Pet Magazine

There’s no question that Americans love their dogs. In fact, more than 75 million dogs are kept as pets in the U.S., more than any other country, and more than one in three U.S. households owns a dog. If you have a dog, one of the responsibilities of ownership is to take care of it properly. That can involve everything from making sure it gets regular exercise to taking it to the vet to having it groomed.

In addition to feeding your dog and giving it plenty of water, another important aspect of care is exercise. Dogs need exercise daily to keep them healthy and ward off conditions such as arthritis. For larger dogs, this means at least a couple of walks daily. Smaller dogs may be OK with getting their own exercise if you have a fenced-in yard. If you spend long hours at your job, you may want to consider sending your dog to a dog daycare for socialization and playtime.

Another aspect of proper pet care is regular veterinarian visits. Your dog needs to see the vet at least annually, and you need to make sure you meet all requirements and milestones for shots. Since dogs can’t tell you if something is wrong, you need to make sure you pay attention to how your pet is acting, and take it to the vet if it shows any signs or illness or injury.

Another thing to consider in taking care of your dog is whether it needs professional dog groomers. Some short-haired dogs who spend most of their time inside may be fine with thorough and proper care from their owners. However, most dogs need to see professional dog groomers at least once in awhile. Dog grooming services can include not only washing and trimming hair but also trimming nails and brushing teeth. You can get these services at pet grooming salons, some pet stores and even some vet offices.

If you own a dog, it’s important to be a responsible pet owner. To do so, be prepared to spend money on necessary services, which will include veterinary visits, grooming services and possibly even doggy daycare.