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What Does your New Best Friend Need?

Good food

To supply your pup with the best possible nutritional support, get the highest-quality food you can afford. Scientifically balanced diets may be more expensive, but you feed the dog less because they are designed to be nutrient dense. Follow the instructions on the bag and provide the correct amount of food for your dog’s weight. NOTE: overfeeding can be as unhealthy as underfeeding. Also, remember that dry pellets are much better for your dog’s teeth than soft foods and human foods, which can accelerate tooth decay. All dogs should be fed according to a regular routine – you can’t underfeed one day and then overfeed the next. Puppies need to be feed 3 times daily, and should be on a puppy-specific diet for the first 9 months to 1 year. A plentiful supply of fresh water must always be available

Good looks

Regular brushing will keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean. It’s also great bonding time – and a sensory experience that your dog will love. Dogs do need washing, but don’t bath too regularly. Once every month or two should be fine – unless your furry friend has a love for mud puddles. If you walk your dog on fields or a mountain, play it safe and ensure he/she wears a tick collar at all times – also check fur for ticks after walking.

Good get-up-and-go

Every dog requires plenty of exercise – as does every human. Now neither of you has any excuse for living a sedentary life. Get out and get playing, swimming, running, ball-throwing or simply walking. NOTE: if you walk your dog in a public area, a leash is essential. Too many dogs are victims of traffic accidents. At least one good outing a day (minimum 45 minutes) will keep both of you fit and strong. Plus, you’ll find your dog much more pleasant to live with if he isn’t suffering from cabin fever – most dogs who dig in the garden, chew things, bark too much or seem too boisterous are actually just bored and frustrated. Imagine if you were cooped up in a house or garden all day with no stimulation and now way to burn off excess energy. You’d probably tear up the flower beds too. Most importantly, take your dog to puppy socialisation classes and then to obedience training. And stick with it; it’s worth it. Good communication and mutual understanding will make both of your lives much easier and your pup will be much more adaptable and fun to have around. Ask African Tails for a good training school in your area.

N.B The following foods can be fatal to dogs:
As few as 7 raisins or grapes can kill a dog. Onions, chocolate, cocoa and macadamia nuts can be fatal, too.