Think: your dog has needs, too

While having “man’s best friend” by your side can be rewarding and fun, pet ownership also comes with great responsibility and some cost...

Dogs tend to live for 10-13 years, so you must take caring for him/her seriously. In fact, the law states that “you must provide proper care for your pet”, even if they’re only under your supervision on a temporary basis

Just like you and other human members of your family, your dog needs good food, adequate shelter and somewhere comfortable to sleep…

Keep your dog hydrated and cool
All dogs, especially those with flat faces, are highly susceptible to heat stroke. A survey from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) found that 48% of vets in the UK treat dogs for heat stroke during the summer months.

In addition, RSPCA run their Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign every year to remind owners not to leave their pets in the car during hot weather. Simply leaving the window open and a bowl of water in the car is never enough. In fact, dogs can die in a hot car in just minutes. This is because their bodies don’t have the capacity to cope quickly enough with the change in temperature.

So if you take your dog for a ride in the car during summer, you must make sure your destination is suitable for dogs, because you should never leave them alone in the car. You should also stop frequently to let the animal out of the car to drink, cool off and go to the toilet.

Symptoms of heat stroke include heavy panting, rapid heart rate, and excessive salivation. However, as we point out in an earlier blog post, if your dog is overly thirsty, this could be a sign of ill health. Follow the link for more information.

Give your dog a healthy diet
Just you like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet to stay fit and healthy. The kinds of foods – and how much – your pet needs depend on their age, breed, general health and how active they are. If your dog eats more food than necessary, he/she may become overweight and their health may suffer as a result.

We advise asking your vet for advice on what to feed your dog. If you feed your dog prepared food, you should always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you feed your dog treats, it’s important to make sure that they have suitable ingredients. For example, the treats made as part of a new Webbox initiative all have ingredients that are created especially for dogs.

By contrast, some dog treats contain sugar and can cause dental issues. Meanwhile, grapes, chocolate, raisins, and almonds can cause ill health in dogs, so you should always avoid giving them these foods.

Provide somewhere suitable to sleep
Dogs need between 12-14 hours of sleep on average, but yours may need more or less depending on their age, size and breed. All animal welfare organisations recommend that you never leave your dog to sleep outside. Provide your dog with a comfortable, quiet and dry place to sleep to help them grow and stay healthy.


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