It’s no secret that canines and humans make great companions. A dog will give you unconditional love, loyalty and lifelong friendship. In return, your canine friend asks for food, water, shelter, safety, regular veterinary check-ups and plenty of exercise, along with your friendship. In fact, did you know that if you don’t take proper care of your dog, he is likely to suffer not only from physical ailments but also behavioural problems?
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the frequently asked questions we receive here at our rescue and rehoming centre; and, so far, we’ve managed to answer them all. Take a look at our information below; we’re sure you’ll find it useful for both you and your furry friend.
What do I feed my dog?
A healthy, balanced diet is essential. Take a look at different foods available and check the ingredients. Are they quality ingredients or are they fillers? Don’t go spending lots of money; instead, first ask for some samples and see how your dog reacts to them. Buy the one he likes best. If, however, you are in doubt, discuss your dog’s dietary requirements with you vet. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean, water at all times. Tip: A complete, dry dog food helps keep his teeth clean.
Our dogs here at the DSPCA are fed a Purina Pro Plan dry food only diet as their stable diet. If you would like to add variety to their food, there are lots of healthy options that you can add to their dry food at feeding time, such as:
- Green vegetables e.g. lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots
- Fish oils
- Any oily fish
- A raw or a cooked egg
A Kong is the best toy that you can buy for your dog. It can be used as an exciting and new way to feed them. During the summer months, try adding ingredients to a Kong and freezing it and then give it to your dog for a healthy, fun and time consuming treat. You can freeze things like peanut butter or yogurt mixed in with their dry kibble. Slow feeders are also a great way to make feeding time fun. Making feeding time a game for your dog is great mental stimulation for them and it will make them look forward even more to their food. Kongs and Slow Feeders can be bought at the DSPCA shop.
Hand feeding your dog in the first few days after adoption is a nice way to bond with them in the initial few weeks after you adopt, especially if they are nervous of their new environment, so try make feeding times that bit more interactive between you and your dog.
Every dog is an indoor dog
Owning a dog is not a chore; it’s an experience and we at the DSPCA believe it should enrich your life and that of your best friend, your dog. No dog should ever be left outside unattended. Dogs have been bred by humans to want to be with us all of the time, and if we are not at home with them, they’ll be happiest in the family home as this is where your scent is, their beds are, and where they know that you’ll eventually arrive home to. Dogs left out in back gardens are often stolen or injure themselves from trying to escape. They are also much more likely to bark and annoy neighbours, or destroy things in your garden as they try to find a way out. We know that your dog will be happier indoors so no matter whether you have a Husky or a Chihuahua, your dog MUST be indoors all of the time, unless you are bringing them for a walk or if you’re home and have the back door open for them to go in and out under your supervision.
How often should I bathe my dog?
Depending on your dog’s coat, most dogs do not need to be groomed. Certain breeds are low-shed and therefore will need to be professionally groomed when their hair gets long, but most dogs shed and therefore do not need to be groomed or washed. If they roll in something smelly such a fox poo on a walk, you may need to wash this out, however, if they get covered in muck, it is often easier to let it dry and then brush it out. A nice brushing session on the couch at night can be enjoyable for you and your dog and that’s about as much as you’d need to do! It’s a bonding thing, and it stimulates the natural oils in your dog’s skin. To find the right brush, bring your dog to your local pet shop and ask which brush is best for them.
For bathing, you can pick up a dog shampoo at our shop here at the DSPCA, otherwise any baby shampoo should be okay to use. It is best to bathe your dog in the bath or a sink for a small puppy. Fill the bath up only to their ankles with warm water and wash them with this water and your shampoo. Have someone else with you if possible who can be giving your dog treats and cuddles while you wash them, so they associate bathing with something positive. Do not use a shower head to rinse your dog, as this can be loud and scary. Instead use a cup of water to pour over them to rinse out the shampoo. Speak gently to your dog the whole time and tell them how good they are. Dogs really respond to your voice and they can feel a lot calmer if you are speaking gently to them.