Being a responsible dog owner is more than providing your dog with food and water. Many unwanted behavioural habits and medical problems displayed by dogs that come in to Staffie and Stray Rescue are a result of irresponsible ownership. It can sometimes be tricky to reverse these problems and could also affect the dog finding a new home. For example, not everyone would want a dog who is on medication for the rest of their life. Not everyone would want a dog that is aggressive towards other dogs. This guide provides some information on how to be a responsible dog owner. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions. We are happy to help!
To keep a dog physically healthy and to avoid muscle wastage, dogs need to be exercised daily, ideally twice a day, whatever the weather. You should carry poo bags with you to clean up after your dog. You could be fined for not doing so.
Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet too! A mix of tinned food and dry food is balanced and nutritious. A water bowl should also be placed somewhere that is easily accessible for the dog. The water must also be kept clean and fresh.
Your dog is entitled to a soft cosy bed, especially for those rainy days! The bed should be placed in a quiet place for the dog to settle and out of direct sunlight.
The more a dog is socialised with people and other animals, the less likely s/he is to develop behavioural problems. The best way to socialise your dog is to attend local dog training classes. At these sessions, your dog will learn some manners as well as learning how to meet and greet other dogs. A dog who has never interacted with other dogs before will react to unknown situations in ways deemed as inappropriate by other dogs and humans.
What’s Up Doc
Don’t wait until your dog becomes ill before registering with a vet. Animals need annual vaccinations, and a trip to the vet to get boosters done also offers a good opportunity for a complete health MOT.
You should use flea and worm treatments regularly on your dog to prevent illness and disease. De-worming treatments should ideally be used every 3 months and de-flea treatments just as regularly. If there are fleas about, they will find a way onto your dog’s coat. Whether they exist as eggs, larvae or young fleas they will soon invade your pet and their environment, your home, too. Use additional treatments should you find fleas in the home or on your dog. There are several different types of flea and worm treatments so do speak to your vet for advice about the most suitable for your dog.
It is definitely worth considering taking out pet insurance. This will soften the blow of any unexpected vet bills. There are several different policies; it is worth checking them all out and tailoring them to your dog’s needs. It is useful to know what your policy will and will not pay out for. Make sure you thoroughly read through your chosen policy, as the world of insurance can get complicated!
Dogs who are adopted from Staffie and Stray Rescue go to their new homes with four weeks’ free insurance from Petplan. If you have adopted a dog from us and extend this free cover to a full policy, Petplan will donate 10% of the cost of the premium to Staffie and Stray Rescue, as well as 10% of the cost of the premium each year the policy is renewed.
At Staffie and Stray Rescue, all our dog’s come spayed/neutered. In the rare occasion that puppies come into the rescue, all rehomed puppies must come back to the rescues vets to be spayed/neutered when they are of age.
Overbreeding and overpopulation of unwanted dogs is a huge problem in the UK. As a responsible pet owner, it should be in your best interest not to add to the problem. Neutering is a very simple procedure for male dogs. Spaying is much more invasive and requires a longer recovery period, though studies have shown that spaying prevents urine infections and reduces the likelihood of developing cancers.
Do not let your dog out on their own as s/he may be mistaken for stray and could be picked up by a council dog warden or a member of the public. Often, if the dog isn’t claimed within 7 days, they are taken to a rescue centre and put up for rehoming. Tragically, many dogs are put down due to a lack of rescue space.
We advise never to leave your pet tied up outside a shop alone as he may be mistaken for a lost dog, or could even be stolen. Don’t ever think that this sort of event would never happen to you. It can and does happen every day.
Always ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date before taking him/her outside. The dog becomes vulnerable to picking up disease and infection if they are not vaccinated yearly.
You should consider your dog and your dog’s needs when you plan a holiday. Only ask friends/neighbours/family members to look after your dog if you are confident they will take care of him properly. Those taking the responsibility of looking after your dog should also be confident in this temporary role and know the dog well. Leave detailed notes for the carer, such as your dog’s daily routine, diet and any medical requirement. You should also let the carer know which vet your dog is registered with in the event of an emergency.
Extra safety tips: Put a temporary ID tag on your dog’s collar with the contact details the carer and let the microchip company who manages the database know the temporary carer’s contact details.
If your dog is travelling with you, contact the microchip provider and inform them where you will be staying. If your dog goes missing, you’ll have peace of mind of knowing that when the dog is found, the company will be able to contact you.
If you are considering boarding kennels, visit the facility beforehand to check whether it is suitable. Ask lots of questions, such as how many daily walks do the dogs get. Word of mouth is the best recommendation and you’ll need to book up well in advance, especially at peak holiday times. Some rescue centres also have kennels especially for boarding, so do check out local rescues in your area.
Most dogs happily co-exist with children if they have lived with them from an early age. In particular, Staffie’s have been nicknamed ‘the nanny dog’ as a result of the breed’s affinity with children. Remember though, it is equally important that children are taught to respect animals and are not allowed to treat them as toys. With rescue dog’s their background is not always known, so it is advised that you keep this in mind when you bring the dog home and there are children in the home.
Pets need their own space, so children should not disturb your dog when he is sleeping or eating. Never leave a dog alone with children. Always supervise interaction to ensure children do not tease or overexcite a pet.
Man’s Best Friend
Rescuing any animal is a hugely experience and heart-warming experience. We love a happy ending here at Staffie and Stray Rescue – A success story never fails to bring a tear to our eyes! We have taken in Staffies from all sorts of terrible backgrounds and it never fails to amaze us how loyal and trusting they are, despite going through tough times, they are ready to love another human companion. We highly recommend rehoming a rescue dog – The dogs are eternally grateful for your love.
However, don’t forget – It is important you feel ready for and understand the commitment of taking on another life which will be totally dependent on you. Take the time to think about your lifestyle and how you can accommodate a dog in your life. Consider factors such as environment (for example, do you have a secure garden so the dog can’t escape?) and financial factors (consider the costs of food and veterinary bills that are required).
If you are ready to meet your new best friend, contact us today!