12 Top Basic Dog Needs: Affordable Health! 🐶💰💖

What are the top basic dog needs? I know for my dog, Henry, I’m always looking for ways to provide him with great health on a budget. But is this really possible? Actually, yes! When you break down the steps, our pups really need the basics to not just survive but also thrive.

Moreover, many steps we can take are simple and actually save dog parents money. I know, we all want happy and healthy furry friends. At least, that’s my goal for dog care with Henry. So, today, let’s dig in and discover the 12 top basic dog needs for your pup.

an adorable dog is healthy and happy since his dog parents give him the top basic dog needs
disclaimer note

Budget tip:

Providing your furry friend, regardless of his/her specific dog breed, with basic needs actually not only helps improve your dog’s health but also keeps your bank account happy as well. Simple basic dog needs are a recipe for happy and healthy dogs with a longer lifespan. Therefore, consider that walk, food, or even snuggle time part of the recipe for great health. That’s a serious WIN-WIN for your dog and you!

1. Exercise 

Like all of us, your dog needs regular exercise. It’s a part of basic dog care and it’s a basic need that does a lot of good. 

For example, Henry loves to run around our property. But I also walk and hike with him. Although, I hike as the weather permits.

In a nutshell, daily exercise helps to keep your dog physically fit, which helps to obtain an ideal dog weight, while avoiding certain diseases that come with being inactive, like heart disease, diabetes, and even arthritis. Moreover, mild exercise can even help your pup’s joints with arthritis. Now, that’s a winning activity!

Want to learn more about how simply walking your dog can save you money? In this article, I reveal all the nitty gritty details. 

2. Play

Even if your dog hates toys, he/she still needs to play. This could be your dog playing with you or a furry playmate. However, if your dog loves toys you could play fetch or tug of war with a DIY dog toy. 

Honestly, play helps with engaging your dog physically and mentally. That’s a great ingredient to add to this healthy recipe. 

Does your pup hate dog toys, like Henry? In this article, I share the way your dog really wants to play. 

3. Good food

Whatever food you and your vet decide is best for your dog, it should be good quality. Remember that often cheap dog food equates to junk food. Similar to us not being able to obtain good health by eating only donuts, our dogs can’t either if they’re eating only junk food. 

Remember even a dog treat counts as part of your dog’s diet. Henry loves homemade dog cookies and they even save me money

Thus, good dog food is a critical part of the great dog health recipe. 

Do you think that cheap dog food is better for your budget? In this article, I walk you through how a good, high-quality diet actually reduces your costs.  

4. Clean water

It’s amazing how just clean water can help keep your dog healthy. By providing an adequate amount of clean water (this means water you would drink) you help your dog’s muscles, brain, joints, teeth, kidneys, as well as all his/her organs. 

Thus, you could say “Clean water does a dog’s body good!” Therefore, clean water is a cheap and essential ingredient in the healthy dog recipe. 

Are you curious to learn about all the benefits of clean water for your dog? In this article, I share the details. 

5. Mental stimulation

It’s true that a dog with an engaged mind will generally not be bored. Moreover, an engaged pup is typically happier and healthier. With this in mind, I engage Henry’s mind every day, through different activities. These include:

However you decide to engage your dog’s mind with mental stimulation, it’s a great addition to this recipe for a healthy dog. 

6. Grooming

Yes, grooming your dog daily, or regularly, depending on your pup’s coat needs, helps his health. This is because regular brushing and grooming (bathing and trimming) will allow you to discover and resolve possible issues. These issues can include:  

Of course, you can also take your pup to a dog groomer for assistance with grooming and 

Thus, grooming is a necessary ingredient in this healthy dog recipe. 

Want to learn more about how to brush your dog’s fur best? In this article, I give you all the details. 

7. Teeth cleaning

While I don’t brush Henry’s teeth, I do clean them daily. His vet is very happy with his teeth health and I am as well. 

Thus, by cleaning your dog’s teeth daily you can avoid more serious issues like teeth extraction, which includes anesthesia.  

Therefore, cleaning your dog’s teeth daily is part of the dog essentials for this great dog health recipe. 

8. Training

You may not think that your pup really “needs” dog training. But that’s not true. Training your dog helps with good behavior issues, depression, and prevents incidents occurring from bad manners such as nipping, jumping, or even escaping.

With all this knowledge, training is a dog safety issue. Remember teaching your dog the basics like stay, come, wait, let go, and the sit command is great for your dog’s safety.  

