Want a dog that is relatively easy to care for? One that doesn’t require regular brushing, grooming, exercise, or other kinds of regular attention? Are there such dogs? I found some:
LOL! Seriously, though. Even low maintenance dogs are work. Sure, some are more work than others. But they still require daily attention and care. Here is a list of the normal regular tasks that I do for Maya and Pierson:
- Feed twice a day – Some dogs do well at being fed once a day while others, especially younger dogs, need fed at least three times a day. Consult your veterinarian for the proper feeding schedule and amounts. Some estimated feeding instructions on dog food bags are inaccurate.
- Give plenty of water – I always make sure their water bowl is full of fresh water.
- Potty time – I let Maya and Pierson outside several times throughout the day.
- Pick up poop from the yard – Sometimes you can get away with doing this ever-other-day or even once a week, but for optimal health (and so Pierson won’t eat Maya’s poo), I do this every day.
- Walk – Every dog needs exercise. How much varies per dog. Some dogs need more vigorous exercise, like running, while others just need a short jaunt. Maya and Pierson each walk about a mile or so almost every day (except in winter when I tend to get lazy).
- Play – How often and how long varies per dog. Pierson has dog agility equipment in the back yard. He doesn’t use it on his own. I direct him to it and it is both playing and dog training. Both Maya and Pierson get bored with play after about 15 minutes or so.
- Brush teeth – I never had to do this every day until I got Pierson the poop-eater. Some dogs who are good chewers can get away with a weekly brushing with a dog tooth brush and toothpaste.
- Dog Training – Regular training is always a good idea, no matter how low maintenance the dog is. I do a short session of 3 minutes or more of dog tricks or obedience in order to keep the things I taught them fresh in their minds.
- Wash food and water bowls.
- Pet and cuddle.
- Brush hair – In spring, Maya and Pierson need this done daily with de-shedding dog brushes. Some dogs may require more brushing while others may not require any.
- Cut nails
- Check ears and eyes – Clean as needed. Maya sometimes gets goo in her eyes. Pierson tends to get gunk built up in his ears.
- Give a bath – Additional grooming may be needed for dogs that need haircuts, such as the some non-shedding varieties.
- Wash dog beds
- Give medications – I give my dogs monthly Heartgard and flea and tick preventions. Some people have found more natural remedies to prevent against heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other pests.
- Visit the veterinarian for an annual checkup – Additional visits during the year may be needed for unexpected health issues.
- Travel – My husband and I travel at least twice a year. When we do, we either take the dogs with us or find someone to take care of them while we are gone. When they travel with us, it is by car and they wear their dog seat belts.
These are things all dogs need. So if you don’t have a dog, you want a dog, but want one that doesn’t require much responsibility, then look this list over carefully. If you feel you can’t provide one of them, then consider the kind of low maintenance dogs in the photo at the top of the page. Real dogs require real work. Fortunately, the rewards are infinite.
Did I forget anything? What regular tasks do you do for your pets?
***Added later… Rumpy Dog asked an excellent question. The purpose of my article was not to point out all the things you should be doing. I do not intend to criticize anyone who might do things differently. How I choose to care for Maya and Pierson are not intended to be held up as an ideal. I am not perfect. The purpose of this article is to show people who are considering getting a dog and people who are looking specifically for low maintenance dogs that there is still a lot of work that goes into caring for a dog. It is very sad when someone buys or adopts a dog, then gives them up later because the dog is more work than they expected. See my reply to Rumpy Dog below.
Thanks Rumpy for asking this question.