Owning a dog can be the most rewarding and exciting experience a family can have. These dogs can quickly become a trusted member of the family and will give back more unexpected love and affection than you could ever imagine. They will develop into a good friend to all the family members and can have such a positive effect on your emotions that they are often used professionally in therapy to lift a patient’s spirits. While it may seem like a simple affair to bring a new dog into your home, there is a little more to it than simply food, water and shelter for the animal. Knowing what your dog needs to be happy and healthy will make it a richer experience for you and help your new friend live a long and healthy life.

Choosing the Right Dog for You
The first step in Dog Care Basics is deciding which breed of dog to bring home. Every type of dog has unique needs and talents and understanding which one might be a good fit for you and your lifestyle is probably the most important step in owning a dog. This decision takes into account things like size of the dog, temperament, exercise needs, emotional needs and a collection of other factors to make sure both you and the dog will be happy with your new living arrangements. To help you with this, there are a number of great resources on the web that will help you decide on the perfect breed for your needs. These sites will list all of the important information about a particular breed so you know in advance if the dog will fit your family.

Feeding your Dog
Once you have made your selection, you next need to understand your new pet’s nutritional needs. What type of food is right for the dog and how often should you feed them. Will they try and eat all the food you put out at once or consume small portions of it throughout the day. Do they prefer dry food or something softer? It may take a little trial and error to get this right but giving your dog the proper nutrition is essential for keeping them healthy and active.

Exercising your Dog
Exercise is the next consideration you need to sort out. Some dogs will get all the exercise they need from a short walk a few times a week. Others prefer to get their exercise from vigorous playtime with the family. Each dog has unique needs and if you are unsure of what works best you can start out with a combination of walks and playtime until you find the right mix.

Companionship for Your Dog
Each breed of dog has different emotional needs and taking care of this interaction with your pet will help them adjust to your family more quickly. Some dogs need a lot of attention from their masters and thrive on positive feedback. If they are left alone for too long they start to withdraw and may actually act out by biting or chewing things around the home. Other dogs prefer to have time to themselves and cannot handle a busy and loud family with children always looking to play. Knowing what works best for your pet is critical for both of you to enjoy life.

Grooming your Dog
One last concern is the grooming and general health of your dog. You should try and understand as quickly as you can what type of grooming your pet needs and how often. Your veterinarian can help you with this and you can usually have it done at their office or at one of the larger pet food stores. Some dogs have minimal grooming needs while others will need trimming, bathing and clipping a few times a month to stay healthy and happy. You should also try and understand what health problems your particular breed of dog may suffer from as they age. Each breed has specific diseases and other heath issues that are unique to them and you’ll need to know what to watch for in your pet.

What Else?

Once you take the time to understand what works best for your dog, you can get back to the fun part of owning a pet. With the proper diet and exercise most dogs will lead a long and healthy life. With a little attention, they will be around for years to come and always be there to greet you with a welcoming wag of the tail at the end of a long day.