If you're like most dog lovers, your pooch is much more than a pet, they're a member of your family. As we would with our children and every member of our family, we want to make every effort to be sure we're providing everything they need to live long, healthy, happy lives.

Whether you're a new or a seasoned doggie Mom or Dad, there are a few things to keep in mind while considering how best to care for 'Fido'.

5 Essential Dog Tips You Need to Know as Yakima Pet Lovers

Of course, bringing a dog or dogs into your family incorporates much more than just five things to consider. Starting and maintaining a relationship with your glorious new companion is going to be a lifelong commitment as far as your dog is concerned.

Should You Share Human Food with Your Dog?

In a word, NO. I know, how can you resist that innocent little face simply asking mom and dad to share some of that really great-smelling pizza or burger or ice cream. What could it hurt? Well, it could hurt a lot and even possibly cause illness or death. In addition to the bad habits that Rover will acquire by having been encouraged to ask for food whilst dining, experts say much of what we eat simply isn't good for dogs. An article at hillspet.com points out:

Typical human food is much too rich and fatty for a dog to properly digest; eating it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and even more severe conditions like pancreatitis. Many human foods also contain an unhealthy amount of sodium for dogs.


Does A Dog Really Need Regular Excercise?

Sure. Obviously, like humans, dogs are all different and come in all shapes and sizes. Asking your Veterinarian about specifics pertaining to your dogs' age, breed, and overall health is a great place to start if you're unsure. However, for the average dog - a nice daily walk around the neighborhood and some other backyard activities will do wonders.

Socializing Your Dog is Easy and Very Important

Whether it's walking, trips to the dog park, a few afternoons at 'doggie daycare', or inviting other dogs over for a playdate, socialization is important for developing good behaviors and it's an easy way to be sure your dog is living their best fun-filled life.

How Frequently Should Your Dog Visit the Groomer?

The answers you'll get to this question will vary greatly, and this is another area where your veterinarian can be most helpful in making a recommendation. Breed, age, type of coat, all are things to consider. If your dog enjoys getting brushed, as our Golden Retriever does, it's just a nice way to bond with the dog. You can also discover any issues the dog is having with skin, matting, bug infestations, or even some underlying health issues.

Where to Begin Your Search for a Dog to Join the Family

One suggestion I routinely make to people is that they check with a local animal shelter first. There are thousands and thousands of dogs looking for a forever home and yours might just be the one they're dreaming of. In Yakima, my first stop is the Yakima Humane Society. Check them out online HERE.

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