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39 Dog Care Tips - Part 2/4

10. Give your dog a safe space

Have a temperate area of your home with your dog’s bed or blanket, some toys, and a water bowl, where your dog feels safe and can easily take naps during the day. This can help your dog to self-soothe during stressful situations, like parties, a baby crying, or thunderstorms. If your dog was crate trained as a rescue puppy or when joining your family, keeping their crate open and available even after they no longer need it for training may provide them with a perfect place just for them that they’ll love to have.

11. Lock up household toxins

Always keep your household chemicals, such as cleaners and pesticides, out of reach from your dog. Many clever dogs can and will get into products kept under the sink or in the garage. Try using baby proof locks to seal cabinets with toxic products.

12. Regularly wash your dog’s things

Germs, dirt, pollen, and more end up on your dog’s bedding, soft toys, and blankets. Make sure you’re washing these items weekly to keep them fresh and clean for your dog. If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, this can be especially helpful in reducing their pollen exposure.

13. Keep your dog away from human food

Many human foods, such as chocolate, avocados, or onions, are toxic to dogs and can have serious ramifications to their health. Keep human food out of reach and be especially careful with gum and candies, as many contain xylitol which is a sugar-like substance toxic to dogs. Don’t feed your dog human foods on purpose unless recommended by your veterinarian. Some human foods, like plain chicken, canned pumpkin, or plain rice may be recommended intentionally by your vet for specific reasons such as digestive upset, diarrhea, to help hide oral medication or as highly motivating training treats in small quantities. In these instances “human food” may be appropriate for your dog, but they certainly don’t need to lick your dinner plate clean or eat your leftovers.

PRO TIP: For a comprehsive checklist of everything you need to "puppy-proof" your home, download the free puppy checklist.

14. Walk your dog for both their health and happiness

Regular walks provide many benefits for your dog, including preventing boredom, helping the digestive tract, keeping them at a healthier weight, and helping them to burn off excess energy. By giving them a constructive outlet, you may find bad behaviors, like chewing, barking or digging, decrease too.

15. Fight boredom by adding variety

Break up your dog’s normal routine by adding in extra walks or outings. Take them to a dog-friendly place or drive-in for a change of scenery. Take them on errands with you and switch up their toys to keep them mentally stimulated.

16. Challenge your dog mentally

Just like us, dogs need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Give your dog a puzzle toy, teach them new tricks, and play new games with them to keep them engaged. Puzzle toys are a fantastic way to give your dog something fun to do when you can’t devote 100% of your attention to them.
PRO TIP: This is extra important while social-distancing with your dog.

17. Slowing down a super eater

If your dog or puppy eats their meals very quickly they increase their risk of having stomach issues or upsets that may lead to vomiting. Slowing down your dog’s eating is good for their digestive health and can be done easily. One option is to buy a puzzle feeder from a pet store or online. Alternatively, a cheap easy solution is just to put a large tennis ball in their bowl. Both the ball or puzzle toy will work similarly making your dog have to work around the inedible obstacle to eat their meal.

18. Exercise together

Race your dog in the park, try dog yoga, climb stairs with your dogs, or take them on an adventurous hike. You’ll both reap the benefits of exercise as you have fun together.

19. Be a friend to your dog

Dogs need love and affection to thrive. Make sure they’re spending plenty of time inside with you and your family. Give them attention, treats, and play games with them.

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