Can you provide what your dog needs?
Consideration of the Human-animal bond indicates the many ways that having a dog can bring positive benefits to you and your family. It is, though, a two-way process, and it is important your dog benefits too!
Being a responsible owner means you must provide for your dogs needs. In the UK this “duty of care” is a legal requirement under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (2006).
In summary these include:
- Love and Companionship
- A good balanced diet
- Adequate exercise appropriate for the size and type of dog
- Protection from disease
- Protection from injury
- The avoidance of obesity
- The avoidance of stress and anxiety
- Proper and consistent behavioural education
- Provision of the appropriate treatment in the event of injury and disease
- Permanent identification and provision of security if lost
- Provision of care during holidays
The what your dog needs section considers these in more detail and so follow the link to find out more.
All of these things are essential, but all come at a cost. The RSPCA estimate that the annual cost to ensure good health and welfare of a dog is approximately £650.00. It is important that you assess your finances and calculate if you can afford this expense before you acquire a dog. Remember, too, in general the bigger the dog the more food it will eat, the greater the dose of medications etc it will need so the higher is the cost to look after it.
Choosing a dog
So before deciding which type of dog to acquire, you need to consider factors relating to your own lifestyle and situation as well as characteristics associated with particular types of dog. There are over 200 different breeds of pedigree dogs, each with their own characteristics. There are lots of variables about the dog and your individual lifestyle that need to be considered. Follow the link to the choosing a dog section to find out more. The trick is to match you and your characteristics with the right dog. In that way everybody will be happy and your family will enjoy and benefit from having a new member.
You and your veterinarian
A key person in ensuring the health and welfare of your dog is your veterinarian. They can advise on a whole range of positive health care issues and so ideally, you should have already built up a relationship with your veterinarian before this illness or injury has occurred.
Finding the right veterinary practice that suits you is essential. Not all practices are the same nor do they offer the same services. So follow the links to find out more and help you choose.