When a pet is bought, they need to be given Care to stay happy and healthy enough to respond to their owner, participate in competitions, go on walks, etc. In the Nintendogs games, it generally means washing and brushing them regularly and feeding/walking them every day.
Supplies related to Care can be found in the appropriate "Care" category.
For information about checking a pet's level of care, see Status.
The first and the most simple thing to do is to buy food for the adopted pet. Neglecting them without food or water for too long could reduce friendship with the dog and result in the loss of Trainer Points/Owner Points. Feeding them food regularly every day fills the pet up, and allows them to do various activities. Food comes in slightly different varieties and shapes, ranging from Jerky Treats to Milk.
In Nintendogs + Cats, feeding a pet some food affects their physical performance. Feeding them too much Wet Food will make them overweight and cause them to run slower, while giving them some Diet Food would make them underfed to the point of the pet getting tired easily. Make sure the pet is fed the right food, so it won't get too fat or thin when it performs in contests. Feeding them Premium Canned Food makes them adjust to their Ideal weight-- no matter if they're fat or thin-- but the diet can be expensive.
Cleaning a Pet
When a pet gets dirty, the player will need to either brush or bathe their dog.
- Main article: Bath
Bathing requires the player to purchase shampoo. In the first game, the player needs to buy either Long or Short-Hair Shampoo to cater to the dog's specific coat, otherwise the shampoo won't work that much.
In Nintendogs + Cats, shampoo only comes in one type and works on both long and short-haired dogs. The player can buy Premium Shampoo which makes the cleanliness of the pet's coat last longer, but it goes for a much higher price.
In order for the pet to be washed, the player must use the stylus on the Touch Screen to scrub the pet with the shampoo. Once the pet is covered soapy bubbles, it must be washed all off with the shower so the pet would be clean. If the pet is dirty, the process must be done once more in order for it to have a very clean coat. When the pet is all clean, the coat itself will be all sparkly.
Pets can also be brushed, which is a cost-free alternative to the usual method of washing the pet in shampoo, even though it is more time-consuming. Depending on the dog's coat length, this can be done with the Wire Brush or Rubber Brush/Natural Bristle Brush. Brushing the pet is essential for getting a higher score in the Obedience Trial, which increases the chances of the pet winning a better prize.
- Main article: Tricks
- Main article: Walk
In the original Nintendogs games, Care Books explaining how to maintain the proper health and satisfaction of the dog are included in the player's starting supplies. These books cannot be sold at the Secondhand Shop, nor can they be bought from the Pet Supply or Discount Store.
- In Nintendogs, treats do not have any effect on the dog's hunger level.
- Overfeeding a dog in Nintendogs will not affect their overall health, because there is no statistic for the dog's weight in the original game.