Therefore, basic training, with positive reinforcement training sessions is a great addition to your recipe for a healthy dog. 

Think you don’t have time or money to do basic training with your dog? Wrong! In this article, I show you how to train your dog on your time and for free. 

9. ID tags

It’s critical to have an ID tag on your dog in case your pup should get lost. Additionally, microchipping your dog is a great idea. Even if your dog should slip his collar, you can still be contacted if you become separated. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of microchipping your dog? In this article, I walk you through everything you need to know. 

For Henry, he has a physical dog tag with my phone number on it. This actually came in very handy after my mom died and Henry chased bunnies off the property twice. I’m so grateful he had his ID tag on and my neighbors quickly called me. However, Henry is also chipped. 

Although, after he wandered off the property in the blink of an eye, literally, I got a vibrating collar and practiced boundary training with him. He’s even great with a recall command. This has been very successful. In fact, he hasn’t wandered away once since I implemented these strategies. 

Therefore, dog tags and microchipping are critical for this healthy dog recipe. 

10. Vet care

Preventative and annual vet care is essential for your dog’s health. By catching things early and staying updated on vaccines your pup stays healthy. 

Thus, I personally take Henry to his vet twice a year. These visits are great for not only staying on top of vaccines, but also weight, and overall general health. 

Therefore, preventative vet care is a vital part of your healthy dog recipe. 

Want to learn how preventative vet care can reduce your expenses? In this article, I reveal the details you need to know.

11. Safe place to live

Your dog needs a safe place to live. For instance, it took Henry a bit to settle into his new home after I adopted him. But I kept reassuring him, spending time with him, and even providing safe zones for him to retreat when he got stressed. Even today, Henry has multiple safe zones and will seek them out depending on what level of stress or anxiety he’s experiencing. 

Are you confused about how to set up a dog safe zone? In this article, I walk you through how to create one for free!

Additionally, Henry has a plush heartbeat toy. When he’s stressed or I’m leaving him alone, I will turn it on for him as a way to provide more comfort. Actually, I’m shocked at how well Henry’s heartbeat toy works. 

Thus, providing a safe place to live is essential in completing the healthy dog recipe. 

12. Love

Of course, this should go without saying, but sometimes folks won’t realize that a dog does need love. This could be in the form of kind talk, pets, snuggles, or whatever your dog needs. 

For instance, every morning Henry “needs” me to pick him up, talk to him, massage his back, and inspect the house while carrying him. Next, he’ll snuggle up next to me, fall asleep, and snore, while I meditate. He knows he’s safe and well-loved. 

Therefore, the final ingredient, but not the least important ingredient, to the recipe for creating a healthy dog is love. Awesome, huh? 

Would you love to learn how to massage your dog? In this article, I guide you through the process. 

How does providing basic dog needs to my pup help me save money? 

I honestly love this part of the article. Hopefully, you do as well. This is the part that brings everything together and shows you in dollars how much you can save. 

With this in mind, consider the following possible expenses of not providing basic dog needs.

Issue Possible Savings
Obesity $850
Asthma $800 – 3,000
Arthritis $60 – 400
Diabetes $2,000 – 3,000
Depression $100
Destroying furniture $5 – 40,000
Separation anxiety $200 – 1,500
Heart disease $85 -10,000
Kidney disease $200 – $1,250
Teeth decay (or extraction) $500 – 1,400
Skin infection $175
Mats $25 – 150
Lumps, bumps, and cancer $200 – 30,000
Kennel cough $75 – 200
Injured dog from escaping $250 – 8,000
Shorter lifespan HEARTBREAKING!!!

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Summary of 12 Top Basic Dog Needs: Affordable Health!

I know we don’t normally think about our dog’s basic needs or how they can truly impact your pup’s overall health, but it’s critical. While your dog isn’t being “needy”, your pup does require a few basic needs such as exercise, play, good food, clean water, engaged mind, grooming, training, ID, vet care, a safe place to call home, and lots of love.

Honestly, this is kind of a recipe for a happy and healthy dog. It’s easy to do and it works! I know I follow this recipe for Henry and it’s been successful. He’s vet’s happy, Henry’s healthy and happy, and I’m thrilled! What more could I ask for at this moment? Well, maybe a winning lottery ticket, but that’s another story. 

Do dogs really need more than food? You may be surprised what can keep your dog healthy and happy.

Did you know that simple things like meeting your dog’s needs can actually reduce your overall expenses? Will you happily walk your furry friend now knowing that you’re extending his life?


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