Below is an appendix offering some basic, extra information contained in the work sheets relating to breed diversity and life cycles of cats and dogs with regard to health and hygiene for those responsible for animals.
Dogs, cats and humans require balanced diets comprising food which is of the correct quantity and quality to meet their specific metabolic requirements. Under-nourishment and obesity will cause health problems sooner rather than later for animals and humans alike. Animals and humans often eat food which is unsuitable or not good for their well being. Although snacks may be appreciated and make us feel good; they are not necessarily healthy.
Pet owners often cause nutritional problems for their animals through ignorance. Over feeding and allowing animals to consume human food are common mistakes. For example, chocolate is produced for human consumption but is toxic to dogs.
Animals must have access to their own food and clean water and must have their own bowls which should be cleaned regularly.
Appropriate exercise taken outside of the home is great for the physical and mental well being of dogs and their owners. A regular walk with your dog provides access to fresh air and contact with the wider environment. It also provides the dog with the opportunity to meet other dogs and experience different sounds, sights and smells. Keeping a dog in a fenced garden is not enough as they need additional stimulation to remain mentally fit and healthy. If is also relaxing and stimulating for you, the owner.
When out exercising, dogs should wear a collar with an identity disc and should be micro chipped. They should always be kept on a lead so as not to disturb others or worry wildlife. Care must be taken when allowing children to walk a dog and children should be able to control the animal. Ideally, dogs should never be walked by a child under the age of 16 – this is specially so for a *restricted breed dog as it is against the law for anyone under the age of 16 to walk such a dog; also a *restricted breed dog should always wear a muzzle when out in public and should never be walked on an extension lead. A short, strong lead should always be used.
Dogs learn to enjoy walking on a lead because it symbolizes that a walk is about to take place. An extension lead, properly used, is always useful – but never with *restricted breeds.
Cats like to be provided with stimulation and places to play. For example, exercise them by pulling a string along the floor in front of them and playing with them as often as possible.
Dogs need to be walked outside several times a day to allow them to pee and poo. Responsible pet owners should clear up their dog’s poo using plastic bags or poop scoops and dispose of this in dedicated waste bins – not recycle bins.
Cats bury their own poo if outside or in an indoor facility called a litter tray. Litter trays should be emptied regularly and washed thoroughly. Attention to proper hygiene after dealing with pets’ toileting is an obvious precaution for all pet owners.
Hand washing should take place after stroking/petting/playing with any animal. Dogs and cats like to keep clean and often lick their fur to do this. Cats are particularly well adapted for this with their rough tongues.
*Restricted Breed List of Dogs.
- American Pit Bull
- Bull Mastiff
- Doberman Pinscher
- English Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd (Alsatian)
- Japanese Tosa
- Japanese Akita
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier