Dog Care FAQs

SoMo Farm & Ranch Supply in Springfield, Missouri, proudly carries some of the best dog food you can buy for your loyal, hardworking pet. We also carry dog treats, pet supplies, collars, leashes, dog runs, and more at our locally owned pet food store.

In today’s blog, answer frequently asked questions about dog care. 

How do I take care of my dog?

Take care of your dog by providing your pup’s basic needs on a daily basis. Just like a human in your family, a dog needs food, water, shelter, physical activity, and a family to belong to.

Puppy Under a Couch Playing With a Toy

What basic supplies should I get for my dog?

Your dog needs a few basic supplies to use every day.

  1. Dishware for food and water. We recommend sturdy stainless steel bowls rather than plastic or ceramic.
  2. ID collar. A collar with an ID tag is an excellent option in case your dog becomes lost. Do not use the collar for walking your dog as that puts strain and stress on your dog’s neck.
  3. A harness to go around your dog’s abdomen for walking. Put a harness around your dog during walk times. The best harnesses are made of sturdy Nylon or similar material with a loop at the top to attach a leash.
  4. Sturdy leash. Leashes should be around 6 feet long. This length gives your dog enough freedom to walk while letting you maintain control of your pooch when other dogs approach. Keep your dog on a leash at all times when in public.
  5. Toys. Dog-appropriate toys help keep your dog interested and mentally stimulated. Tennis balls a great. Toys that don’t have small parts are fantastic, so beware of ones that squeak. Be careful with pull ropes and toys made of thread or stuffing. Your dog might ingest tiny bits of cloth. Toys that pull can affect your dog’s teeth and oral health. Think about hollow toys that are soft to bite on yet sturdy.
  6. Baby gates or crates. For indoor dogs, baby gates and crates can help keep your dog confined to a certain space.

What are the basic needs of dogs?

Your pooch has some basic daily needs, the same as any non-furry member of your family.

  1. Food. We recommend high-quality dog food. 
  2. Fresh water for your dog to stay hydrated.
  3. Shelter, including a comfortable place to sleep.
  4. Physical exercise for your dog’s health and longevity.
  5. A mentally stimulating environment.
  6. Regular grooming.

Labrador Holding a Food Bowl in His Mouth

How much food does my dog need every day?

Your dog’s food requirements depend on the age, activity level, and weight of your pooch.

  • 3 to 12 pounds, ⅓ to 1 cup of dry dog food.
  • 13 to 20 pounds, 1 to 1-⅓ cups
  • 21 to 35 pounds, 1-⅓ to 2 cups
  • 36 to 50 pounds, 2 to 2-⅔ cups
  • 51 to 75 pounds, 2-⅔ to 3-⅓ cups
  • 76 to 100 pounds, 3-⅓ to 4-¼ cups
  • 100+ pounds, 4-¼ cup plus ¼ cup for every 10 pounds of body weight.

What kind of dog food should I feed my dog?

A high-quality dog food rich in protein and that provides balanced nutrition. Our staff recommends Victor Dog Food at our Springfield, Missouri, pet food store.

How often should I feed my dog?

Puppies should be fed puppy formula three to four times a day, while you should feed other dogs twice a day.

How much water should my dog drink every day?

You should give your dog 1 fluid ounce of water for every pound of body weight every day. For example, your dog weighs 16 pounds. Therefore, your pooch gets 16 fluid ounces (2 cups) of water every day. 

How often should I change my dog’s water?

Change your dog’s water twice a day.

Australian Cattle Dog Sitting on a Dog Bed

What kind of bed should my dog have?

Your dog’s bed provides a source of comfort. For indoor dogs, create a cozy, warm, and soft sleeping place, preferably near your dog’s pack (human family). If your dog spends a lot of time in one particular room, consider putting a soft bed in that room. For outdoor dogs, create a bed where they spend time indoors, such as a barn or dog house. Think about laying down a bed of straw and then an outdoor blanket made of wool. Wool is great for winter time.

Beagle Dog on a Leash

How should my dog get exercise?

Your pooch needs plenty of exercise, depending on breed, age, and size. Toy breeds may not be as active, while hunting breeds and terriers may require a lot of daily walking.

Indoor dogs may need two to three walks per day, once in the morning, afternoon, and night. Like humans, your dogs should work up to longer cycles of activity. Think about walking your indoor puppy around the block for a bathroom break. Walking to open areas represents a fantastic opportunity for exploration.

Provide outdoor dogs with plenty of space to roam. In a city, think about a dedicated dog run in your yard. Rather than a leash, a dog run attaches to your dog’s harness via a cable around six to eight feet long. In the country, a fenced-in field offers a fantastic place for your pooch to roam. Think about an outdoor dog run if your dog has the ability to jump over a fence.

Dogs Playing With Each Other at a Park

How do I provide a mentally stimulating environment for my dog?

Dogs, like humans, rely on their families for socialization and mental stimulation. Dogs naturally gravitate to packs. Your human family is your dog’s pack. 

Playing with or walking your dog every day is essential to your pup’s health because they thrive on the socialization that your family brings. At least three times per day, play with your pup or take him for a walk for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Change out your dog’s toys to keep him interested or challenged.

Think about attending training courses with your dog as a way to bond with your pet. Not only will you get a well-behaved dog, but you’ll also build an emotional bond with your pooch with obedience and agility training.

Your pup also needs to socialize with others of his own kind. A trip to a dog park represents a great idea for your dog to meet other canines. When walking your dog, have him meet other neighborhood dogs. 

How often should I groom my dog?

Groom your dog one to three times a week. Long-haired breeds may need daily grooming to keep debris out of their hair. While grooming your dog, look for fleas and ticks. Brush your dog’s hair in long, even strokes with a dedicated brush.

Yorkie Getting a Haircut 

How do I trim my dog’s coat?

Consider trimming your dog’s coat every six weeks, particularly around the face, ears, paws, and sanitary areas. Professional groomers can help in this regard.

How often should I bathe my dog?

One to two times a month. Try not to bathe your dog too much as that might irritate their skin. Dogs naturally groom themselves daily, so bathing every day is not as important to dogs as it is for humans.

Where can I get the best dog supplies in Springfield, Missouri?

Stop by SoMo Farm & Ranch Supply to look over our selection of dog supplies and dog foods. We proudly sell and have competitive prices for Victor Dog Food, one of the top brands of dog food on the market. Call us at (417) 865-0312 for more information on what we have in stock right now at our locally owned pet store in Springfield, Missouri.