10 Things You Must Remember if You Have a Dog

Editor’s note: This informational article is sponsored by BabelBark.

You want the best for your furry friends, both in their everyday lives and in case of emergency. Keeping information about your pets in a place that is accessible to you as well as others who care for your pet goes beyond where the next bag of kibble is coming from – it could save your pet’s life!

Take these 10 tips to heart, write them down or print them out, share them with your friends and family, or stick them to your fridge. The more you practice the essentials, the better you (and your pet) will be prepared when the unexpected happens!

10. Regular vet appointments

Just like humans, our pets need regular check-ups, too. Veterinarians are skilled professionals who can spot pain points that ordinary animal lovers might not be able to.

Sometimes the toughest part of staying up-to-date is remembering to make your pet’s appointment! The BabelBark app is one clever option to help remind you when your pet is due for a veterinary appointment. It can even schedule the appointment with your vet online.

The beauty of regular check-ups is, once you’ve made the first one, the veterinarian will begin building a case history and will be all the more informed when it’s time for the next. It’s worth the effort! According to WebMD, puppies should be taken to the vet every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks old, while adult animals should be taken at least once a year.


9. Your dog’s medications

Listing your pet’s medications in a conspicuous spot isn’t only a good way to remember them every day, it’s helpful to know in case of an emergency.

The FDA maintains that pet medications should be stored properly to “prevent your pet from having an accidental medication overdose and health problems—such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.” In an emergency, you and your family should know where those medications are stored. Knowing exactly what and how much to give your pet is also crucial, in case the job ever falls to someone else.

For those keen on technology, the BabelBark app offers a convenient way to organize and store important pet medication information. It can remind you when your pet’s medication needs a refill, organize your pet’s medical status and history, and keep his medication frequency and dosage at your fingertips.


8. What to feed your dog

Dogs need food that’s nutritionally complete, and gives them all the vitamins, minerals, protein and fats that they need to thrive. It’s important to keep enough on hand for at least a few days in case of emergency, or when commercially packaged dog food isn’t available.

You can always make it yourself, as well! According to Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD., and Associate Professor, Nutrition, with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, a balance of lean protein and complex carbohydrates is essential in any homemade pet food. Canned vegetables, cooked rice, chicken, fish, and even high-fiber cereals can provide a portion of this nutrition, Dr. Saker told Canine Journal.

If you ever need to rely on another brand of food, check it over for any allergies your dog may have, and whether or not it’s nutritionally adequate for your dog’s particular health issues. Not sure what or how much to feed your dog? With the BabelBark app, you can check the nutritional value and ingredients of any food to ensure it’s in line with your vet’s recommendations.


7. Where to get your dog’s food

Not everyone lives next door to a pet food store, or operates a kibble facility in their attic. And if you are isolated from canine culinary comfort, the internet is a great place to start shopping. Seeing that big box with the telltale smile is one way to turn your dog into an evangelist for Amazon, but there are plenty of other options, too.

Need an immediate source for your pet’s food? In case you’re unsure of where to go to get the best food for your dog, BabelBark’s helpful app can give you a list of every pet store in any area you are in, to find what you need!


6. Doggie playdates & dog-park trips

Planning a date with some dog pals at the park? Don’t forget to leave a note! A list of regular pet park pit stops can let your family and loved ones know where you’ve likely headed, and remind forgetful humans that daily outdoor activity is essential for any dog. There are some great apps like BabelBark that can help you schedule your trips, and meet up with your pet’s best buddies!

If you do plan on hitting up the park, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, and keep that leash attached outside of designated areas. According to Vet Street, it’s not only polite, it’s a safety precaution.


5. How to care for your dog

For new pet owners, knowing how to properly care for a pet is essential. The same can be said for long-time canine companions, as well. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and being able to provide a safe environment, nutritious food, and comfort are important to ensuring that happiness.

The Humane Society of the United States reports that proper pet care includes following all local rules and guidelines, having your animal spayed or neutered, and offering companionship and loyalty, among other necessities.

Need more help? Try out the BabelBark app for tips on compassionate care, and as always, if you have any questions about the care of your dog, your veterinarian is an excellent resource!


4. How to reach doggie services (like grooming, walking, petsitting)

Pet parenting is a full-time job, and it’s a job that often involves the help of many hands. Phone numbers and addresses for primary pet services like the salon and local dog walkers should be easily accessible – leave them on the fridge or in another well-lit spot to ensure your friends and family have an easier time helping out, and look into other ways to keep that information easily accessible in times of need. BabelBark, for example, can seamlessly share your pet’s profile and medical information and schedule appointments with your preferred providers.


3. How active/fit your dog is

Is your dog on the hyper side, or content with being a couch potato? Knowing how active and fit your animal is, and playing a that level, can save you from contributing to unhealthy behaviors, or overworking your dog! BabelBark has an activity monitor with a very low cost of $29.95 that can help.

Slim Doggy maintains that normal exercise shouldn’t leave your dog with undue stress or fatigue. Regularly scheduled aerobic activity should result in a happy demeanor, with energy to last the rest of the day. A dog that’s collapsing from stress is overworked and needs a change in game plans.


2. Make sure your lost pet can be found

No one likes losing a pet, and thanks to modern technology, animal rescue services have helped bring countless dogs back home. According to the American Humane Association, around 10 million dogs and was are lost or stolen every year.

There are many steps you can take to ensure your beloved pet has the best possible chance of making it back into your arms. Post lost pet information on neighborhood signs and on lost pet sites, as well as to local social media feeds. BabelBark is another great resource here, providing emergency alerts to shelters and rescues in the area your pet might have been lost. And of course microchipping is key.

“Microchipping serves as a permanent identification system that will always be with your pet,” the AHA’s factsheet, “Identification Tags & Microchips,” declares. “Nearly all animal shelters across the country routinely scan every animal upon intake for the presence of a microchip. Most veterinary clinics also have microchip scanners.” And don’t forget to take the extra precaution of keeping your pet’s microchip number in a safe place.


1. Who to get in touch with during an emergency

Perhaps the most important number of all: in a crisis, who is the best equipped to care for your animal and keep it safe? If the number isn’t recorded and posted properly, it’s not doing anyone any good.

Pet owners should rely on their veterinarian for serious animal issues, but many animal emergency clinics are open around the clock. The American Animal Hospital Association maintains that asking a primary practitioner just a few questions over the phone can go a long way in helping pet parents decide the proper plan of action in a crisis. Keep the number for your regular vet handy, and know where the nearest emergency care is in case of crisis!

BabelBark also has emergency scenarios built into the app for anywhere you might visit in North America. Contact information and even driving directions are available to help a loving pet parent in an emergency situation find help as swiftly as possible.


Taking this list to heart and ensuring that important information is recorded and easily shared can help save pet owners a load of stress. A one-stop app like BabelBark can make you even more efficient and effective a pet parent – and it doesn’t hurt that the app is completely free.

Is there anything BabelBark can’t do? Well, yes – the app can’t give your pet the love and affection that he craves from you! So focus your attention on those irresistible eyes, on giving belly-rubs and praise, and on having tons of fun with your furry best friend. BabelBark will help you take care of the rest.

Check out the link below to learn more!

BabelBark is the app that connects your dog with the people you trust in their lives. Learn more at BabelBark.com.

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