Dogs need :
Shelter: Dogs need shelter from the rain, cold, and heat. If your pooch lives primarily outdoors, he/she needs to stay dry in a downpour, warm in cold weather, and cool in hot summer. A dog house should be 4 inches off the ground and should face southeast. (away from prevailing winds). Plastic or wood are the best materials for a house. Do NOT use a metal barrel for a dog house….they are hot in the summer and cold in the winter!! Put straw or sawdust bedding in the house in winter, and keep no bedding in the house in summer. Replace with dry bedding, if it becomes wet. In winter, bring your dog indoors if temperatures go below freezing!!!
Water: Keep plenty of water available for dogs, both summer and winter. If your dog flips his water bowl over, try a larger bucket, with a rock placed down inside to weight the bucket. Change water at least every other day. This keeps mosquito larva from living in the water and keeps water from freezing in winter. Dogs drink as much water in winter as in summer!
Cooling: A dog should have shade in summer. Doggies can cool off in a hard sided kiddie swimming pool. Partially fill with water and empty regularly, to prevent mosquitos.
Food: Dogs need quality dog food. Feed puppies twice per day and adult dogs once per day. Leaving food out all day in a bowl encourages mold, makes food stale, and invites insects and rodents. Feeding dogs large amounts of human food is NOT the healthy diet they need. Dogs should not eat chocolate, raisins or onions!!! However, dogs can thrive on homemade, well balanced cooked foods with a brown rice or barley base (not corn).
Companionship: Dogs LOVE to be with their people! And they HATE being left alone in a kennel or on a chain! Dogs thrive on activities such as: retrieving a ball or Frisbee, taking walks, learning commands, or riding in the car to visit new places. If your dog is left alone for most of each day, your dog will be a difficult and unpleasant pet. He or she will bark a lot, pace, whine, and possibly try to free himself to run away.
Walks: Dogs need mental and physical stimulation and walking provides both! If you choose to walk your dog each day, your dog will get to smell the world and exercise her legs. Result: a happy, healthy, and more faithful dog!
Spay or neuter: This is important for ALL pets today. Overpopulation ruins communities and causes stress for pets. (see spay/neuter benefits on home page)
Chew toys: Puppies HAVE to cut teeth and MUST chew something each day for a couple of years. Provide your dog with a variety of chew items to keep her satisfied. A smooth stick or knotted sock will do the job just as well as a purchased chew. If a dog chews something forbidden, hand him an item that he is allowed to chew. Spanking a dog for doing what is natural (chewing) confuses dogs and can cause fear and distrust in your pet.
Worm medicine: Several kinds of worms can invade your dog and cause poor health. (and heartworms can cause death). A yearly check at your vet can detect worms, provide medicine to kill worms, and prevent more worms.
Vaccinations: Dogs need vaccinations to prevent 1) rabies 2) Bordetella (kennel cough) 3) parvovirus 4) distemper See your vet for prevention of these diseases
Flea and tick control: Fleas and ticks can bring misery to your dog. Pesticides or diatomaceous earth can bring your dog relief. Ask your vet for the best way to prevent or treat for these pests.