Top Tips To Care For Your Canine Companion
For many of us, pets have been a source of absolute solace over lockdown, and it’s not very hard to see why. Constant donors of love, affection, and comfort, our fluffy, furry, and feathered friends have truly made the past year bearable, and now is the perfect time to give them something in return. Here at OnBuy, we understand that every cute companion (canine or otherwise) deserves the best, so it’s no surprise that our shelves are simply stuffed with accessories that’ll leave even the most unenthusiastic pet simply grinning with delight.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of our top tips on how to care for your pooch at home, offering some handy suggestions, advice, and information along the way (not to mention a couple of recommendations too, of course). With a whole online category devoted to dog supplies alone, there’s plenty to keep both you and your pup entertained for the months and years to come.
Set tails wagging with paw-some pampering today and, as Journey once famously sang, don’t stop retrievin’ (or something to that effect, anyway!). Read on to discover some of the best ways to have fun with your four-legged friend - we promise they’ll thank you for it!
Pointers for puppies
When it comes to doggy guidance, perhaps the best place to start is, literally, at the beginning. Yes, if you’re in need of advice on how to nurture and take care of a puppy, you’ve come to the right place. Adorable and utterly endearing as they are, these energetic tykes can be a lot of work, so it’s important to brush up on the basics, from microchipping to insurance, before the buying begins.
1. Find a good vet. This may not seem significant at first, but having a reliable and trustworthy veterinary practitioner is essential for your puppy’s long-term health and wellbeing. Regular check-ups are crucial in their early stages of development, especially when vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the breed.
2. Create a den of zen. Your pooch needs to feel safe and loved in their new home, and comfortable bedding is the best way to achieve this. Fashion a cosy and tranquil retreat with bedding, water bowls, and toys, to help them acclimatise in no time.
3. Find the right food. Puppies need different nutrients to their adult alternatives, so be sure to purchase high-quality meals made specifically for the correct age group.
4. Focus on training. As with most doggy-related activities, the sooner you start, the better. It’s imperative that your puppy learns to follow commands such as ‘come’ and ‘stay’ from the off, so look into obedience classes and training aids as fantastic places to begin. Most of all, remember to be consistent… there’s nothing worse than mixed messages.
If you’re craving more canine counselling, be sure to check out our new puppy checklist resource. This will provide you with comprehensive guidance on how to adjust your home, budget, and lifestyle to accommodate a lively little one, offering direction on the primary pooch essentials and advice on vital things to think about before they cross the threshold.
Make their house a home
Want to know our number one tip on how to take care of your dog? Make their house a home. Like their human parents, pups require a protected and clean living environment wherever they should roam, as shelter from the elements (as well as good hygiene) ensures a better quality of life. Just as we need warm, safe, and restful nests to snuggle up in after a long and tiring day, so too do our canine companions. Provide your pup its very own hideaway, made extra snug with blankets, cushions, and other comforting embellishments (velvety mattresses, we’re looking at you!).
The world of accessories can truly feel like a minefield when it comes to interior décor, but don’t fear: we’re here to lend a helping hand (and paw!). Though houses, crates and kennels all sound pretty similar, they actually possess a variety of distinctive characteristics, so it’s important to understand the difference before choosing your pup’s ultimate palace of refuge.
A dog house, or kennel, is a small outdoor shed commonly built in the shape of a lodge, intended to provide your hound with an unmatched sense of security (and protection) from various weather conditions. A crate, on the other hand, tends to be made of metal or wire, and is designed to act as a temporary enclosure in which a pup may be kept for means of safety, training or transportation. Attractive covers can be added to enhance the overall appearance of these pens, encouraging any pooch to feel shielded, cosy, and calm.
Though size, material and shape are all worth thinking about when it comes to your doggy dwelling, perhaps the most crucial thing to consider is the specific needs of your precious pooch (and their beloved owner, of course). If you travel with your pup a lot, for instance, you may require something more portable, which may mean purchasing a dog tent or teepee. As well as being incredibly easy to pack and assemble, these helpful foldable homes offer fantastic temporary protection for camping and holidaying purposes in general.
Should you desire more information on the best crates and carriers available, as well as broader guidance on whether a dog house or kennel is more appropriate, be sure to take a look through our all-inclusive resources. Or, if domestic inspiration is your bag, why not check out our recent blog on the world’s most luxurious pet paradises? No matter what your space capacity and budget, there’s something for everyone at OnBuy.
Develop some doggy delicacies
Feeding your pup a wholesome and balanced diet is a sure way to guarantee their strength and longevity for the future. Being overweight or obese can have adverse effects on their health in the long run, so it’s crucial to follow the nutritional recommendations of your vet and follow any suggestions made on the particular needs of your dog, based on its size, age, activity level, and breed.
With so many pet foods on offer, it can sometimes be difficult to choose just one. Dry or wet, kibble or fresh, there are thousands of combinations you can create, and an endless supply of tasty titbits just waiting to be discovered. Despite this freedom though, we understand that these all-important decisions can be rather daunting, so have compiled a list of tips and tricks on how to select the perfect treats for your pampered pup.
- Buy a commercially available dog food rather than making one, as it can be tricky to give your pet everything they need in a solely homemade diet.
- Look for food that is labelled ‘complete’. This means it has all the recommended nutrients and vitamins that’ll keep your dog feeling and looking healthy.
- Make sure the provisions are designed for your pet’s life stage. If your pooch has any extra requirements (if they’re a giant breed, very active, pregnant, or overweight, for example), be certain that their food is suitable, too.
