Buying & equipment
Sophisticated pureblood or cheeky mongrel? Every dog has its own character. The type of dog you decide upon is therefore primarily a matter of personal taste. And the breed is not always important – sometimes it is simply "love at first sight".
Tips for buying a dog
There are various different ways to find a dog. If you're looking for a pedigree pooch, for example, you could visit a responsible breeder. You can find their addresses from local dog breeding associations. However, animal rescue centres are always full of dogs looking for a loving new home.
Signs of a healthy dog:
- Lively and animated behaviour
- A thick coat
- Light coloured gums (red patches may be a sign of inflammation)
- Wet, cold nose (but free of discharge or mucous)
- Clear eyes
- Clean ears
Checklist for initial equipment
To really feel at home, a dog needs certain accessories in addition to food:
- A cosy place that is reserved for the dog alone, with a sleeping basket or blanket
- Food bowls (e.g. stainless steel) and a drinking bowl
- Toys to keep your dog occupied, e.g. a ball or play rope
- Collar and leash for walks
- Comb and brush for grooming
- Chews from the FOR YOU® range to keep your dog occupied and clean its teeth and gums
- Main food for daily nutritional requirements, e.g. Vitakraft VITA LIFE®
- Snacks for use as rewards, e.g. Vitakraft Beef-Stick®
Caring for your pet
Owing a dog brings with it great responsibility. Since dogs are pack animals that have not evolved to live alone, they view their owners as a substitute pack. Some breeds have special abilities or particular requirements that need to be catered for. However, many of the points to remember when keeping a dog apply to all breeds equally, such as providing sufficient exercise and regular health checks.
Short-haired dogs should be brushed once a week; long-haired dogs require intensive grooming on a daily basis.
Dogs want to smell like dogs and sometimes roll around in things that we humans find disgusting. When bathing or showering a grubby dog, it is best to use a mild shampoo designed specially for dogs, e.g.VITA® Care Bello®Shampoo with vitamins and proteins.
Paws and claws
Dogs' claws can become too long if they do not run around on hard ground very often. If this is the case, they will need to be clipped from time to time. Your vet will be happy to help. The pads on dogs' paws are sensitive to snow, ice and road salt. You should therefore check them regularly during winter and rinse them if necessary.
Chew bones from the FOR YOU®range are a good way to help keep your dog's teeth healthy. We also recommend tooth care sticks with special ingredients such as Dental 2in1.
Carefully use a dry cloth to clean your dog's ears on a weekly basis. This is particularly important for long-haired dogs.
A clean place to eat and sleep
Use hot water to wash food and water bowls after each meal or at least once each day. You should also shake out your dog's sleeping blanket or basket on a daily basis and wash it at regular intervals.
Portraits of dogs
The perfect diet
Providing a diet designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs is important for ensuring a happy and healthy life. The ingredients used in Vitakraft products are therefore selected based on scientific research and take into account the natural nutritional requirements observed in wolves and wild dogs.
As descendents of wolves, our domesticated dogs still exhibit many wolf-like characteristics: they are hunters and meat eaters. It would, however, be more correct to label them as "primarily carnivorous" as both wolves and wild dogs will also eat plant material. In some cases, they eat it directly in the form of berries, grass etc. However, they also ingest some plant material via the stomach contents of their prey.
A main food covers your dog's basic nutritional requirements
These tasty treats are best used as a reward and are a useful aid when training your dog. However, they must still be healthy and suitable for your pet. Some snacks even perform an additional function, such as Dental 2in1
Chews are ideal for occupying your dog while also caring for its teeth. In addition to the natural chews in the FOR YOU® range, Cnox® chew bones made using vegetable ingredients and milk protein are also highly recommended
Dietary supplements, such as VITA-bon® tablets, help to strengthen your dog and promote well-being. They meet the specific nutritional needs that can arise during certain stages of life, e.g. during periods of growth, after illness or during pregnancy. They may also be beneficial for particularly active animals.
- Feed adult dogs twice each day; puppies three times
- Feed at fixed times
- Serve food at room temperature
- Do not disturb your dog while it is eating
- Remove perishable food leftovers
- Thoroughly rinse out bowls after each meal
- Provide fresh water at all times
- Provide tooth care snacks, such as Dental 2in1, after each meal
Behaviour & upbringing
Understanding your dog's behaviour is essential for forming a close bond.
You should bear the following basic rules in mind when rearing your dog:
- A young dog will not yet be aware of acceptable limits. If it tests and exceeds these limits, it is important that this results in consequences.
- The dog needs to learn to accept its owner as the alpha male or female in its "pack".
- Your commands must be short and clear: "sit", "come" and "drop".
- Since dogs do not have long concentration spans, it is best to keep your training sessions short.
- Praise and reward your dog when it does something right.
- Training should be fun for your dog and it is a good idea to end each session with an exercise that your dog has already mastered or a game.
How to toilet train a puppy
After each meal, sleep or play session, you should quickly take your puppy outside and show him where he is allowed to do his "business". You will need to hurry if your dog appears unsettled or starts turning in circles. Showering your dog with praise and providing a reward (e.g. Vitakraft Beef-Stick®) will speed along the toilet training process.
Introducing a collar and leash
Before venturing out on your first walk outside, you should familiarise your dog with its collar and leash inside the house. Start by placing the collar on your dog for a short period of time while under your supervision. Praise and rewards will also help with this.
A patient and loving upbringing
Dogs are particularly willing to learn if they can see that their owner is pleased with their behaviour. It is therefore essential to praise your dog as soon as it does something right and provide a reward. With this in mind, Vitakraft has developed a varied range of snacks for dogs in handy packaging sizes. These snacks provide valuable nutrients and taste great.