- Dogs Home
- Care & Advice:
- - General Care
- - Aggression
- - Barking
- - Identification
- - Livestock
- - Neutering
- - Obedience
- - Toxocara
- Dog Fouling
- Dog Licences
- Council Dog Service
General Dog Care
Every animal has five basic rights which must be upheld by its owner. These are:
- Freedom of movement
- Food & water
- Psychological freedom
Freedom Of Movement
Dogs should not be curtailed for prolonged periods of time in a kennel, outhouse or chained up at the bottom of the garden.
Food & Water
Dogs should have constant access to clean, fresh water. Dogs should be fed at least twice per day. Puppies should be fed three to four times per day until they are six months old. Pet food manufacturers now produce breed-specific formulae which have a certain balance of protein and vitamins for that breed, e.g. working dogs such as Siberian Huskies, Greyhounds or Border Collies require higher levels of protein than an average pet. Check dog food packaging for more details.
Dogs should have a clean, draught free building or kennel which protects them from the elements. Kennels should be cleaned out every other day to ensure the dog's continued good health.
Depending on breed, dogs should receive anywhere between 30 minutes to one hour's exercise every day.
Like humans, dogs become stressed if unable to express their frustration. A stressed dog behaves in a way that will attract human attention. Barking, biting and chewing furniture, chasing, digging, and forgetting its house training are all behavioural signs that the dog is not at ease with its environment.
Depending on breed, some dogs will require regular grooming. It is advised that dogs be brought to a professional groomer if they have long, difficult coats. In summer be on the lookout for fleas and ticks on your dog's scalp.
Insuring a dog will cover owners against third party liability; should your dog damage property or individuals the insurance company will be liable for damages. Insurance also covers the prohibitive costs of some veterinary treatment. Always check the individual policy beforehand. Please note: routine treatment like spaying and neutering, and treatment during pregnancy are not included in most policies. Consult your vet for more advice.
Prevents the misery of unwanted litter. Promotes the health and well being of your pet. See our dedicated Neutering section for further details.
Five serious infectious diseases threaten a dog throughout its life: canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus infection and two forms of leptospirosis. Prevention by vaccination is therefore important (a combined vaccination giving full protection against all five diseases is normally advised), and must be started in puppyhood and maintained by annual booster doses throughout the animal's life. Older dogs that are rehomed from a shelter are normally vaccinated and the new owner will receive a certificate of vaccination. Vets normally advise that older dogs with no vaccination history do have a complete primary course followed by annual booster.
Never leave your dog in a car in warm weather. A dog is incapable of dealing with high temperatures inside a car, and will quickly suffer from heatstroke and eventual heart failure. Even parking in the shade is risky - the sun could move directly overhead. When traveling always ensure your pet is safely contained in a travel harness or kept in a traveling crate strapped into the back seat. Any dog allowed to wander loose in the back of a car is lethal baggage because in an accident a dog will hurtle, torpedo-like, often maiming itself, the driver, as well as proving a danger if ejected through the windscreen.
Worming and Toxocara
See our Toxocara section for further details.