog is your best friend but there’s a lot you might not know about him! Whether your dog is young or old, these fun facts about dogs will give you 10 new reasons to love your furry friend:
- Puppies love games such as hide and seek! Hide, then call your pup’s name so she can try to find you.
2. Dogs can learn more than 1000 words.
3. Big happy “helicopter” tail wagging is one sign of a really nice dog
4. Upright, stiff, rapid tail movement is not wagging or “friendly” but indicates a dog who’s rather excited and focused.
5. Puppies grow to half their body weight in the first four to five months!
6. Puppies then take a year or more to gain the other half of their body weight.
7. Puppies can sleep 18 to 20 hours a day during that rapid body growth phase.
8. Dogs sometimes appear to smile — much like humans — with open mouth grinning. This may indicate a relaxed, submissive state.
9. Tired puppies get cranky just like little kids. If you have a fussy puppy, try nap time.
10. Perky-eared dogs hear sounds better than floppy-eared dogs.
1. Feeding a Dog
Feed your dog a high quality dog food. Read the label of a prospective food. The first couple ingredients should be some kind of meat, not meat by-product or a grain. This will help you know that the food is high in good protein, not just filler.
- Ask your veterinarian for food recommendations. Your vet may be able to steer you towards a food that is just right for your pup and he or she may also have recommendations for how much to feed the dog.
Feed your dog on a regular schedule. It is recommended that you feed your dog twice a day. Figure out the proper amount you should be feeding your dog daily, which is usually on the dog food package, and divide that amount in two. Feed your dog the first half in the morning and the second half in the evening.
A stable routine of feeding can also help you with house training. Dogs usually have to go to the bathroom 20 – 30 minutes after eating.
Avoid giving your dog an excessive amount of treats or people food. This can lead to weight gain or health problems for your pet. Stick to the rule of only giving your dog treats when you’re training it. Remember, this can be hard to follow, especially if your pup is looking at you with puppy dog eyes. However, stick to your guns!
Don’t feed your dog food that is bad for it. There are many foods that are not only bad for your dog but that can be hazardous to its health. Do not give your dog any chocolate, avocado, bread dough, raisins, grapes, onions, or xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener.
Give your dog water. Food is not the only thing your dog needs to survive. Water is just as, if not more, important. Give your dog open access to water at all times. This doesn’t mean that you have to give it access to water when it is unfeasible, for instance when you are in the car, but if it is possible you should supply a bowl of clean drinking water.
Caring For the Health of a Dog
Make sure you have a good, reliable veterinarian. A good way to choose a vet is to see if he or she answers your questions promptly and knowledgeably and to see how they interact with your pet. You will need to bring your dog for regular check-ups, so if your vet is too booked up you may want to look for a new one. Feel free to change veterinarians even after you take your dog to one.
Remember, you should also know of an emergency vet that’s open 24 hours a day and on weekends.
Get your dog vaccinated. Your veterinarian will advise you as to which diseases are common in the area and so which diseases it is necessary to vaccinate against. Typically, vaccinations are kept up to date with regular booster injections, which may either be yearly or three-yearly, depending on the disease.
Most U.S. states require you to vaccinate the dog against rabies. Even if this isn’t a legal requirement, it is a good idea in order to protect your pet (and you) from this deadly disease.
Consider fitting the dog with an ID chip. This is a small microchip that is injected under the skin over the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number that is registered on a data base with your contact details. In the event of the pet being lost or stolen, the chip is a means of matching you with the dog and proving your ownership.
Use regular parasite preventative treatments. It important to treat regularly with basic worming against roundworms. Exactly how often depends on your pet’s lifestyle. An indoor dog is at lower risk than a hunting dog of picking up worms, and this will influence your vet’s advice about how often to deworm. A low risk dog may only need a round worming treatment two or three times a year, whereas a high risk dog may need monthly treatments.
Also consider other risks such as heartworm.
Also use flea preventative treatments and, if you live in a tick area, use a product that also kills ticks.
Consider desexing your dog. This reduces the risk of certain health disorders, such as mammary cancer (if neutering performed before the second season) and pyometra (pus in the womb) in females, and aggression and prostatic disease in the male. It is also the responsible thing to do, as it reduces the problem of accidental breeding and pet overpopulation.
Be aware that desexed dogs are actually at higher risk for some health problems. For example, your desexed dog may be at more risk for certain types of cancers and thyroid problems, as well as cardiac problems. Consider this carefully.
Get pet health insurance. If you would struggle to meet the cost of veterinary treatment then take out a pet insurance policy. In exchange for a monthly premium, if the pet is sick or injured the insurance company will cover the majority of the costs involved up to a certain limit. The exact nature of policies and the amount they cover varies widely.
Do your homework. Decide how much you can afford each month for a premium and investigate several companies to see what level of coverage they will provide.