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The best way to ensure a long, healthy life for dogs is to provide plenty of exercise and attention, a healthy diet, a plentiful supply of clean water, and proper grooming and veterinary care. Check out these simple tips and area organizations that help keeps pets in tip-top shape every day.

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Northwest Organization for Animal Help
31300 Brandstrom Rd.
Stanwood, WA 98292
(360) 629-7055

Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Deciding what kind of dog to get is the most important decision an owner can make. The AKC acknowledges more than 160 different dog breeds, each with different needs, temperaments, activity levels and sizes. Would-be dog owners must consider the amount of time they have available to train, socialize and exercise their new four-footed friend. Puppies and certain breeds cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. Other breeds need plenty of room to run and can quickly outgrow an apartment or small house. Also consider the dog’s age, restrictions such as cats and children, and long-term costs. Choosing a dog should take time. Start at N.O.A.H, a non-profit animal rescue organization that takes death row animals from other facilities into its no-kill adoption facility. Expect friendly staff to help match each potential pet owner with the right furry friend for his or her lifestyle.

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2809 Mt. Rainier Dr. South
Seattle, Washington 98144
(206) 588-2111

Hours: Mon – closed; Tues to Fri – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Proper nutrition is a crucial for keeping all dogs healthy, and the cheapest kibble just doesn’t cut it for some dogs. A well-balanced diet should contain proper proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins for each dog’s lifestyle, age and health needs. In addition to carefully reading dog-food labels, pet owners may learn about the protein percentage by the product name. Beef-flavored dog food needs only 3 percent beef, which makes it less than ideal for maintaining a dog’s health. Choose foods that list meat, not meat meal, corn or byproducts, first and most often.

Related: Shows for Dog and Cat Lovers Around the Sound

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Dog Mania
1428 31st Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 324-3899

Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sun – closed

Grooming is an important aspect of dog care, revealing abnormalities dog owners might otherwise miss. All dogs need to be cleaned regularly, and a groomer offers services from basic baths to those with nail trimming, teeth cleaning and special, breed-specific cuts. At Dog Mania, pups post-pampering may play in the doggy daycare and skip being kenneled or caged while they wait for mom or dad to pick them up. A groomer will take care of fleas, clean your dog’s pads and clip its nails. Ask that they clean dogs’ eyes, ears, trim genital areas and even express dogs’ glands to avoid future discomfort.

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Exercise and Play
Warren G. Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way Northeast
Seattle, WA
(206) 684-4075

All dogs need daily exercise and socialization, and Warren G. Magnuson Park provides both. Seattle has eleven off-leash dog parks, but Magnuson is the largest. The park provides nine fenced acres with large, open areas, scenic trails and size-based play areas. Smaller dogs may run and play safely in Magnuson Park’s separate small/shy fenced dog area located just to the south of the main entrance kiosk.

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Dental Care
Eastside Veterinary Dentistry
17025 Woodinville Redmond Rd. Northeast
Woodinville WA 98072

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri to Sun – closed

Good dental hygiene is as important for dogs as it is for their owners. Plaque and tartar build-up can lead to health problems ranging from bad breath to painful metabolic diseases. To help prevent problems, owners should include tooth brushing in regular grooming routines, and give them dental bones to chew on. Should a dog develop a serious problem, a trip to a veterinary dentist may be in order. With less than 100 board-certified veterinary dentists in the United States, Seattle residents are fortunate to have one in their community. Dr. Allen Matson at Eastside Veterinary Dentistry provides an extensive range of services including cleanings, oral surgery and restorations.

Related: Best Dog Grooming Places in Seattle

Kristy Stevens-Young is a freelance writer in Seattle. Her work can be found at