Taking care of a dog can be as rewarding as it is challenging – especially for first-time owners. After all, it’s a life we’re talking about! Dogs need care , especially in the first years of life.

Also, the success of a long-term relationship between owner and  dog depends on building a good foundation. A dog treated improperly can develop stress , depression and even a tendency to be aggressive. Therefore, it is essential to offer good conditions for your friend to grow strong and happy, prioritizing the health of the animal.

Check out some tips that every owner needs to know to take good care of a dog and develop a healthy and lasting relationship with their new best friend.

Vaccinating your puppy is one of the most important things to do in the first few weeks! Proper vaccination can protect dogs from a wide variety of potentially dangerous pathogens, including parvovirus, kennel cough, hepatitis, and leptospirosis.

Puppies usually receive their first set of vaccines around eight to 10 weeks of age, with another set two to three weeks later, but protocols vary. Puppies should not come into contact with unvaccinated dogs until they are fully protected; therefore, walks in the park are prohibited.

2. Don’t overdo the exercises

While many new owners romanticize the idea of ​​taking long walks with a playful puppy, the reality is that puppies, especially larger breeds, shouldn’t get much exercise . Puppies have a lot of energy, but their bones, joints and growth plates are soft and can be harmed by too much exercise.

3. Provide a healthy and clean environment for the dog

Taking care of a dog also requires a clean space for him to relieve himself without coming into contact with pathogens harmful to his health (his and yours too!). The ideal is to make him comfortable in a quiet, “exclusive” and always sanitized place.

4. Keep fresh water available at all times

Hydration is important to maintain the dog ‘s energy . Also, encourage your friend to drink water all the time, to avoid future health complications.

Dogs have several important stages of development, one of which is the socialization period, which is thought to be between three and 16 weeks of age. Within this window of opportunity, puppies need to be exposed to as many people, other animals and different situations as possible.

Failure to socialize your puppy can result in a strong fear of these stimuli later in life and, in some cases, in the development of resistant behavior problems.

Dogs denied contact with children can become overly reactive in your presence, lunging at them and even trying to bite. Therefore, activities such as taking the dog to other people’s houses or to the park for a walk are very important in the first years of life.

Excessive attachment can result in increased separation anxiety when guardians have to leave home. Typical symptoms of this anxiety disorder include urinating or defecating indoors, barking and whimpering, destroying the home, attempts to escape, or self-mutilation whenever the animal is left alone. Separation anxiety is difficult to treat; therefore, it is important to make an effort to prevent excessive attachment from the first months of life, gradually increasing the time the animal spends alone.

To make the separation less painful, some tools can help your puppy feel relaxed during these separation periods, such as toys, pheromone diffusers, classical music, or familiar scents (for example, you can leave an item of clothing you no longer wear). for the puppy to smell you during the separation period).

7. Avoid certain foods

While it may be tempting to give your dog table scraps, there is a long list of foods  that can be toxic to dogs. Chocolate , garlic , onions , chives, grapes, caffeine, alcohol and others are prohibited because they can be toxic to dogs.

Additionally, xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in foods such as sugar-free gum, some peanut butters, and some sweets, can cause dramatic drops in blood sugar and, in some cases, liver failure.

8. Beware of poisonous plants

puppies , especially puppies, have a habit of eating anything they see. However, there are several botanical hazards that homeowners need to be aware of.

Seeds and foliage like ivy and mistletoe can have a fatal impact on dogs. The first signs of intoxication can include vomiting, diarrhea and salivation, with more serious effects, such as liver and kidney damage, which take up to two days to manifest. Again, veterinary care should be sought immediately if the owner suspects their puppy has eaten any potentially poisonous plant material.

Maintain a quality diet and avoid health problems and obesity in your dog . Follow the dietary recommendations your veterinarian will make based on your dog’s nutritional needs, based on size, age, activity level, and breed. Remember to offer healthy treats instead of leftover food as a reward. Offering natural food, guided by a veterinary professional, can be a good alternative, if you have the mood and time to prepare meals.

10. Take care of the dog’s teeth

Many breeds are prone to developing gum disease, which can have serious implications. The infection resulting from this condition leads to premature loss of teeth and can cause infections in major organs, including the heart valves. So taking care of a dog also involves brushing your friend’s teeth regularly.