Being a responsible pet owner is not only providing adequate water, food and shelter. Domestic pets are completely dependent on their owners for their welfare. Dogs are loving creatures with emotions and feelings – they feel distress, discomfort and pain just as we do. How to access if you are treating your dog correctly is consider would you like the same being done to you?
A Big Commitment
Giving a home to a rescue animal is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. However, owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. That dogs life will be totally dependant on you – if you can’t make the commitment, don’t have a dog.
Your dog will require fresh water daily and be fed on a balanced diet based on their specific energy requirements. This differs for how much work your dog does, and based on their metabolism.
MORE ABOUT: Dog Nutrition
Daily brushing is good for a dog’s coat. A dog who is free from fleas and ticks, with no skin problems, should only be bathed when necessary and not more than every 8 weeks. Bathed too often, the oil glands will overproduce to compensate the shampoo’s drying effect and result in the dog becoming “smelly”. Brush your dog regularly instead. Check ears for mites once a month as a preventative measure. If signs of fleas or ticks appear, dust the coat well with flea powder. Baths should be given only when necessary with warm soapy water; making sure the soapy water does not get into the eyes. Depending on the breed, some dogs require more grooming than others. If you can’t afford grooming or do the grooming yourself, pick a low maintenance dog as a pet.
MORE ABOUT: Dog Grooming
Regular exercise is an absolutely necessary for a dog. No dog should be exercised from a bicycle. Where possible a dog should be taken to an open space where they can run free. The length of his walks should be suited to his size and to his age. Always choose a pet that suits your lifestyle. Don’t get a high energy dog if you don’t have the time to exercise them. Many dog behaviour issues can arise from lack of exercise.
Socialising & Interaction
Dogs are pack animals who crave companionship. They need affection, love and attention to interact with other beings and exercise their minds and they also need comprehension and empathy. Many dog behaviour issues can arise from lack of socialisation.
Most dogs can be trained to live in your house. If he has to be outside, an enclosed garden is best, in a shady spot, never in the sun. If it is necessary to put him on a chain, a running chain should be used, and certain steps should be taken. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW to tie a dog permanently and a criminal offence to be cruel to any animal. A running lead is setup as follows; tie a strong piece of wire between two points and attach a ring and chain to the wire. This will give space for the dog to run safely without entanglement. The height of the wire from the ground should be greater than the height of the dog. Also the wire should be long enough to give the dog a considerable amount of exercise and freedom while still under control.
Spay/Neuter your Dogs
There are too many homeless animals without adding to the problem.
MORE ABOUT: Spay/Neuter Programme
Should your dog show any signs of sickness – contact a vet immediately. Dogs can be very good at hiding their illness so it is up to you to observe your dog for any abnormalities. Some common signs include:
- weight loss
- lack of appetite
- bloody urine
- difficulty or inability to walk
- pale mucous membranes
- difficulty breathing and persistent coughing
MORE ABOUT: Diseases
Keep an identification tag on your pet’s collar displaying your contact details – this could mean the difference of your neighbour returning your pet to you or turning him into Animal Control.
Registering your Dog
By Government Law, you are required to register your dog. For a one-off payment of $5.00, once the dog has been spayed/neutered, and you show proof of this, you will receive an engraved tag displaying your dog’s unique identification number. This MUST be attached to your dogs collar at all times.
Protect your Dog
Keep your dog safe in bad weather conditions and during annual celebrations which may include firework displays. Do not go out and leave them unprotected if they are afraid or could be hurt. Many dogs escape with fear. It is your responsibly to project them.
Follow this advice and you’ll make a great dog owner. Cherish, respect, care for and LOVE your dog as you would another. Having a pet dog can bring you a lifetime of fun and wonderful memories. Dogs truly make the most wonderful friends.