DOG 1 Choosing The Right Dog - Blue Cross

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DOG 1Choosing theright dogThe charity dedicated tohelping sick, injured andhomeless pets since 1897.

Choosing theright dogA dogcan bethe moone ofst rewathe mording ost dempleasef pets,andingthink fibut als. Beforrst. Is tlife andoeyhoeure reallyacquireyour hotme, anfor at la dogd can y ime for a dogeast 15ou comyears,in yourpossiblmit toy moreyour do?g2

Before you startyou can provide care for the rest of thedog’s life, please do not get one.Please consider the following:Remember, you will be responsible forbehaviour – your dog must be taughtgood manners and be well socialised.Should unforeseen circumstances ariseand you can no longer care for the pet,a dog with bad manners might face anuncertain future. Does everyone in your home wanta dog? Do you have the time to provideexercise – walks and play, in allweathers and on dark nights, etc –and give adequate daily attentionsuch as grooming?Which dog should I choose? Do you have time for the trainingand socialisation a dog will requirethroughout life? You will be legallyresponsible for your dog’s behaviourso ensure training and socialisationare done correctly.Before you take on a dog, consider whattype suits you best. For example, a terrierwill have a different temperament from aherding breed, and a guarding breed willbe different from a toy breed. There aremany books and magazines devoted togiving information on breed differences,so conduct your research carefully andin depth before committing. There arealso breed rescue societies, dedicatedto particular breeds, and websites givinggood information on dogs. Can you afford the vet’s bills, includingannual vaccinations and regularworming? Other expenses includeproviding a proper diet to keep yourdog in good condition. Also, boardingkennel costs need to be considered ifyou have regular holidays where yourdog will be unable to accompany you.In the case of a crossbred dog,remember it is more difficult to judgewhat the predominant behaviour traitmight be, so get as much informationabout the individual dog as you can.However, many crossbreeds carry thebest traits of both parents, and makewonderful companions. Can you provide a safe and securehome for the dog for life?Dogs of all ages are appealing, so it iseasy to get carried away with the ideaof taking a dog home without thinking ofthe consequences. Your dog may be withyou for 15 years or more, so considerthe time, effort and money required.Your dog’s health and happiness will beyour responsibility, so if you do not thinkIf you are considering a puppy,see the pet care leaflet, Caring foryour puppy (D2).3

Taking on an adult dogloving, long-term homes for dogs thathave been the unfortunate victims ofcircumstance. Please remember thesedogs may have had a bad start in life,most frequently through no fault oftheir own.An adult dog may be a better optionthan a puppy, because the dog willprobably be house trained and moresettled. Your dog will probably havepassed the chewing and destructivestage of life, and habits – both good andbad will have been formed! However, doremember that an adult dog will reflectprevious upbringing, so there may besome problems to try to overcome.Do not be swayed by the appearanceof the dog – a dog’s temperamentand previous history are the importantfactors. For example, a rescue dog maynot like cats, or may not be able to livewith children. If the dog has behaviourproblems (for example it cannot beleft alone for long), the staff at theshelter should be able to give adviceand assistance in order to overcomethe problem.If you are taking on an adult dog, thechances are it will be a rescue dog fromone of three sources: a charity such asBlue Cross, a private home where theowners are unable to look after the dogany longer, or a breed rescue club.Taking a dog from a private home ismore problematic. The person you aregetting the dog from may not be thefirst owner, and the dog may have hadseveral homes, so you will not get alot of information about background.If you go to a charity centre, be guidedby the staff. They know the animals intheir care, and have a lot of experiencein matching dogs with the right homes.The aim of any rescue centre is to find4

Also, if any problems arise, it is unlikelyyou will be able to return the dog or getongoing help and advice.For pure breeds, a breed rescue clubwill be able to give you advice aboutthe specific breed, and about anyindividual dogs they are trying to findnew homes for.Choosing your dog Do you have a full veterinary history?What illnesses or operations has thedog had? What vaccinations havebeen given and have you seen proof,such as vaccination certificates?Also make sure you have a writtenagreement that taking the dog issubject to a satisfactory veterinaryinspection within 72 hours of yourdoing so. What help or advice is availableshould there be veterinary orbehavioural problems after you havetaken the dog?Having done your research, andspoken to the staff at the kennels(or to the previous owner if you aregetting a dog from a private home),answer the following.If yours is a rescue dog, make sureyou find out as much information asyou can. If you are adopting froma charity or a breed rescue club,check if a pet insurance cover note isavailable to cover any early, unforeseenveterinary costs. Have you been given sufficientinformation about the dog’s historyand likes and dislikes? Have you had a chance to take thedog for a walk and play togetherso you can see what the dog is likeaway from the kennels, or awayfrom home?5

In addition, microchipping isrecommended as a meansof identification. If you are going away and cannottake your dog, boarding kennels canbe booked a long time in advance.In addition, they will need to see anup to date vaccination record. Exercise is essential to your dog’swell-being, both on and off-leadwalking. How much exercise isrequired will depend on the type andsize of dog you have, but one goodwalk every day is the minimum.Other points to remember Veterinary treatment can beexpensive, so pet insurance is highlyrecommended. There are manydifferent policies available, so speakto your veterinary practice. Training is ongoing. You can teachan old dog new tricks, so investigatetraining classes in your locality – vets’practices, rescue centres and dogwardens will have details. It is still a legal requirement fordogs to have a collar and tag givingthe owner’s name and address.6

If you research carefully andmake sure you are preparedand able to spend the time,money and energy on yournew companion, you will reapthe rewards.If, however, you have problemsor need advice, organisations such asBlue Cross, or the Association ofPet Behaviour Counsellors may beable to help.7

Happy, healthy petsBlue Cross advice leaflets are packedfull of top tips to help owners with theirpet questions. They cover a wide rangeof topics, from training a puppy to caringfor an older cat. So if you need somesupport to help you with a pet problem,whether it’s about a dog or a degu, we’rehere for you.You can read and download our leafletsonline at www.bluecross.org.ukVisit our website to take advantageof all its features, including: blog posts from Blue Cross experts latest news events near you pets needing new homesOr you can join in the chat on ouronline communities:www.facebook.com/thebluecrossukBlue CrossBlue Cross has been dedicated to thehealth and happiness of pets since 1897.Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured –we do what's needed to give every peta healthy life in a happy home. We're acharity, so the more help you give us,the more help we can give pets.How you can helpBlue Cross doesn’t receive anygovernment funding, so we rely onthe generosity of pet lovers like you.There are lots of ways you can helpthe sick, injured and abandonedpets in our care, like making adonation, fundraising for us orleaving us a legacy.Please call us on 0300 777 1897or visit www.bluecross.org.ukwww.twitter.com/the blue crossTelephone: 0300 777 1897Fax: 0300 777 1601Email: d charity no: 224392 (England and Wales), SC040154 (Scotland)M6601/0112Blue Cross head officeShilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF

dog in good condition. Also, boarding kennel costs need to be considered if you have regular holidays where your dog will be unable to accompany you. you provide a safe and secure Can home for the dog for life? Dogs of all ages are appealing, so it is easy to get carried away with the idea of taking a dog home without thinking of the consequences.

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