DOG OWNERS HANDBOOK
Owning a dog as a pet is a very wonderful experience, dogs own up to the name as man’s best friend. Having a pet dog has so many advantages like guarding the home, vermin control, act as guide for visually impaired individuals, assist in fulfilling family duties and so many other positive functions. It also poses health benefits like assisting with a healthy lifestyle. Dog owners are discovered to live longer healthier lives than other pet owners. This is not far fetched, the activity of dogs and their effectiveness keeps their owners up and running, this makes their owners live healthier lives with lower blood pressure, lower anxiety and a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
A family that has a pet dog is known to have a sense of value instilled in the children towards other living things. It is essential to have a good knowledge of dogs in general, this aids-the choice being made in the type of dog purchased. There are so many breeds of dogs and it is a known fact that different dogs have varying unique potentials which give them their signature. You must consider your needs and your family needs before purchasing a dog, a failure to do this will make you at a disadvantaged position, this will negate the purpose of getting such a dog as all family members will be unhappy as well as the dog.
There are some factors to consider before choosing a dog :
- The size of your garden.
- Available time to spend with your dog.
- Basic needs of the chosen breed.
- Setting aside time for exercising and training the dog.
- What happens when you travel.
- Will you allow the dog within your premises or will the dog always. stay outside in the garden.
- The ages of your children. And some other factors of concern.
To own a dog means to have some responsibilities to fulfill, there are welfare requirements which are the provision of appropriate and adequate food, water, living conditions and exercise. The dog must also be registered and micro-chipped which is a very reliable way of identification, even when the dog is lost or stolen, it can still be found. It is important to have a vet doctor who will monitor the dog’s health closely and strictly, providing advice on health and behavior of your pet dog. It is a very common act to de – sex a dog, this act is beneficial to the dog in so many ways as it prevents or reduce to the barest minimum the chances of having urinary infections and critical health issues like cancer.
It is critically important to have a dog trained for its purpose, this helps in fostering a stronger bond with your pet dog. Obedience training can start at any age, it’s different from some trainings like social exposure training and security training which have specified ages for effective training. This has some steps :
- Train your dog at home
- Star classes with others at a local obedience club
- Employ a private dog trainer
There are a list of commands that are needed for the dog to be effectively trained:
- Walking on a loose lead
It is essential to always discipline the dog immediately it displays an inappropriate behavior, a delay will keep the dog wondering the purpose of the punishment, events like this can make your dog very cautious around you and this might lead to lose of trust which is difficult to build. While in the house, it is necessary to set up some boundaries for your dog. The dog should be familiar with some prohibited areas and some areas which might also be considered as its private space,
The area regarded as the dogs private space should have a dog bed which enables the dog to be relaxed and secured, this bed should also serve as a waiting room for the dog when it’s time to eat. Other areas of concern is training the dog on how to receive visitors, discouraging digging in the gardens, learning what is acceptable for-chewing, toilet training and some other necessary points of concern. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to safely contain a dog within the confines of his/her private space, the property must be properly fenced. If not, the dog exiting the property can bring a legal action against the owner and the dog seen to be “wandering at large”
Caring For Your Dog:
In order to effectively care for your dog, there are a list of responsibilities to fulfill:
- Maintaining a good and proper Diet
- Weight control
- Avoid poisons; some food ,plants and chemicals are toxic to dogs
- Vaccination and worming
- Flea control
- Bathing and grooming
- Travelling (attending to all guidelines and principles as stated by the local laws
- Adequate training
- Period for exercise
- Veterinary attention and
- Picking up after your dogs.
Children have a very close relationship with pet dogs, the level of companionship and affection is always noticeable. It should also be understood that children between the ages of 1 –4 are never to be left alone with dogs without supervision. Children of this age range normally are too young to know the appropriate behaviors to exhibit while playing with dogs, this makes them more prone to dog attack than any other age range. Children should never be left alone with even their own dogs, his is to reduce the possibility of having any negative occurrence. A lot of information about dogs should be made readily available to children, his will aid a positive interaction as they will be aware of what to do and what never to do with/around a dog.
A visit to the dog park is essential for the dog’s social well – being but a list of rules are available as guide;
- Children are not allowed in dog parks
- Puppies under six months aren’t allowed in the dog parks
- Dogs than are proven healthy are the only dogs allowed in the park
- Always clean up after your dog
- Only confident and social dogs should attend
- Deserved dogs are more suited the park environment
- Dog owner is responsible for the dog’s behavior
Dog and the Law:
The law was propounded for three major reasons;
- To encourage responsible dog ownership
- Reduction in public nuisance by dogs
- Promotion of effective management of pet dogs
The law further touches some other related parts like wandering dogs, restricted areas for dogs, removal of dog waste, barking ,dog attacks and a host of other objects of concern.
Dog owners are regarded as the best pet owners as they stand to enjoy so many entertaining and health benefits that is uncommon to other pet owners.
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