29 May 2010
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I am writing this article with a small breed dog in mind but I think most of it should apply to all other dogs as well. Most of these tips I came across on the net while doing my homework prior to buying a dog. So I think it might be helpful for those who are thinking of getting a dog for themselves. Finally i would like to say that I am still an inexperienced dog lover, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong and please give your suggestions too.
1. Do not allow your dog the freedom as a puppy if you are going to restrict the same thing once it grows up. That will be considered a mistake on your part for teaching it things that are not appropriate. ex: Allowing your dog to climb onto your couch.
2. Do not feed them table scraps especially chicken bone remains and curry. The cooked bones can splinter and get stuck in their throat and the spicy curries can cause a digestive problem.
3. If they do get wet, wash the dirt away with clean water and dry them immediately. You dont want your dog getting fungal infections.
4. Brush your dog on a daily basis.Check their ears, eyes, paws and any folds on their body and face and clean them.
5. Preferably give them complex foods like rice than simple foods that contain maida so as to maintain dental health.
6. Dont carry them around all the time. Once in a while is okay. There is a probability of the dog thinking it is the pack leader leading to unwanted behaviour.
7. Never beat your dog. They fail to understand what they are being punished for. When you catch them doing something wrong use a word such as 'No' in a stern tone but dont be too harsh so that they understand such behaviour is unacceptable.
8. If you are a person who notices your dog only when it does something bad, the dog will repeatedly do that to get your attention. Praise your dog for lying quietly or doing something good.
9. Understand your dog's breed characteristic and dont push them to behave differently. For example, I have a tibetan spaniel which in general is a shy breed. She doesn't like strangers petting her though she wouldn't run away at the sight of strangers. When I got her home, everybody thought she was cute and wanted to pet her and i gladly obliged. Over the next few weeks, whenever the doorbell rang, she would run for cover and wouldn't even allow me to take her as she had begun to lose trust in me. Now I tell visitors to just talk to her from a distance and not touch her. She seems to be returning to normal now.
10. Please do not feed your dog the following foods: Chocolate, avocados, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, onions, alcohol, cooked bones, broccoli, coffee, tea, liver in increased amounts, nutmeg, xylitol.
11. A home cooked diet is always recommended and can contain the following ingredients: Chicken, fish, eggs, lamb, duck, barley, oats, rice(brown), potatoes, oil, carrots, beans, peas, palak, tomatoes, apple, banana, orange, watermelon and cucumber. For omega 6 fatty acid you can add a teaspoon of sunflower oil to the food.
12. Let your dog feel comfortable about letting you touch every part of its body. This will make grooming and whelping easier to handle.
13. Interact with hyour dog from a very early age so you understand what each ear movement, tail position or sound denotes.
14. Do not get two puppies together. One itself is a huge responsibility.
15. If you have several dogs and they all come to greet you when you come home, respond to the dog that is the highest in the pecking order first and not the one that you love the most. Failing to follow this can lead to fights between the dogs.
16. If you are not planning to breed or show your dog, it is advisable to spay them. In female dogs , spaying them before the first heat cycle can prevent breast tumors. Spaying them also prevents life threatening conditions like pyometra and endometriosis. If she is in your breeding program, retire her after she is 5 to 6 years and spay her.
17. Dont leave your dog tied in the sun or in a vehichle under the sun for long periods.
18. Provide them with plenty of clean drinking water at all times.
19. Take your dog out after each meal, after play/exercise and once in every 3 hours to a specific spot outside so she can be potty trained.