For newer dog owners – Basic Products
UK animal welfare charity the RSPCA (1) have a fact sheet giving loads of useful advice on dog care. The following information echoes some of their tips on how to organise yourself product & service wise:
- A good vet – for micro-chipping, vaccinations, neutering, advice and treatment for illness/injury
- Pet health insurance (vet’s bills can sometimes be extremely expensive, depending on the condition)
- A bowl for always having fresh, clean water
- Worming products – ask your vet for suitable brands
- Flea control products – again, ask the vet
- Good quality dog food
- A correctly fitted dog lead
- Fencing for your garden to prevent the dog escaping
- A pooper-scooper device & plastic bags to clear up dog mess when out walking
- A dog brush, for daily brushing, especially for long hairs
- Teeth cleaning products (but they still need regular dental check ups at the vet)
- A bed of some description and their own blanket
- ‘Helpers’ for you – a good kennel or dog sitter for when you are away on holiday or unable to provide companionship (dogs need plenty of company)
- A good dog trainer – dogs need caring, expert training to allow harmony between them, other dogs, other animals, and humans
For other information we’ve put together for this site on buying the best collars for your dog, there is a section on the newer designs in Cool Products – Dogs & Cats. Click on it on the right hand side to read about the new, kinder design dog collars to stop dogs pulling, safety release collars and tracking collars in case your dog becomes lost.
There’s also a round up of some useful products to make life better for you and your pooch – pooper scooper bags, visibility aids, buoyancy aids for nautical dogs, anti stress products & vetinary acupuncture, some useful grooming products, car safety, and teeth cleaning
Dog Licences & ‘Dangerous Dog’ Laws
Don’t forget: get a dog licence if your country requires one. In the USA, the ASPCA advises dog licences should be attached to collars. In the USA, many many states require one by law. The ASPCA website has an incredible detailed list of topics on many aspects of dog behaviour, care and training (2). There are also various different “dangerous dog laws” from state to state, we strongly recommend seeking professional advice if these are of concern to you. In Canada, the situation is similar. In both countries, you are strongly advised to check with local authorities on these laws . For Canada, you may find a not for profit organisation, the Dog legislation Council of Canada helpful (3). Another source of good advice is of course the vet.
Dog licences were legally abandoned in England, Scotland & Wales in 1987 but were still required by law for every single dog in Northern Ireland at the time of writing (cost £5 or £2.50 for owners aged 65 and over). Be aware of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, covering all the UK. This law banned breeding or selling certain types of dog. It also placed legally enforceable restrictions on owners. At the time of writing, it appears to cover pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, the Dogo Argentinos, and the Fila Brasileiros and cross-breeds of them. However, the wording also stated “any type of dog appearing to him [the secretary of state] to be bred for fighting” or any dog “dangerously out of control in a public place”. Anyone interested in this law is strongly advised to seek professional advice for its actual correct interpretation.
IMPORTANT: yep, you guessed it – this is the bit where we respectfully advise:
No information here can ever be a substitute for professional vetinary or legal advice – all animal health issues should be taken to the vet, all legal queries to a lawyer. We regret we therefore cannot answer any individual queries on dog care or as mentioned above, any laws relating to dogs.Thank you.
Posted by Norma De Bloom
1. RSPCA. Pet care- Dogs. [online]. RSPCA.
2. ASPCA. Virtual Pet Behaviourist. [online]. ASPCA
3. Dog Legislation Council of Canada.