Your dog is one of the most faithful and loyal companions you’ll ever have. He’ll sit by your side through the good times and the bad times, and expect little in return. He’ll miss you when you are gone and show you he’s overjoyed to see you when you come home.
Your dog will spend his days sleeping, eating, playing and exploring. His favorite things to do are running around and sniffing out new scents of all kinds. He also loves to get dirty and roll around in things that make him smell like he thinks a dog should.
Your dog loves his food. He doesn’t know what it costs and he’ll eat just about any dog food you give him. Your food also smells good to him, and he won’t be able to resist letting you know that. He’ll beg and drool and perhaps hint very loudly that you should share the bounty. He may also develop that special look that makes you feel quite guilty about downing an entire hamburger without sharing it with your very best friend in the world!
From time to time, you dog may injure himself or lose his appetite. He has no words to let you know what’s wrong, so he counts on you to figure it out—or, at least, to take him to a vet who can diagnose his condition.
Dog Care Basics
A dog’s basic needs fall into just a few categories:
- food that includes proper nutrition and monitoring to make sure his weight is in the appropriate range for his size
- shelter, which might be the run of the house or a doghouse in the back yard
- medical care when your dog is sick or injured or when special needs arise during pregnancy or old age
- grooming to keep his fur lustrous and healthy and to keep ticks and fleas away
- regular exercise in the form of walks or a romp in the park or at the beach
a few basic supplies such as a food bowl, a water dish and a leash.
All a Dog Really Needs
- Still confused about what a dog wants and needs from you? Go online and look up “A Dog’s Prayer,” written by Beth Norman Harris. While a human did put the prayer down in writing, it’s rumored that her dog said these exact words to her — but that’s just a rumor.
While dogs don’t require much of their owners, you can develop skills and knowledge that will help you provide a quality life for you dog. These fall into the following categories:
- an understanding of your dog’s basic nutritional needs
- knowledge of your dog’s health care needs and how to take care of emergencies
- recognizing signs of distress
- grooming and bathing techniques to reduce the trauma of bath time for both you and your dog.
- interpreting dog vocalizations to distinguish aggressive behaviors from dog play