Things to Know Before Getting a Dog

Caring for your dog, if you are a new owner, may seem like a lot of work, but it is essential if you want a strong and healthy canine.


First of all, your dog must be vaccinated against distemper, a disease that appears suddenly and affects dogs between two months and one year old.

This is considered the worst of all canine ailments, except rabies. It is caused by a virus and is highly contagious for dogs, although other house pets and people are immune to it.

When your first acquire a dog, you should check with the breeder if the dog has been vaccinated already and whether a booster shot is required.

And if your dog has yet to be vaccinated, then this is the best time. It should also be dewormed, your vet will tell you what to do and later on, you can deworm your pet regularly yourself.


Good feeding is very important.

It should be emphasized that whatever food you give your dog, it must be good food, correctly not just any, old rubbish, such as stale crusts of bread which have no food value.

Dogs must have proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and certain vitamins. Proteins build strong bones, feed the skin and coat well as ensure the correct function of the dog’s working parts.

They can be found in meat, liver, kidneys and fish, which should be deboned. Meats may be fed raw or cooked but not fried. Dogs do not usually like pork and there is a danger in feeding, them poultry because of the easily splintered bones.

Some carbohydrate is necessary for the utilization of fats. Boiled rice, wholemeal and potatoes furnish fuel, giving the dog muscular energy and warmth. Vitamins can be found in most green vegetables which should be chopped and cooked. These will also supply iron.

If you are feeding your dog correctly, it is not necessary to supplement his diet with tablets, though you can if you want to.

The amount of food required by a dog depends on age, size and amount of exercise. And do not overfeed or underfeed your dog. Overfeeding makes him lazy, not to mention overweight.

You should avoid at all times, giving him food that is too hot or too cold, highly seasoned or fried. And sweets are a big NO as they will spoil his teeth.

You should not take your dog’s appetite as a guide to his feeding requirements. Most dogs will overeat when they have a chance. Do not force your dog to eat if he happens to go off food for a day. This sometimes happens to animals in the best of health.

A dog likes nothing better than to chew on a good, sizable marrow bone. This not only strengthens his teeth but cleans them at the same time.

Your dog should also have clean drinking water made available to it throughout the day and night. This means having to keep its drinking, as well as feeding, utensils scrupulously clean.


Exercise also plays an important part in your pet’s well-being.

Letting your dog have the run of the yard is sometimes not enough. You should try taking him for a walk at least twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening. It will help him to build strong bones and muscles.

You should take him out on a strong lead that is just the right length, so that you, not the dog, are in control.

If your dog should cut or graze himself, there is no need to rush him to the vet unless he is badly cut and requires stitches. You can easily take care of simple wounds yourself.

The first thing to do is to clean the wound with a diluted mild antiseptic. Allow it to dry before applying some antiseptic cream. The wound must be kept clean at all times.

If you are not sure how to attend to your injured dog, get in touch with your vet immediately.


If your pet is a bitch and you do not wish to breed from her at all, then it is a good idea to have her sterilized or spayed.

About the best spaying age is between 6 and 9 months. The vet will probably take her in the morning and she should be ready for collection either on the evening of the same day or the following day. There is no special diet you should adhere to, as everything else besides strenuous exercise can continue as normal.

See: How long will my dog be in pain after spaying?


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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