February is Responsible Pet Owner Month and National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month! With two great (and related) topics being highlighted in February, we thought we’d recap some of our favorite ways to be a responsible dog owner for the furry love of your life.
1. Proper grooming
It’s important to keep up with regular grooming for your dog to keep them comfortable, hygienic, and healthy. Some key regular grooming tasks and intervals are:
Bath - Every 4 weeks
Fur trim (if you have a dog with a long coat) - Every four to six weeks
Brushing - If your dog has a long coat, brush daily. Brushing weekly is okay if your dog has a short coat.
Nail trim - Every 3 to 4 weeks
Anal glands - does your dog ever excrete a strong fishy smell from down there? Yeah, that’s their anal glands. Have them expressed once or twice a year to keep them comfortable and smelling fresh.
Teeth brushing - 3 times a week is the vet-recommended minimum. We know it can be a difficult task, and it’s definitely something your dog will need to get used to, but regular brushing removes plaque and prevents tartar accumulation.
2. Dog identification
Every dog owner’s worst nightmare is losing their pet. Perhaps they slip out of their leash on a walk, or escape from a fence gate left open. It happens! Make sure you’re prepared by putting identification on your dog. It’s important to have an ID with your dog’s name and a phone number you can be contacted at.
We know some owners like to have their dog’s collars off to reduce that annoying jingling of their tags. But what would you do if your dog took off without any way to identify them?
dogIDs makes collars with a signature ScruffTag that's connected rather than dangling from it, which ensures that your dog will always have identifying information, such as his or her name, your phone number, and any other important information you want your dog to always have on them. A dogIDs original design, the ScruffTag sits right on the back of the neck, so it’s easy for anyone to see and read without having to handle your dog.
You can add up to 4 lines of text and customize the font when you order a dogIDs collar. The possibilities for creativity are endless!
Do as Bob Barker said! Spaying or neutering your dog is one of the most important ways you can be a responsible pet owner. Not only does it help control the pet population, but it offers a myriad of behavioral and health benefits for your pet.
Spaying female dogs helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are “malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs,” according to the ASPCA. Neutering your male dog also prevents testicular cancer and various prostate issues. Additionally, neutered male dogs will be less likely to run away from home in an attempt to find a mate. They may also be better behaved and have less aggression problems if neutered early in life.
4. Yearly appointments and preventative medication
Taking your dog to the vet for their annual appointment is important to maintain their health and check for any concerning issues. Your vet will also prescribe heartworm and flea & tick preventative medications. Give these to your dog as prescribed to avoid dangerous and costly health issues.
Keep your dog physically and mentally healthy by providing regular exercise! Walks, runs, swims, fetch - you name it! The level of exercise needed depends on the breed of dog you have, but there are plenty of ways to exercise them, even if the weather is cold and you can’t get outside. Read our blog on DIY Enrichment for Your Pup to give them mental exercise indoors.