Do you have a large dog? It can be so nice to cuddle up with a big, furry creature who loves and protects you. Large dogs are very rewarding pets to own, but because of their size, they do have some unique care requirements. The following are some tips to help you take top-notch care of your larger dog.
Choose a food for large breeds.
Make sure you choose a dog food made for larger dogs. These foods tend to have larger kibble, which slows dogs down when it comes to eating. (A large dog may try to eat smaller kibble too fast, leading to choking and vomiting.) Food for large dogs also tends to be more calorie-dense than that for smaller or medium dogs, so you don't have to feed as large of a volume to satisfy your dog's needs. Weigh your dog, and then read the food bag to determine how much you need to be feeding based on your dog's weight. This will help prevent under-feeding.
Keep items pushed back on the counters.
When your dog is large enough to reach your counters and tables, you need to make sure they don't eat anything they shouldn't. Get into the habit of keeping your food inside cabinets, not on the counter. Push everything on the counters towards the back where your dog is less able to reach, and work on training your dog not to bother items on the counter, too.
Walk them on a harness.
You might be able to get away with walking a smaller dog who doesn't really pull in a collar, but with a big dog, a harness is essential. Large dogs can pull hard enough to really hurt their necks in a collar, and they may even pull hard enough to get away from you. A harness gives you more control without putting any harmful pressure on your dog's neck.
Provide a wide, open space for them to exercise.
A large dog can't fully stretch their legs in a small yard. So if you have a smaller yard, at least once a week, make sure you take them somewhere that they can really open up. This could be a local off-leash dog park or a friend's property. Stretching their legs will help keep their joints and heart healthier.
With the tips above, you can take great care of your larger dog. Reach out to your vet for more advice. Visit a website like http://www.murrellsinletvethospital.com for more ideas.