Afghan hounds are one of the most regal and elegant breeds of dog and as such, they require quite a bit of care. Keeping your dog well fed, groomed and exercised can be time consuming but the result will be well worth the effort.
You should always feed your dog a high quality dog food appropriate for its age. Puppies will need to be fed more often than an older dog. Many vets recommend feeding on demand for very young puppies which is then gradually phased to two to four times per day as the dog gets older. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about which brand of food is best for your dog.
It's never a good idea to offer table food to your Afghan because most of our foods don't contain the nutrients that a well balanced dog food does. Our food also contains lots of things that a dog's body can't digest well and sometimes things that can make him sick. If you never start allowing your dog to eat from the table you will have the added benefit of not having to break him from the habit when it becomes a problem.
When your dog begins to develop his adult coat it's a good idea to use a snood to prevent his coat from getting dirty while he's eating. The snood is a tube shaped hood that slips over your dog's head and prevents his ears from getting into his food bowl.
Grooming is by far the most time consuming part of caring for an Afghan hound. Their coats, while beautiful, require constant attention to look their best. You will need a pin brush, gentle shampoo, cream rinse, and blow dryer. Your dog should be brushed several times a week with a brush that penetrates to the under layer of the coat to prevent mats from forming. Although puppy coats are not as long and full as those of adults, they should still be brushed regularly to remove dead hair and to keep your puppy used to the grooming process.
A bath should be given at least once every two weeks depending on how dirty your dog gets during play. A raised tub with a hand sprayer makes the job much easier, but is not a necessity. Always brush your dog first get rid of dead hair that may tangle when wet.
Afghan hounds require daily exercise and they need plenty of room to run and jump. Ideally you would be able to provide your dog with a fenced in area to run everyday. Afghan hounds can leap quite high, so the fence must be tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping over to chase neighborhood animals.
Afghans love to chase balls and other items around the yard so a daily playtime might be fun for the whole family. Make sure that you always supervise your dog when he is playing with children, as Afghans love to chase and sometimes get carried away.
These dogs definitely require a lot of time and care but they make up for it in the companionship and fun that they offer your family. A well cared for Afghan hound can make your home a much happier place!