If you’re a dog owner, then you probably think that you’ve got all of the basics down when it comes to caring for your fur baby, but what if I told you that there are some very important tasks you’re missing?
For example, when is the last time that you brushed your dog’s teeth? According to WebMD, a daily routine of brushing your dog’s teeth is ideal. Abandoning your dog’s dental teeth can lead to some serious consequences including tartar and plaque build-up, chronic pain, and eventually gum disease that can spread to the rest of his body.
Don’t feel bad. A lot of dog owners don’t know much about dog dental care because it’s not something that is heavily advertised.
The best ways to make sure that your dog’s teeth and gums stay healthy are by doing the following:
- Brush your dog’s teeth after you brush your own every night. Make sure to use dog toothpaste and his own toothbrush. You can find these items at your local pet store.
- Purchase some dental treats that will reduce tartar build-up and freshen breath. We recommend Greenies.
- Purchase hard bones for your dog to chew on. They will help to knock off any extra food on his teeth when he chews on them in his free time.
- Avoid buying wet food because it can stick to your dog’s teeth. Dry food is ideal.
- Purchase a dental spray at your local pet store and use in the mornings after your dog has eaten breakfast.
- Talk to your vet at your next checkup about canine dentals and when the best time is to get one.
Another thing to be aware of when owning a dog is the temperature of the pavement outside when you two are out for your daily walk. During the hotter months, especially in states like Florida, the pavement temperature can rise to roughly 50 degrees hotter than the actual temperature outside. In this study by Jake Reed, he measured the different temperatures of multiple surfaces during the hottest hours of the day. At 2 p.m. on a Sunday where the outside temperature was 95 degrees F, the pavement was 141 degrees, the sidewalk was 122 degrees F(just over the threshold of first-degree burns), and even the green grass was 105 degrees F!
Your dog’s bare paws will blister and burn if you’re not careful about the time and temperature of day that you are walking him at. We recommend taking him out either in the early mornings or late evenings when the sun isn’t so harsh and direct.
To be extra sure that the pavement isn’t too hot, try this test:
Place your hand flat on the pavement in the sun and hold it there for 10 seconds. If your hand does not burn or feel too hot, then it is safe for your dog to walk on. If not, consider going for a walk later in the day.
Now let’s focus on your dog’s mental health. Like us, dog’s need mental stimulation and a social life. When you leave your dog alone in your house, he can easily get bored which will cause him to either become depressed, or worse – destructive.
Try keeping a variety of toys available to your dog when he is left alone. It can range from a stuffed toy with a squeaker in it to a deer antler bone from the pet store. As long as they have something to pass the time, dogs won’t mind being alone for a part of the day. Another thing that can help your dog stay entertained during the times when you’re not around is leaving the radio or a movie on. This may sound silly, but a constant sound, especially of someone talking, will help him feel like there’s someone there with him.
For the times when you are around, it’s important to keep in mind that your dog has been waiting for you to come home all day. By the time you’re home, you’ve probably interacted with all kinds of people during your time outside of the house and you may be tired, but you should still make an effort to greet your pup because to him, you’re the only one he gets to see all day.
On the weekends when you have more time, take your dog to the dog park or invite your friends who have dogs to come over. Dogs need to be social and have interactions with other dogs of all different breeds. This will help ease their anxiety when it comes to meeting new dogs on the street. It will also enhance their overall moods because they will have another pal to run around and chase squirrels and balls with.
When you take your dog anywhere, make sure to have a Scout GPS Tracker on his or her collar. If for whatever reason you two get separated, you will be able to locate Sparky’s exact location in seconds. Find out more and findmyscout.com.
We hope that we’ve reminded you about these forgettable tasks that do make a huge difference in your dog’s health.