1. A Good Grooming 

Grooming is not just about looking cute! Grooming is about overall wellbeing. Your pup’s coat should be glossy and smooth.

FUR: Brush your pup once a week, even if they have short hair.

EARS: Check ears once a week. They should be free of redness and gunk. Ears should not smell.

NAILS: Nails that grow too long can grow into paw pads and skin, causing pain and infection. Trim dog nails a sliver at a time to avoid cutting into the quick (the part of the nail that contains blood vessels)

2. Socialization and Exercise

Socialization and exercise reduce stress, provide mental stimulation, and help your pup learn to respond to new experiences in a positive way. Socialization is important to the happiness and overall well-being of your dog.

3. A Safe and Comfortable Environment

Even if your dog sleeps in your bed, he needs his own “safe spot” to retreat to. This spot could be a crate or a dog bed. A crate needs to have padding. Both a crate and dog bed need to be an appropriate size. A fearful dog may need a walled bed, or an older pup may need an orthopedic bed. All beds should be washable.

4. A Healthy and Interesting Diet

Provide your pup with a nutritionally balanced diet and clean, fresh water. Mix in some cooked broccoli florets, cooked carrots, chopped-up strawberries/blueberries, or cooked green beans. Avoid kibble with artificial ingredients, by-products, and fillers. 

5. Regular Vet Checkups

Being proactive with regular vet appointments can identify health problems before they become difficult to treat.

6. Dental Care

Brush your dog’s teeth daily. Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians: 70 to 85 percent of pets over two years old have some form of dental disease. Caring for your dog’s teeth is very important. Dental disease can lead to issues with your pup’s heart, liver, and kidneys.

7. Training

Many dogs are surrendered to animal shelters because of behavior issues. Find a trainer that uses patience and compassion to teach you and your pup how to resolve these issues.

8. Spay/Neuter Your Dog

Dogs who have this surgery tend to live longer, have fewer behavioral issues, and be healthier.