Posted on by Top Dog

Does your cuddly companion deserve the best pet parent? Well they do and here is a step to step guide to fulfilling your pets needs and allowing them to live a happy and fulfilled life. Remember that pet ownership requires a significant amount of commitment and responsibility that generally revolve around the below three important points:

  1. Vigilance - Inspecting your pets general behaviour can help you to understand them better enabling you to adapt a training plan to their behaviour, its beneficial for both you and your pup. Remember to watch out for anything peculiar that may be a warning sign to a more serious problem, if anything you encounter worries you seek advice from a Vet or dog behavioural specialist.
  2. Patience - Starting your training as early as possible is key. Although the first few months of disciplinary actions may seem tedious it will mentally exercise your pet into a regular routine which they will eventually become familiar with. At times you may feel like giving up but remember to stick at it - you will regret it once you have a manic dog that you have no control over.
  3. Organisation - Planning your pets day-to-day activities such as meals, training and grooming to specific times will further your pets progression of getting into an coordinated routine. Regularly take your pet to the vets for a medical check-up, this will continually secure your pets well-being.

Home Care

This includes your dogs basic needs whilst at home such as feeding, providing clean water, ensuring they have comfy and warm bedding and toilet breaks etc and lays the fundamentals so you can give your pup the best nurture they deserve.

Professional Grooming

Taking your pooch for a regular haircut at your local dog grooming salon can control their general hygiene and also keeps them looking tip top and trim. If you have a long haired breed grooming is a necessity as long hair can lead to matting which can turn out be very painful for the dog and if left untreated can result in an expensive trip to the Vets to have them removed.

Grooming at Home

Grooming your dog on a day to day basis after a long walk or a bath is great and can keep on top of general cleanliness. Checking your dog over is also an opportunity to spot any fleas or ticks which if left can make dogs extremely poorly.

Use a variety of brushes, or a multi-use brush which allows different methods of brushing in different areas of your dog. Remember to take care when brushing sensitive / painful areas are the ears and the facial area.

Brushing and grooming your dog is also a great bit of bonding for you and your pup and can build up trust.


This will clean your dog and keep them looking and smelling fresh. Giving your dog a bath can be tricky if you are unknowing for what to look out for.

  • Protect the ears - water in the ears can cause potential health problems and can be uncomfortable for them
  • Start young - this method allows your puppy to become familiar with getting in the bath or having a shower and therefore will become more relaxed as they get older
  • Use the correct shampoo - every dog is different, some breeds (Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Westies) can be prone to sensitive skin or suffer from allergies and they may require a specialist or prescribed shampoo.
  • Neck and below - Avoid the facial areas including the mouth and eyes and concentrate rest of the body (especially those muddy paws). To wash the face you can simply use a damp cloth.
  • Drying - Depending on how pampered your pooch is you could use a hairdryer to dry them off, be cautious at how close you hold the hairdryer to the skin to prevent any harm. Some people just let their dog air dry however this usually depends upon breed and fur type. If the dogs hair is generally long it is usually more efficient to blow dry.

Exercise & Walking

Exercising your dog regularly is important for keeping your dog in tip top shape . Not only does it prevent obesity (which occurs with 30% of all dogs in the UK) it also builds up a relationship of trust which is what you need if you want to become the best pet parent! To get the most out of a standard dog walk, go to an enclosed open area and let your dog off the lead, make sure there is no where for the dog to escape. Remember, abide by the weather, if it is too hot or too cold its best to not walk for that day and rest up instead.

If there is a reason you are unable to take your dog on walk regularly you could seek the help of a dog walker, they can cost as little as £5 for 30 minutes. If you really want to spoil your pup you could take them to a doggy daycare which can be a little more expensive usually costing around £20 per day.

Some daycare centres will offer a pet taxi service as well picking and dropping them off for you, most centres open 7am - 7pm and also allow you to do half days. Doggy daycare not only exercises them ALL day which will completely knacker your pooch out but they socialise them which works wonders for their behaviour.

Although it is always recommended to make sure your dog gets some fresh air if you are unable to do any of the above you could play some games in the house which can mentally challenge and tire them.

Treat Your Dog

Everyone loves treating their dog but over treating them can lead to unwanted bad behaviour. Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement and they love receiving rewards for good behaviour. The treat you give to your dog generally depends on their personality and breed. Some dogs love being treated by going on long adventurous walks in the woodland terrains whereas some just love tummy rubs, toys or food.

Rather than reward with food its a great idea to use special brain stimulating toys to give to your dog as this is what most dogs recognise as being rewarded for good behaviour. Avoid treating with food as this may lead to obesity and always never give any chocolate, raisins, grapes, nuts or avocados as these are dangerous for dogs.

We also sell personalised dog birthday cakes if you want to go that extra mile to celebrate your dogs birthday


If you have a short haired dog or a small breed which is more likely to feel the cold they may need a jumper or warm dog coat during the colder months.

How to prevent my dog from attacking me when playing?

Teach him / her to be gentle. When they are getting to aggressive simply stand up and walk away, giving no attention to them until they have eventually calmed down. This method will work gradually depending upon the natural aggressive behaviour of the dog but it is guaranteed to help control it.

What toys are the best toys for my dog?

A variety of squeaky toys, tennis balls, large teddies and ropes are generally the best, however you can experiment by testing out new toys to find out which one your dog likes the most. Some dogs will be gentle and some will need in-destructible toys.

What exercises can I do with my puppy which is unable to walk outside yet?

You can simply run around the house, play fetch or purchase a suitable toy that will not damage their delicate teeth (ideally a small teddy).

How many times a day do I need to walk my dog?

This is dependant on a variety of factors such a breed / age and physical capability. The general advice is to not walk a puppy more than 30 minutes a day due to bones still growing and too much physical activity can lead to problems with joints and hips in later life. The amount you walk your dog also depends on breed, some dogs will need 2+ hours a day while some will only need 30 minutes.

What type of food is best to feed my dog?

The type of food you feed your dog is entirely your preference, we would always recommend doing your research on what is best for their breed and we would advice speaking to your Vet. Some dogs may show allergies to kibble or a particular protein such as chicken or beef so may need to go on a special food. Avoid feeding human foods.