“Caring for your dog starts with a lot of TLC,” says Shannon O’Reilly, dog lover and owner of Uptown Dawg, Vancouver’s premiere dog daycare and boarding facility. “Beyond that, there are a few easy tips for dog owners that will make caring for your pup a lot easier.”
O’Reilly knows a thing or two about caring for dogs. In addition to operating the leading dog daycare and boarding facility in Vancouver for more than a decade, O’Reilly and her staff provide a long list of dog care services that includes grooming, training, hikes, runs, structured play, teeth cleaning… even birthday parties!
“Dogs are a lot more like us than most people think,” says O’Reilly. “They’re highly social and they respond well to affection. At the same time, they’re creatures of habit. So the sooner you can introduce them to the kind of experiences they’re going to have later in life, the better.”
Here are 7 easy tips O’Reilly suggests will make caring for your dog easier in the long run:
1. Play with your new puppy’s feet to prepare them for future nail trimmings. The more your pup gets used to having its feet handled, the easier that first trimming will be.
2. Don’t wait to start socializing your puppy. Right after the second set of shots, bring your pup to dog parks, arrange dog dates with your friends and their pets, and/or take them to dog daycare.
3. Book your dog’s first grooming by the time they are four months old. This will prevent matting in the fur. For long-haired breeds, consider grooming every six weeks.
4. Brush your dog’s teeth and provide them with bones so they have something resistant to chew. It’s really important to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and strengthen their gums. If brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t your thing, let the pros at Uptown Dawg do it for you.
5. Use a no-pull harness and/or a martingale collar on walks when training your dog. O’Reilly cautions that martingale collars should never be left on during playtime or whenever your dog is out of sight.
6. Bring bite-sized treats with you on outings to reward your dog for good behavior.
7. Crate train your puppy early on, as it will help teach them to accept a kennel as a safe and familiar area in the future.