A new dog owners’ guide to responsible petcare in Somerset
April 7, 2021
Given the number of people who got a dog during lockdown, National Pet Month could not have come at a more appropriate time for this article. What better time to gently remind new owners that along with their wonderful new companion come a few responsibilities?
Our head vet Andy and the team have listed a few need-to-knows for new owners . We’ve also included a link to a really useful download from the Dog’s Trust, that we think you might want to share.
So, here are our top tips on how new dog owners can meet their responsibilities safely and appropriately…
1. Understand your legal responsibilities
Owners must ensure their dogs are safe at all times and not creating a nuisance or danger for anyone else. Your dog must have a collar with an identity tag that must clearly state your name and address (and ideally a phone number). It is also now a legal requirement that your dog is microchipped. Finally, don’t forget that, according to The Highways Act, dogs must be suitably restrained when travelling in cars.
2. Guidelines to follow when you’re out
• Always carry poo bags, use them & dispose of used ones appropriately
• Plan ahead to check that your dog can accompany you wherever you’re going
• Never leave your dog unattended in a car – even in winter
• Keep your dog on a lead whenever there’s livestock within sight
By showing consideration for the communities around Somerset, you’ll be ensuring everyone enjoys your pooch as much as you do.
3. Professional healthcare for your dog
We obviously believe that some level of veterinary care is essential for every dog. If you’ve taken the trouble to register with us, then you can expect us to keep your pet’s vaccinations, worming, flea and tick treatments up to date during regular check-ups. If you know someone with a dog who’s not registered with a vet, then why not share this story with them.
4. Home healthcare
There are certain things you can do at home to keep your pet in good condition between check-ups. Grooming your dog helps to keep their coat clean and healthy. Dental hygiene is important too, so teaching your dog to have their teeth cleaned is worthwhile. Getting your dog used to being around people, handled, brushed and if needed, having their nails clipped, encourages their socialisation and can be a great way to bond.
5. Maximising your dog’s wellbeing
Providing a healthy, happy, safe and secure environment is an investment that will pay you back handsomely, so understand that …
• A ready supply of fresh water for your dog is essential
• Feeding them a balanced diet, will provide for their nutritional needs
• Giving your dog their own bed in a quiet spot gives them a chance to relax
• Dogs benefit from having a basic structure to their day. Try and stick to the same routine for feeding, toileting, playtime & walks.
• Dogs are social animals, so, find out what type of contact your dog likes and enjoy regular time with them.
Those are just the basics, don’t forget the team at Garston Veterinary Group are here for advice whenever you need it, just drop us a line on 01373 452225 or pop in. In the meantime, please do share this article with any new dog owners you know and let’s mark National Pet Month by helping everyone enjoy their new furry friends.