A-Z of Dog Care

Looking after a dog is a fun and exciting experience but it also comes with a large weight of responsibility.

Keeping a pet happy, healthy and well protected can be as easy as ABC.

is for advice. Obtaining high quality, professional dog advice has never been easier thanks to the Internet and the growing range of pet advisory services on offer.

B is for best practices. Always try to do the very best for your dog with regard to their health and happiness. Shortcuts and half measures rarely deliver positive results and often tend to be a false economy.

C is calm. Dogs can be naughty and they can sometimes do things that make us want to pull our hair out. Always remain calm and considered when training your dog and when it comes to decisions on your dog’s best interests. Many people jump to quickly into rehoming their pets when alternative solutions to the problem could easily have been found.

D is dangerous behaviour. As a dog owner you have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure your dog is well behaved and under control at all times in public. For more information on how to overcome dog behaviour problems you could always seek dog advice online or ask a suitably experienced pet care professional.                    

E is for exercise: All dogs need it and most dogs love it!

F is for food. There is now a lot of research on different types of dog diets and the best feeding practices for ensuring canine health. You might enjoy researching different food ideas on websites or ask your vet.

G is for grooming. When researching a particular breed or type of dog you should be prepared to establish a full understanding of how much grooming work will be required.

H is for hot dogs. They do die in cars. That applies to every dog, every owner. Please bear it in mind and be prepared to report dogs left in hot cars to the Rotorua SPCA.

I is for insurance. No excuses, no dog should be without it. Just because it’s not compulsory like car insurance doesn’t mean you should go without. All dogs are much, much better protected if they are insured. You’ll sleep better too!

J is for jumping for joy! Nothing but nothing, but nothing beats the joy of owning a happy, healthy dog.

K is for kicking bad habits. Dogs learn how to do good things very quickly. For some reason, they learn to do naughty things even quicker! The best way to deal with any problem behaviour or adverse health symptoms in your dog is to address them as quickly as possible. The long term benefits of acting quickly are enormous.

L is for leave it! There are a number of household items and even certain foods which are dangerous and sometimes fatal to dogs. Understand what foods your dog should avoid and how best to prepare your home so it is safe from dangers for your dog.

M is for mouthing. A problem dog behaviour which can sometimes lead to unpleasant encounters between your dog and other people, especially children. Many dogs mouth things as it is one of the only methods a dog can truly get a ‘hold’ of something. As a behaviour, it is one that is best nipped in the bud early. Whilst you may or may not mind the behaviour, house guests, strangers and children can react in a less than positive way to a dog’s teeth meeting with their flesh, regardless of whether it was a friendly gesture on behalf of the dog.

N is for nose. Your dog’s nose is an incredible piece of equipment that can often be under utilised. Playing hide and seek games with your dog is a fantastic way to stimulate their mind and put that amazing nose to good use!

O is for obesity. NZ's dogs are becoming fatter by the year. Keep a careful eye on your dog’s weight. A good tip is only to feed treats which would ordinarily have formed part of the dog’s main meal – so you only ever give the dog the same amount of food during the day but over a more spread out period.

P is for play. All dogs love to play and it is an act that helps them develop socially and mentally. Playing with people is one thing but giving your dog the opportunity to play and social in a safe and protected evironment is worth it’s weight in gold for you and your dog.

Q is for questions. If you have any, ask them.

R is for rewards. Dogs love working for rewards. Positive training methods are well documented to have long-term successful results for dogs of many different personality types.

S is for socialisation. Dogs are pack animals and they love to socialise. Sometimes their owners like to socialise too! Find out where your local clubs are.

T is for teeth. Keep em’ clean. Dogs should have their teeth cleaned on a regular basis. There are a number of ways to do that but your vet will be able to advise you on the various techniques that will help keep your canine’s canines in tip top condition.

U is for unwanted.  Sometimes dogs arrive in rescue centres through natural causes such as owner’s passing away. Very often though dogs are simply abandoned for no other reason that poor decisions on behalf of hasty owners. Please, please, please take on board all of the information about what it takes to maintain a dog in a happy home. Dogs really are a lifelong commitment and they deserve the security of a stable home environment.

V is for veterinary care. As a responsible dog owner you’ll need to have a happy, trusting relationship with a good vet. Never be afraid to discuss any aspect of your dog’s wellbeing with your vet.

is for the world wide web. The Internet. Nowadays there is so much information on dog related issues online. The Internet can be a fantastic tool to help you make friends with fellow dog lovers, research breeds and ask questions on all manner of canine issues.

Y is for yelling. When you do decide to adopt a dog from a rescue shelter why not TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT!

Z is for zero excuses. If you really want to get a dog then now, talk to the Rotorua SPCA there is zero excuse not to look at all the many rescue dogs looking for new homes.