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Responsible Dog Ownership


Owning a dog is a wonderful and rewarding privilege however, with this privilege comes an extensive list of responsibilities.  Caring for a dog requires a continuous commitment of keeping them healthy and happy.  


As part of "How can I be the perfect dog owner" campaign, please find below some useful advice for you to consider before becoming a dog owner. Or if you already own a dog, you may find these tips helpful when caring for your dog.


Read more about Responsible Dog Ownership - English Irish


Ten Commandments of Responsible Dog Ownership (courtesy of Veterinary Ireland)


1. Annual Health Assessment & Vaccinations


  • All Puppies & Kittens should be vaccinated – the diseases vets can vaccinate against can kill!


  • Pets need regular booster vaccinations which can be done at the Annual Health Assessment.


  • The Annual Health Assessment allows your vet to find small problems before they turn into big, serious and expensive ones!


2. Feed the Right Food


  • Your veterinary practice nurses & vets will advise you on what’s best for your pet – that’s why they are here, to help and advise.


  • In general even a good quality dry food works out less expensive per day than tins or pouches and is better for your pet’s teeth.


  • Different life stages and breeds have different nutritional requirements.


  • Be very careful with the amount and type of food you give to a ‘large breed’ puppy – too much can lead to serious joint problems. 


3. Neuter early




  • Neuter early can prevent many medical problems and cancers.


  • Behaviour will be calmer, more predictable, making the dog a more suitable family pet.


  • Prevents the unnecessary costs of unplanned pregnacies and raising puppies.


  • Recovery from the surgery is generally rapid and uneventful.


  • Talk to your vet about the best time of neutering for your own pet.


To find out more about neutering check out the Dog Neutering Fact Sheet and the Cat Neutering Fact Sheet.



4. Pet Health Insurance


  • Pet Health Insurance will cover veterinary costs for illness and injuries your pet may suffer from, and is relatively cheap to take out.


  • Check if your policy has ‘cover for life’ as well as other important benefits. Look beyond just comparing premium costs, and be aware of the limited cover offered by ‘accident only’ policies.


  • Ask if your policy allows for direct payments to your vet if required.


5. Prevent Fleas and Worms


  • Puppies have to be wormed very regularly from an early age; older animals also need regular treatment.


  • It’s much better to prevent fleas and worms than wait for your pet to get them.


  • A large range of the most effective products are only available from your vet or from a pharmacy with a veterinary prescription.


6. Train Your Pet Well


  • Reward positive behaviour.


  • Puppies should be socialised – well socialised dog is a well trained dog.


  • Do not punish your dog.


7. Microchip Identification


  • Microchip identification is the most effective method for permanent identification of your pet.


  • It is safe, practical and effective, and excellent value for money.


  • A microchip can be implanted at any stage and only takes a few seconds.


  • If in any doubt, your vet can help make sure your registration details are correct.


8. Dental Care is Vital


  • Dental Disease can cause your pet severe pain and discomfort and may even shorten their life due to organ failure as a result of the constant bacterial attack on the liver, heart and kidneys from chronic gum infections.


  • Feeding a dry food reduces the incidence of dental disease compared to being fed all wet food.


  • A full dental check is performed at the Annual Health assessment.


  • Teeth brushing is the best way to prevent dental disease.


9. Keep Slim, Fit ‘n Mobile!


  • You should be able feel your pet’s ribs and perhaps see the last few. If you can’t feel them – your pet is too fat!


  • Know your pet’s ideal weight – ask your vet or vet nurse’s opinion, they have plenty of experience of what ‘normal’ is.


  • There is only one way to lose weight – eat less and exercise more!


10. Have Fun!


A true family friend but dependent on owner for companionship and exercise


Perfect dog owner

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