One of the first known documented stories of the Thai Ridgeback Dog describes the animal as a dog which would fend for itself. The Thai Ridgeback Dog was contstantly in search of food for its survival. Although you may feed your dog on a regular basis, you will find that the TRD's instinct to find food remains strong. So while it may be bothersome when your dog is pawing through garbage, sitting near the kitchen table, or trying to find a snack, keep in mind that they are only following their survival instincts, and be patient while working to gently correct this behavior.
...constant availability of food can lead to an overweight dog...
Some owners allow their dogs to eat all day by leaving food in their bowls at all times. This constant availability of food can lead to an overweight dog. Treats and snacks add up in calories as well. To check your dog’s body condition, do the "rib test." Run your hands on either side of your dog's rib cage. You should be able to feel the outline of the ribs. With an overweight dog, you might not be able to make them out at all. On the other hand, if the ribs are too prominent, your dog is underweight. In either case, visit the vet to rule out any health problems. Dogs may gain or lose weight with illness. You may see other symptoms; for example, dogs suffering from kidney problems will also urinate and drink more and may vomit and be depressed.
Your vet can recommend dietary modifications or special foods for an overweight dog, probably an exercise program as well. It’s vital to get an overweight pup back to a healthy weight since overweight dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart problems, cancer and other serious conditions. Keep track of all the extra bits of food given outside of mealtimes, and be more stingy in giving out treats. Underweight dogs, too, are at a higher risk for many types of illness due to their reduced ability to fight infection. Decreased reserves of fat and energy also lends to poor healing ability. Underweight dogs may need dietary supplements to bring them back into good health.
Your dog requires a minimum daily amount of six essential elements: water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. Your vet can help you pick out a good commercial dog food, or monitor and assist you in creating a homemade diet. Always read store-bought food labels, and remember the following:
Animal proteins are digested more easily than soy and other vegetable proteins in general.
You do not need to feed a dog as high a volume of food if it is easily digestible. Also, the more digestible a food, the less stool will be produced.
Keep in mind that a sick or stressed dog may need more protein.
An unbalanced diet too rich in carbohydrates and/or fiber can cause constipation, bloating and other digestive problems, as well as excessive elimination. Keep in mind that foods high in vegetable proteins are also high in carbohydrates.
Fats keep skin and coats healthy and provide energy. Even an overweight dog needs a certain amount of fat in his diet.
Food may become rancid that has been sitting on the shelf for too long. Food treated with chemical preservative's such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin will last for up to 18 months, whereas vitamin E and other natural preservatives will keep a food's nutrition sound for six to eight months.
A diet lacking in vitamins can lead to problems such as a weakened immune system, a greasy coat, bone disorders, thyroid problems or behavioral changes, to name a few.
Never give your dog mineral supplements unless prescribed by your veterinarian.
Water keeps the bodily processes flowing. Make sure fresh, clean water is always available.
To monitor your dog’s health, do a quick scan during your weekly grooming session. Check the whole body, from nose to tail, and look for signs of illness such as matted fur, swelling or unusual discharge. Nose secretions should be clear, and his pulse — taken by pressing your fingers on the inside of his upper thigh — should fall within the range of 50 to 130 beats per minute, depending on the breed. In addition, check for dehydration by twisting the skin of his shoulder. A healthy dog's skin will snap right back.


Start your dog off early in the tub. Train your dog to allow themselves to be bathed and reward them continuously while washing them, but remember that most dogs will probably be keeping an eye open for a way to escape.
Before you wash your dog, brush your dog thoroughly.
Use vet-prescribed ophthalmic mineral oil or a drop of eye ointment to protect his eyes and cotton balls to gently plug his ears.
Be prepared for the occasional wet shake-off during the bath, and dress accordingly.
In warm weather, outside bathing will keep your bathroom floor from being soaked.
Fill the tub or wash basin with warm water before you corral Spot. The water should reach to just past his hocks. (Or, for outside bathing, you can simply use a hose.)
Using a sponge, foam them up using a dog shampoo that has been approved by your vet. If your dog has a specific problem, such as an extra-oily coat, you may need to use a medicated shampoo, available through your veterinarian.
Work the shampoo into your dog's fur from head to tail, paying special attention to known flea hangout spots, such as the neck and in between the toes. Keep the warm, soapy water away from his mouth.
Rinse your dog off, then shampoo again. Be sure to completely rinse the coat of any residue, and towel dry.
Do not bathe your dog more than once every month or two. Bathing too often can lead to a dry, brittle coat and scaly, flaky skin. If your dog runs into a skunk, there are odor-removal products on the market, available at pet-supply stores, intended to get rid of the eye-tearing, strong odor, but you may still be left with the lingering scent for a few weeks.