- Seek a manufacturer who is part of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA). They voluntarily meet extra requirements.
- Most important of all, ask your vet if you’re not sure. They often have a good idea of which brands are well-established, do the correct checks, and meet the highest standards.
Stuck on how to care for a dog when it comes to homemade diets specifically? Look no further than our nutritious and delicious homemade pet food blog to garner some gastronomic guidance. Yes, forget pup-eroni and pup-corn, the delightful delicacies and recipes listed within are sure to leave them barking with joy and excitement. Simply don your best chef toque and apron… there’s nothing better than getting creative in the kitchen!
In need of some puptastic dog training tips? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Follow our advice below to help keep your pal on the right track!
Tip 1: Choose your pooch’s name wisely. We all know that part of the fun in bringing a new bundle of joy home is finding the perfect name for them. But, we bet you didn’t know that certain names are better-suited for training. It actually helps to consider a short name, ending with a strong consonant that they can always hear clearly (like Jack, Jasper, and Ginger).
Tip 2: Decide on the house rules. Before your companion comes home, decide on what they will and won’t be allowed to do. If these are determined early, there won’t be any risk of confusion (for your dog or your family) later down the line.
Tip 3: Organise a private den. Like humans, dogs need their own space. So, as early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place where they can relax in comfort and safety. If your little one is struggling to acclimatise, give them a warm hot-water bottle and place a ticking clock in their sleeping area. This imitates the natural heartbeat of their littermates, and will soothe your puppy in their new environment.
Tip 4: Reward good behaviour. Be sure to reward your canine with positive reinforcement throughout the day. Use toys, treats, and lots of healthy praise to let them know they’re getting it right. Never reward bad behaviour though, as this can confuse them.
Did someone say… walkies?
Exercise is one of the most important activities in a doggy’s day, and we’d love to tell you why. Far more than a mere bathroom break, walks provide mental stimulation, chances for socialisation, and opportunities for obedience training outside the home, getting you both out and about while enhancing the bond you share.
Like a child, your dog wants to see and know the world. If they’re confined indoors for too long, they may become bored (which, if films are anything to go by, will eventually lead to some form of destructive behaviour!). Your pooch is dependent on you to take them out, explore the sights, smells, and sounds of the environment around them, and this is why variety is key. We’re sure you’ve noticed how excited they become whenever ‘walkies’ are mentioned, so let them enjoy every opportunity!
If you’re looking for some aids that are sure to raise the woof, check out OnBuy’s selection of collars, harnesses and leads to showcase your companion’s sense of style. Whether you’re looking for nifty ID tags or simply need inspiration from a variety of trusted brands, you’ll always be safe in the knowledge that your pup is in good paws.
Practise some pawsitive pampering
More and more pet-friendly spas are opening every year in the UK, each one offering fantastic inspiration for all kinds of home-based pampering and indulgence. After all, who said self-care should only be reserved for humans?! If your creature appreciates a cosy cuddle once in a while, chances are they’ll also love a spot of reflexology, the newest trend to rock the domesticated world. Doggy massages bestow so many benefits on your beloved companions, from easing sore muscles to experiencing complete relaxation, and also boast multiple advantages for you, too.
As well as enhancing their physical and mental health, these bonding experiences can help to reduce your own stress at home, an invaluable bonus when feeling tense or worried. For pups in particular, pressurised rubbing possesses a number of unmatched rewards, from increased flexibility and motor skills to more effective digestion and respiration. Grooming gloves and ergonomic brushes are specially designed to promote blood circulation, while thoroughly cleaning the fur and skin at the same time. Combs and thick-bristled examples offer extreme comfort, with the added advantage of removing any shedding hair from their coat or fleece.
Below is a list of our top five points to remember when it comes to puppy pampering:
Do groom regularly. If your dog has longer fur, they may be more likely to develop painful tangles and skin problems, which you may not notice right away. Certain breeds, including Shih Tzus and Pomeranians, should be brushed often. Nails should be trimmed regularly too, as overgrown examples can be unnecessarily stressful and uncomfortable for your canine.
Do be patient. Dogs can sense our stress, so make sure you’re completely calm and relaxed before taking up any scissors or clippers. Go slowly at first and pay close attention to your pup’s reactions. Watch for signs of stress, such as trembling, whining or panting, and take as many breaks as needed.
Don’t use scented shampoo. Perfumed bath products can irritate dogs’ sensitive skin and noses, so be mindful of this when choosing your cleansing companions. We recommend the Animology White Wash as a good place to start, as well as our extensive selection of other shower accessories, which includes microfibre towels, tables, and tubs.
Don’t forget to clean your dog’s ears. Don’t use cotton buds unless your vet has recommended them. Instead, use a certified ear cleaner to monitor them periodically.
Don’t give up. It may take a while for you and your dog to become comfortable with home grooming but that’s okay, it’s totally normal. If you feel that a professional is what your pup needs though, be sure to choose one who comes highly recommended. Research your options online and read through ratings and reviews first.
Set those tails wagging
We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into all things dog care-related. If this ultimutt (see what we did there?) guide has whetted your appetite for more information, why not check out our blog and buyer’s guide resources? Packed with useful advice and support on more specific paw-some activities, there’s plenty to keep both you and your pup occupied over the coming weeks and months.
Plus, seeing as we’re well into National Pet Month already, there’s truly no better time to treat your cute companion than now, whether they’re furry, feathered, slithery, or scaly. So, stock up on the essentials, grab some paw-fect playthings, and show your precious pet just how much you love them!