There is probably no greater unifier between strangers than dogs. As a nation, we’re fanatical about them and want to give them the best lives possible. That being said, there’s often more to looking after a dog than many people initially think when taking one on. Sure, walking and feeding are essential but there is so much more to looking after your dog.
We’ve broken down five of the less obvious considerations when looking to look after a dog properly.
It’s really important to be present with your dog from a young age to introduce them to other dogs and people. There are no shortcuts here, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough time to spend with your dog. Dogs should interact with other dogs – just as we need to interact with other people. Major impacts of socialising from a young age include reducing fear and anxiety as well as excessive aggression.
Get them vaccinated
Caring for your dog’s health also means trying to prevent avoidable health problems from developing. Dogs should have yearly vaccinations and regular worming and flea treatments.
Learn how to deal with aggression
If your dog shows signs of aggression Firstly, stop whatever it is you are doing. Aggression is your dog’s way of warning you to stop. Secondly, stand still. A movement towards an aggressive dog may be interpreted as a threat, and movement away may make him/her bold enough to bite. Stand still until the aggression stops or walk slowly away, backwards or sideways, looking down and sideways.
Talk to your dog reassuringly. When the aggression stops, think about what caused it and avoid doing the same thing again. Dogs should never be punished for showing aggressive behaviour as this is likely to make them more fearful. If your dog ever shows fearful or aggressive behaviour, you really should get some professional advice. Talk to your vet who will be able to refer you to a clinical animal behaviourist.
Be mindful of poisoning
It’s every responsible owner’s nightmare if his/her pet is poisoned. Make sure you’re prepared for such an emergency. Preventing your dog from coming into contact with poisonous substances and treating any accidental poisonings quickly and appropriately is an important part of responsible pet ownership.
Never ‘watch and wait’ in any case of suspected poisoning. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, act fast and contact your nearest vet for advice immediately. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity, high temperature and blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and tremors.
Get some insurance
Pet insurance is an extremely important consideration for all dog owners. It will help guard against unexpected veterinary fees and allow you to provide the best health care for your dog. There are a number of different policies and providers to choose from, but not all pet insurance is the same. Some policies limit the amount of time or money that you can claim and that’s why we recommend that you don’t choose a policy based on price alone. You should also consider Third Party Liability cover in case your dog causes an accident.
That can sound a bit scary and intense on first reading! But as long as you practice what you preach with your dog and get into good habits early then you’ll have nothing to worry about. After all, dogs are more than worth it!
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