Lifestyle

All You Need to Know As a New Dog Owner in the UK

Dogs are such amazing creatures, and you’re reading this blog probably because you love them. Perhaps, you’re looking to own one or already do. You want the best for your dog, so there’s every reason to get yourself up to speed on the recommended way to care for them.

There are dog laws in the UK that address several things, such as what to do when walking with them outdoors. To ensure you do the right thing at all times, read on.

Controlling your dog in public

  • Collars and leashes

Being your best friend, your dog would cherish walking with you outdoors. Yes, you can walk with your dog to a grocery shop and have them in your car, but some rules apply.

UK dog laws mandate that your furry friend must wear a collar and ID tag when out in public. These must contain your name, address, and postcode as the dog’s owner. There is no law mandating you to keep your dog on a leash whenever they’re outdoors. However, it’s ideal to do so and keep the pet close to you. Some specific places such as children’s playgrounds and designated roads require you to keep your dog on a leash when around such locations. Ensure you lookout for such signage.

  • Cleaning up after your dog

You must scoop your dog poop in public places. It’s therefore advisable to always carry a poop bag when you’re out with your dog. If you can’t find a rubbish bin to dump it in, it means you have to take the poop bag home.

Leaving dog faeces in public is illegal. Poop contains parasites that can spread to grass and cause damage to livestock that feeds on the grass. It can also cause illness to people.

  • Dogs and livestock

It’s a criminal offence to allow your dog to go out of control, disturbing people and livestock. A farmer is allowed to kill any dog that attacks their livestock. The police may seize your dog if they hurt someone. You can even go to prison for six months or be fined if your dog is dangerously out of control.

So it’s wise to train your dog to listen to you when you call, get used to other animals rather than attack them, and to stay close to you always.

  • Microchipping

It’s now a legal requirement for every dog owner in the UK to have their dog microchipped once they’re eight weeks old.

This will help your dog to easily be found when they stray. If your dog is found without a microchip, you have 21 days to get them chipped to avoid a fine.

Dog nutrition

You’ll often find different kinds of dog food when you visit a pet shop. However, not all kinds of foods are great for your furry friend. Some foods contain both synthetic and raw ingredients.

For your dog’s optimal health and vitality, get raw dog food based on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet (BARF Diet). The best raw dog food UK will contain 100% natural raw ingredients like raw meat and bones, which is precisely your dog’s natural diet. There is no artificial colouring, grains, or other additives, as these aren’t close to your dog’s natural needs.

Most importantly, dog nutritional requirements vary with the dog’s age. Puppies eat more than adult dogs. Shocking, isn’t it?

Puppies require higher protein levels than adult dogs. Typically, puppies should derive 22.5% of their calories from protein sources, while adult dogs need only 18% of their calories from protein. Protein is intrinsic to dogs’ developmental process, and their foods are specially designed for that.

Puppies will suffer from developmental problems if raised on adult dog food. So look out for puppy food and adult dog food when shopping. However, you’d often find dog food labelled “appropriate for all life stages.” You can feed these to any healthy dog, but best to keep them from senior dogs.

Also, puppies should eat at least 3-4 times daily, whereas older dogs do better with 1-2 meals a day. As your puppy grows, you’d have to transition from puppy food to adult food gradually.

Grooming your dog

You don’t have to bathe your dog often as they don’t so much fancy getting wet; once a month is perfectly fine.

If you discover your dog’s fur is beginning to look like an old, ragged coat, it’s time to trim it with a pair of scissors. Start from the neck and move down to the tail.

Brush your dog’s coat to remove dirt and dead hair, get rid of tangles, and keep it looking lush.

Also, trim their nails because overgrown nails may cause walking difficulties. It will take some time for your dog to get used to these processes. A great trick is to have treats on the ground to keep them happy.

Neutering/spraying

Neutering is the surgical act of castrating a male dog, while spraying involves removing the female’s ovaries. Although there are risks, the benefits of neutering your dog far outweigh the risks. It’s also recommended you do so. Most vets carry out the procedure — it is quick and painless.

Seeing the vet

There is no law regarding the timeline to visit a vet, but you should take your dog to one whenever they look sick. It’s also a great idea to have your puppy vaccinated and schedule periodical checkups with a vet near you.

Caring for your dog when you’re busy or away from home

Dogs are energetic creatures and love to play. When you’re away at work or busy with chores, your dog gets bored. So it’s an excellent idea to tire out your dog with exercise before your leave them. A tired dog is a happy dog.

You can also engage your dog with pet toys such as bones that they can chew forever.

Illegal dogs in the UK

There are four dogs illegal to own in the UK:

  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

Dog sales

It’s illegal to sell/purchase a dog under eight weeks old in the UK. So when you purchase a dog, it must have already been microchipped. Else, ask the seller to do it before you pay for the dog.

Caring for a dog can give you this incredible feeling of responsibility. Knowing you’re doing it right makes it a whole lot more fantastic. And note that every rule you follow is in the best interest of your dog.

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