Caring for a dog combines a source of enjoyment with responsibilities of dog ownership. This introductory guide will help you learn how to look after a dog or a puppy.
Note: As the owner or the person responsible, failing to meet the welfare needs of a dog or causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, can result in a prosecution.
Like most pets and animals, dogs also display differences in behaviour and in needs. In fact, no two dogs act the same!
Even so, getting an insight into the behaviour of dogs will help you better understand your pet.
This guide is a basic introduction into the welfare of dogs. You will find dog care tips and health information on owning a dog.
But, several factors influence how well they thrive in their environment. You will have to consider their dietary requirements as well as the general health and welfare needs of dogs.
Are you looking after a dog?
Dogs are active creatures and they will need some space to assert their existence. Even so, your dog will also appreciate regular interaction with people and with other animals.
As a rule, canines are not solitary animals. Thus, most dogs would prefer not to be alone or left by themselves for long periods in the day time.
You must provide your pet with access to clean water. They will need some kind of meat-based dog food. Dogs also need regular grooming, much like horses, although it's a lot easier to groom a pet dog.
Caring for a dog at home means providing them with somewhere to carry out their biological functions. So, you should make sure they have access to a place to relieve themselves.
You may need to care for a pet dog for up to 13 years. Even though some live will live for longer, thirteen is the average lifespan for dogs.
In some cases, keeping an active household pet for that length of time might be too much of a commitment for some families. So, you should consider all the factors that may affect your ability to care for a dog. Owning a dog does not suit everyone!
You should take the size and the location of your property into consideration. Looking after a dog as a pet can be a financial commitment - not to mention the time implications involved.
In case you were wondering:
Caring for a dog can sometimes be an expensive experience. Can you meet the cost of keeping a dog and can you pay for pet health insurance? Dog welfare is most likely to include paying for routine and unexpected veterinary treatment.
It would be wrong to say that all dogs can be 'properly' cared for in one single 'correct' way. Every dog and every puppy is different and has different needs for each situation.
It is the responsibility of the dog owner to determine their precise requirements. That said, caring for canines will mean taking all reasonable steps to ensure:
The full responsibility for meeting a dog's needs rests with the pet owner. So, as a parent or a guardian of a child under 16, you would also be responsible for any animal that your child owns - or is in charge of!
UK law on pet ownership remains unchanged even in a situation where you are unable to care for your dog. Thus, you would need to make arrangements for another suitable person to look after the pet on your behalf.
Even so, the owner remains responsible for ensuring the welfare of the dog, even while they are away. Any person left to take care of your pet pooch would also have legal responsibilities. They would be responsible for some dog welfare during your absence.
You should prepare for a long commitment if you plan on getting a small dog. Use the help guide to get key pointers and check some basic advice before buying a puppy in United Kingdom.
Check the UK rules for controlling your dog in public areas and how Public Spaces Protection Orders work in England and Wales.
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Man's best friend! The colloquialism refers to the close relationship that exists and it highlights the loyal companionship between humans and domestic dogs.
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Dogs Welfare: Tips for Looking after a Dog in United Kingdom