Dogs are wonderful pets with very specific needs that must be met if they are to be healthy and happy. PFMA is a member of the Animal Welfare Education Alliance and we believe that owning and caring for a pet is a big responsibility. We recommend all owners read about their duty of care, as outlined in the Animal Welfare Act, and understand about their pet’s five welfare needs.
COMPANY AND BEHAVIOUR
Dogs are known as a man’s best friend for good reason – they love human company. However, it is important to make sure that the type and size of dog suits your family and lifestyle – and that you treat your dog well.
Dogs are sociable animals who also enjoy the company of other dogs. They need regular exercise and play. If your dog’s behaviour changes you might want to check with your vet that he or she is not ill.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
All dogs should be registered with a vet and vaccinated against life-threatening diseases. Your vet can also advise on worming and treatment for fleas. Although you are responsible for keeping your dog’s teeth plaque free, your vet can check its mouth for signs of oral disease.
It’s very important to be able to identify your dog by its collar and microchip. You should also seek professional advice on neutering and pet insurance.
As an owner you should regularly check your dog is healthy and happy. You can do this by monitoring if there are any changes in eating, drinking, toilet habits and his / her behaviour or appearance.
Dogs can suffer from obesity and it is very important to monitor your dog’s body condition. At the PFMA we have developed some excellent tools to help pet owners keep an eye on their pet’s health. Click here for our dog size-o-meter, which you can print off as a guide.
If you are concerned about your dog’s health, we advise you see your vet.