Lab puppy running on sidewalk

Were you lucky enough to bring home a new dog for the holidays? Review and share the list below to assist every new dog owner in raising a healthy and happy pup! 

Visit a Local Veterinarian & Schedule Regular Appointments 

Once you become a dog owner, you will want to ensure your pup’s health is always top of mind. In the event of a health emergency or for a routine checkup, it is important to have a relationship with a local veterinarian. Younger dogs may only need a checkup once a year while older dogs may benefit from a vet checkup twice a year (or every six months). Your veterinarian will inform you how frequently your dog should come in for a visit after they’ve received all the required vaccinations (if a puppy). 

In case of an emergency, keep your veterinarian’s contact information in your phone, car and common area of your home. If you aren’t home when an issue or question arises, you want to be able to contact your veterinarian promptly without having to search the internet for your vet’s contact information. 

Regular veterinarian visits will also allow your dog to stay up to date on all vaccinations. Keeping your dog up to date on all vaccinations will maintain their health regardless of where and when an incident occurs. If you have any questions about your dog’s vaccine schedule, if your dog is due for any vaccines at their next appointment or if your dog is receiving a proper diet and exercise, please contact your local veterinarian. 

Grooming Needs 

An important part of your dog’s health is their hygiene. Depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll likely want to do a bit of research to learn how to properly take care of your pup from nose to tail.  

Regularly brush your dog’s coat to ensure they are free of tangles and matting. Your dog will feel good when their coat is properly brushed. Golden retrievers, French bulldogs and German shepherds are amongst the top ten dog breeds as mentioned by the American Kennel Club. All three of these breeds have different kinds of coats which means each breed will require a different amount of grooming and time between each grooming session. For example, golden retrievers have longer hair. In order to keep their coat soft and clean, they should be brushed regularly (at least once a week) to avoid matting. The same is similar for German shepherds who have slightly longer coats. French bulldogs have a much thinner, finer coat. Although it is easier for them to avoid matting, a weekly brushing will assist in ensuring all dirt and debris is uplifted from a dog’s coat and skin. 

Are you noticing your pup’s nails are touching the ground when they walk? If so, this is an indication that it may be time for a nail trim. If a dog’s nails become too long, they can be a cause of irritation. Keeping your dog’s nails regularly trimmed and maintained will allow your dog to feel happy, content and ready for play. 

Dogtopia daycares offer spa services to keep your pup feeling like a million bones. From cleansing baths to brush outs and nail trims, your dog will feel pampered and fresh after a day at the Dogtopia dog spa. 

Nutrition and Exercise 

Dogs, especially puppies, greatly benefit from a routine of regular exercise and healthy diet. Food provides dogs with energy to play while keeping their bones and muscles strong and their bodies healthy. Most dogs will benefit from enjoying two meals a day, but sometimes puppies need an extra midday snack to maintain their constant state of movement.  

Many common kitchen foods can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Please do not feed or allow your dog to enjoy items such as chocolate, grapes, nuts, peanut butter containing xylitol, raw meat or eggs, or strong seasonings such as garlic, onions or chives. These items can upset your dog’s stomach and are common reasons for an emergency vet visit. 

For questions about your dog’s food or feeding schedule, please contact your local veterinarian. 

Exercise is just as important as the food your dog eats. Dogs should enjoy daily walks, games of fetch, agility games, or brain games to energize their minds on a regular basis. Creating a regular exercise routine for your dog will keep their hearts healthy, their minds stimulated and their senses heightened. Daycare is a great solution for pet parents on the go to allow their dog to receive daily exercise and socialization. Dogtopia daycare is focused on your dog’s health, wellness and happiness while you’re away, so they never miss out on a single minute of love and affection. Your dog will spend the day with certified Canine Coaches and BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever) and will be thrilled to tell you all about their day upon pickup. Find your local Dogtopia today for a Meet & Greet! 

Rest & Sleep 

Rest and play go hand in hand. After an eventful day of play and exercise, a dog needs rest to relax their muscles and allow their bodies to prepare for the next day’s play. If you are welcoming a young puppy into your home, you will notice they sleep quite a bit. As puppies grow, they require more rest, but as they transition into a more mature dog, they won’t find themselves needing as much regular rest. Allow your dog to sleep in order to have energy for the next day’s events. 

Socialize Your Dog 

Make taking your dog on outings in public a stress-free experience by socializing your dog with other dogs and people. When a dog enters a new experience, they may feel anxious or uncomfortable. This is why it is important to socialize your dog, so they feel more comfortable in new surroundings and experiences.  

Dogtopia daycares prioritizes your dog’s wellness by focusing on their socialization with other likeminded pups, ensuring they receive their daily exercise, all while learning a few new skills along the way. With highly trained Canine Coaches in playrooms who supervise play, all dogs will develop lifelong skills and companions while becoming a well-rounded pup. Find a Dogtopia daycare near you and bring them in for a Meet & Greet to introduce them to their BFFF (Best Furry Friend Forever) today. 

Dogs can be a cherished gift during the holiday season. Give them the best life by giving them the gift of good health, regular exercise and nutrition, rest and socialization every day. For any questions you may have regarding your dog’s health, please reach out to a trusted veterinarian.