Responsible dog ownership

Water
A dog’s needs a constant supply of clean drinking water.

Meals 
One or two meals a day are suitable for most dogs.

Food 
Feed a nutritionally balanced diet.

Exercise 
All dogs need exercise. Intensity guideline – 5 minutes walking for each month of age, e.g.: Dog 6m = 30 minutes of casual walking

 

Family 
All dogs want to feel part of a family. Their natural guarding instinct is heightened if they feel part of the human pack.

 

Leadership
Dogs need a pack leader. It should not be the dog itself.

 

Position in the “family pack” 
The dog must know that it has the lowest rank in the family pack.  

 

Company and affection 
Dogs need company and affection. Be aware that excesses in this department can bring about separation anxiety.

 

Sleeping area
A dog needs to know where its place to sleep is.

 

Routine vaccination and deworming 
Follow your veterinarian’s advice.

 

Stimulation 
Dogs need to be stimulated through play, training and interaction.

 

Signs of possible illness
A dog that is not ill will display the same demeanour day in and day out. Seek veterinary advice, if:

 

Your dog refuses to eat and appears unwell.

When your normally active dog becomes lethargic or does not want to get up.

When your dog vomits and shows signs of distress.

Its motions are very loose, it has diarrhoea, or is straining.

There is a loss of blood.

Your dog has heatstroke.

Your dog is unconscious.

Your dog is having or has had a fit or seizure.

Your dog appears lame or shows discomfort in one or more limbs.

Your dog shows discomfort and is excessively irritated.

In public 
Always have your dog on a leash.

 

Routine examination 
Rub your hands over the dog’s body to check for seed pods, thistles, ticks or lumps and bumps.

 

Grooming
Your dog needs to be groomed regularly.

 

Bathing
When necessary and in moderation.

 

Respectful dog ownership

Dog owners keep their dogs on a leash in a public space for a reason. Do not approach another dog or person without asking for permission first.

 

Country code
Keep your dog on a leash where there are other animals (horses, sheep, cattle, etc.). Always consider the safety of yourself, your dog and the other animals.

 

Straying
Keep your gates closed at all times and ensure that your dog cannot escape from your yard.

 

Fouling
Do not allow the dog to foul in inappropriate places. If fouling does occur, always clean up after your dog and dispose of considerately.

 

Vacation
Do not leave your dog unattended if you go on holiday. Your vet and your own contact details should be known by the person looking after your dog. 

 

Toxic substances
Be aware of toxic substances such as plants, foodstuff, chemicals, etc. in your dog’s environment. Take appropriate steps to avoid exposure.

 

Equipment
A dog’s leash should be totally secure and attention should always be paid to worn stitching or a clip that may not be reliable.

 

Children
Children should be warned:

Never to make sudden movements close to a dog.

Never to scream or suddenly yell close to a dog.

Never to lunge at a dog, particularly when it is asleep

Never to put their face close to a dog’s face.

Never to eat food close to a family dog.

Never to tease or pull a dog’s body or coat.

Never to ignore a dog’s warning growl.

Never touch a dog whilst it is eating.

Always to wash their hands after playing with a dog.

Always to ask permission before touching a dog they do not know

 

Dogs and stationary vehicles 

Dogs must always be given ample ventilation when left alone in a vehicle. During extremely hot weather even if windows are left wide open it may not provide sufficient ventilation for your dog. In such conditions, dogs should not be left in vehicles. Also remember, most dogs are territorial when they are in their vehicle and might become aggressive when strangers put part of their body in through a window or door to assist your dog. Make sure that your dog is never left in a situation where its health and safety is compromised.

 

The psychology of vehicle travel

Dogs or puppies should gradually be accustomed to vehicle travel by taking the dog out in the vehicle for very short training journeys.

 

Safety

Especially around swimming pools and in the driveway. Make it a habit to go on your hands and knees to check whether your dog is lying underneath the car. Merely calling his name does not suffice as your dog might be fast asleep and not hear your call.