Caring for your Dog

Obedience Training: This is a gentle means of giving a pup or dog the guidance it needs to prevent the development of unacceptable behaviour. It is a constructive, progressive process which is good fun for both dog and owner. Basic obedience training is the key to having a well behaved dog. Once trained, the dog is more controllable, more dependable and happier in itself as it has a better idea what is expected of it. The effort is small but the benefits last a life-time.

Dogs in Cars: Dogs love riding in cars, but on a warm day the temperature in a parked car can reach danger level in a matter of minutes, even with partially opened windows. With only hot air to breath, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or death. Don’t kill your pet with kindness. On hot days, leave him at home.

Emergency Treatment: If your dog is overcome by heat exhaustion you must lower his body temperature immediately. Get him into the shade and apply cool water all over his body. Let him drink small amounts of cool water and get him to a veterinarian quickly. It could save his life.

Dogs and Children: Young children must always be carefully supervised when around animals. They must learn never to tease the dog but to treat it kindly and with respect.

Exercise: The daily outing is the high point of your dogs day. Suitable exercise for his size and breed is essential for his physical and mental wellbeing. It is your together time for play and socialisation and its good for you too.

Feeding

Most adult dogs thrive on commercially prepared foods, but at the same time they do enjoy some variety. Follow feeding instructions on tin or packet, and ascertain your dogs ideal weight, as like people, dogs differ in their dietary needs. A stew of cooked meat with added rice and vegetables is nourishing and economical. All dogs need access to a little grass which they eat from time to time to maintain their natural digestive balance. A bowl of fresh water must always be available.

Important

Never feed your dog raw sheep meat or raw offal of any kind. Everything that comes from the inside of an animal carcase, such as liver and heart, must be well cooked, preferably by boiling, before being fed to a dog. This is a legal requirement to prevent the dog from becoming infected with the hydatid tapeworm which can seriously affect humans. Most dogs love a bone, but avoid cooked bones and never give dogs chicken, chop, fish or rabbit bones. The only safe bones are brisket and big raw beef shank bones which do not splinter.

De-sexing

An unspayed female dog can produce two litters of puppies a year. Large breeds have big litters – maybe ten or more at any one time. They make a lot of work, cost a vast amount of money to feed, and finding homes for them all is difficult, often impossible. Un-neutered male dogs make up the largest proportion of impounded dogs. Be a responsible dog owner and have your dog desexed as soon as it is old enough – around six months of age. You will improve its health, minimise aggressive behaviour and the tendency to roam. You will have a far better companion and you will also help to alleviate the stray dog problem.

Accommodation

Your dog is now part of the family. Give him his own special place in the house and provide a bed somewhere free of draughts and near the centre of family life, without being in the way. At times when you need to leave your dog outside the house he must have access to suitable shelter which in most cases means a properly constructed kennel of suitable size. It must be both waterproof and windproof with a wooden floor raised from the ground. Never allow your dog to sleep on concrete for any length of time, even in summer. Protection from the heat is also necessary.