10 Things You Should Do For Your Dogs Because They Can’t Do It Themselves

Our pups provide us with so much unconditional love, and it’s only fair that we honor their loyalty and commitment by taking care of their needs. There are plenty of ways to take care of dogs, but there are certain things that they can’t do themselves that absolutely need our human attention. Here are 10 things we should do for our dogs because they just can’t handle it themselves.

1. Say “No” To Toxic Food

Dog licking food on a table

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If your pups are anything like mine, they’ll try to eat or at least sniff any kind of food that falls on the floor. Certain foods are very toxic to dogs, but they have no idea about the health consequences of, say, eating an entire bar of chocolate or chomping on a chicken bone. But you’re a human who knows how to read articles about which foods are dangerous for dogs to eat, so it’s up to you to make sure your fur babies aren’t eating something that will hurt them.

2. Decide When Enough Is Enough

A white Italian greyhound eating from a purple dog dish or bowl.

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In addition to not knowing what is okay to eat, dogs also don’t usually know when they should stop eating. Some pups are capable of having dry food left out all day and will eat when they need to, but other dogs absolutley need a regulated diet or they’ll have problems like obesity, diabetes, or digestion problems. You’ll have to know when to take the bowl away and which size of portions are acceptable.

3. Bathe And Groom

Pugs taking bath.

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Dogs need to take baths and have their fur groomed. Unlike cats, dogs aren’t very good at keeping themselves clean, and when they go too long without a bath, they can get parasites or bacterial infections. If their fur goes too long without a grooming, they can develop matts and tangles that can lead to skin conditions and further infections. They don’t need baths every day, but keep up with your pups’ cleanliness. Some dogs will also need their nails trimmed or they could get snagged or broken. Check their paws frequently to see if they need a nail trimming.

4. Clean Hard-To-Reach Places

Chihuahua, ear cleaning in grooming parlour.

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This goes hand-in-hand with bathing and grooming, but dogs especially need your help when it comes to cleaning hard-to-reach places like their ears or their backsides. It may be a dirty business, but that’s part of the responsibility of being a dog owner. Bacteria can build up in these areas because they are difficult for your dog to scratch or lick. If you notice your dog exhibiting signs of itchiness, it’s time for a cleaning and a trip to the vet for advice.

5. Set Social Rules

Four dogs meeting in a park.

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Dogs aren’t born with the social skills to interact with other dogs or humans. They have to learn, and as a dog owner, you have to be the teacher. Eventually dogs grow out of the puppy stage, and it’s time for them to start figuring out that jumping up, playful nipping, and aggressive behavior needs to be curbed. Play has a time and place. Set the rules early and your pup will get along with others much more easily.

6. Dress For The Weather

Golden retriever wearing jacket and boots running towards the camera in snow, home front yard, houses and tree in the background.

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Some dogs have a high tolerance for cold while others have a high tolerance for heat. Either way, it’s your responsibility to provide coats that keep them warm or foot protection that will keep their paws from getting hurt. You’re familiar with your local climate, and you dress accordingly. Make sure you do the same for your dog and limit outdoor activities if conditions are dangerous.

7. Vaccinate And Get Check-Ups

Veterinarian attaching an IV drip to a golden retriever at a vet clinic

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Vaccinations and health check-ups help your dog stay safe from parasites and viral infections, and your pup might not stay healthy for long if you don’t take care of that. Keep your dog’s health records up-to-date. Dogs probably wouldn’t take a trip to the vet on their own, so it’s up to you to make sure they go to the doggy doctor to make sure they’re doing well.

8. Treat Diseases, Pests, And Parasites

Labrador dog lying next to bottle of pills and medication, close-up

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Sometimes even with the best preventative care, your dog can end up getting sick or picking up fleas or ticks. It’s important that you take care of these things. Your dog probably doesn’t understand what is happening, why he’s throwing up or itching or having a tummy ache, and he won’t be able to feel better on his own. Go to the vet, get the proper medication, and get your pup back to normal.

9. Set Boundaries

Dog looking over fence

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If your dog could, he’d probably run free around the whole neighborhood before coming back home. Unfortunately dogs sometimes get lost, and most of them have no concept of when it’s safe to cross the street or how to defend themselves from wild animals. It’s your job to set boundaries, which is usually a literal boundary fence or leash. Your dog also needs boundaries on walks and to know that straying too far from your protection is not okay.

10. Old Age Care

Long-haired Dachshund with ball

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Dogs get old, and that’s a good thing. It means you’ve done your job to take care of your pup throughout his life so far. Senior dogs are by far the most loving, but they also need the most care. They’ll have aches and pains, just like humans, and they probably won’t be able to get the exercise they need to stay active. You can take steps to keep your dog’s mind sharp and body active in old age and make sure your senior pup has the quality of life he deserves. He won’t be able to do it himself, and he’ll need you more than ever.

What other things do you do for your dogs that they can’t do themselves. Let us know in the comments below!

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