Planning to get a dog? Great beginner's guide


Almost every person who dreams of a four-legged friend is sure that he will take care and take care of the pet with full responsibility. But not everyone fully understands what is meant by this. Most imagine how they will walk the dog twice a day for 15 minutes, feed "good" food and the rest of the time to enjoy the dog's company, play ball with it and teach how to give a paw. Not to mention people who have a dog "to guard the house" or as a toy for their child.

I want to start with a seemingly obvious statement that many people do not realize: a dog, especially in the first six months, will take up most of your time. You will not have a "companion dog" at home, which many dream of, but a small child who does not know how to behave, gnaws at your things, shits on the carpet and does not react at all to your demands. In addition, this child needs care. Dog health has many subtleties. If you do not take a responsible approach to this issue, you may very soon be at the veterinarian. However, I hasten to please you, if you gain strength and patience and pay due attention to the upbringing and health of the animal, you will get a best friend for many years. But not all at once.

For me, already in the first weeks after the appearance of Buddy, that is the name of my dog, all questions of keeping the dog were divided into two categories: behavior and health of the pet. I want to start with health, since this is a longer and more difficult part. Here are some important aspects of a dog's health that new owners have questions about: nutrition, protection from parasites, vaccinations, grooming.


Many may disagree with the statements that sound in this paragraph, but I will not bypass this issue, since I consider it fundamentally important.

The first thing that a person, in whose house a pet will soon appear, does, is looking for suitable food for his future pet. Many people think that they approached the issue quite responsibly, after reading reviews of various feeds on the Internet and choosing the "best" one. The choice is often settled on feeds that have received a reputation for "premium". They are relatively expensive, which supposedly speaks of quality, and tempting labels on packages like "balanced", "contains only highly digestible proteins" and others, often quickly convince the future owner to opt for one of these feeds. Why am I all this? I urge you to take your dog's nutrition more seriously, study the issue more deeply, as nutrition is one of the main aspects of your dog's health in the future. With a sufficiently responsible study of the issue, a surprise awaits you -Most of the foods currently on the market contain vegetable protein that harms the dog's body (by the way, this also applies to cats). It includes ingredients that are harmless at first glance: lentils, peas, potatoes, corn, rice, and other additives. In addition, these additives, in percentage terms, often exceed the meat content in the feed. Marketers of food companies are unobtrusively trying to convince us that the dog is an omnivore, and for obvious reasons they are silent about problems with digestion and other more terrible consequences that arise in the dog's body over time. The choice is yours, I do not blame anyone, I just want to draw attention to this issue. I will leave at the end a useful link with a detailed analysis of this issue, I recommend that you familiarize yourself.

If you want to raise a healthy pet and visit the veterinarian as little as possible, I recommend that you pay attention to natural nutrition. Many owners, deciding to transfer their pet to the so-called "natural", when searching for recipes on the Internet, in the very first lines of the search results see something like this: "boil rice with beef and carrots and that's it, you are great." The Internet is simply replete with relics of the past, including in terms of natural dog nutrition. So, the first point: dogs do not need cereals, they are even harmful, as I mentioned earlier. You shouldn't listen to your grandmother, who tells you that in their village the dog was fed porridge all its life and everything was wonderful. 

And the second point: the dog needs raw meat. When cooked, meat loses many nutrients that the dog needs.However, in order to protect the pet, such meat is usually frozen for three days at a temperature of at least -22 degrees or by the "shock freezing" method, and only after that they are given to the pet. 

In addition, it should be not only pure meat, but also offal, such as heart, stomach, liver, tripe. They must be given together with meat in a certain proportion, or alternated. The choice of meat can be different, beef, turkey, rabbit, fish, it all depends on the individual characteristics of your pet, on his allergic reactions. The only thing I would not recommend is pork, as it is too oily for dogs. Also, the dog needs some functional carbohydrates in small quantities, namely vegetables, finely chopped and also raw. They help digestion, cleanse the body.

 Here are some dog-friendly vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli. You can find the right natural food recipes online, and I'll also leave a link at the end of this article to a YouTube channel about natural dog nutrition, which helped me a lot. I know what you are thinking now: "This sounds very difficult! ". I understand you perfectly, I myself have struggled with such thoughts. I also want to buy a packet of magical dry food and don't worry about anything. 

But I understand that this is far from the best contribution to the dog's health and I have to overcome my laziness. But there is good news: there are many home deliveries of meat for animals, in some cities there are even deliveries of ready-made natural feed, which will significantly save your time.

Also, do not forget about calculating the daily value, for example, they are different for puppies and adult dogs. If you don't give your dog enough food, it will not have enough nutrients for full development.

 If you show generosity and regularly overfeed your dog, in the "best" case, you will get rid of excess weight (which is very harmful to the health of the pet), and in the worst case, you will end up with a veterinarian with a dog under a dropper (the dog is able to eat 15% more than its norm, after which she will most likely feel bad). If we talk about natural nutrition, then for puppies the norm is 7-9% of the weight per day, and for an adult dog 3-4%. Also, if necessary, vitamins and other trace elements are added to the dog's food. The question of such a need should be resolved with a nutritionist.


Parasite protection

There are many pests that are dangerous to your dog: fleas, worms, ticks, and many more. I would like to dwell on ticks in more detail. If you live in a city and there is no park near your home where you can walk with your pet, then perhaps this problem will not affect you so acutely.

 However, this is not a reason to neglect tick treatment. As soon as the air temperature rises above freezing, you need to protect your dog. Why is this so important? Some ticks are carriers of encephalitis. When such a mite digs into the skin, it releases saliva, which helps to dull the pain of the bite. Together with saliva, the tick also releases microscopic parasites, after which they begin to multiply and destroy red blood cells in the body.

 This disease is called piroplasmosis and is very dangerous for dogs. The terrible truth is that, if you do not help the animal after 4-5 days after the onset of symptoms, in many cases it will be fatal. In addition, the treatment of this disease will cost you a considerable amount of money. Prevention of piroplasmosis will cost you several times cheaper than its treatment. In this regard, I draw your attention to several basic means of protection against ticks:


Drops on the withers

The treatment is applied to the dog's withers, as this is a hard-to-reach place for licking. After some time, most often 1-2 days, the drops are absorbed under the skin of the animal and spread over the skin. Thus, ticks, falling on the body of the animal, cannot find a place to bite, since, crawling along the body of the animal, they literally come into contact with a substance harmful to them.

The disadvantage of this remedy is that the drops may not spread throughout the entire skin, as a result of which there is a risk of a bite.



The principle of action of tick collars is quite simple: roughly speaking, the collar smells unpleasant for the tick, it senses danger and does not seek to jump on the dog's body. This method of protection also has a disadvantage: the collar most often extends to the neck and muzzle of the animal, while, for example, the paws remain unprotected.



The spray is sprayed all over the dog's body, and then acts in a similar way: ticks smell a dangerous smell and do not seek to get on the animal's body. This method of protection is considered the most effective, but at the same time one of the most expensive, especially if you have a large dog.



This method differs from the others in that the active substance enters directly into the dog's body. It is necessary for the animal to swallow the tablet, after which the active substance enters the bloodstream. Thus, when trying to dig in, the tick dies, having received, along with the blood of the animal, substances that are lethal for it. Sounds effective enough, but this method is considered one of the most toxic for the dogs themselves, many owners are afraid to resort to this method of protection.

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