Responsible Dog Ownership
You've taken a dog into your home; now you need to make sure you give him the best life possible.
Dogs generally live for around 15 or 16 years and go through many of the same phases as humans.. puppy tantrums, the terrible twos, teenage dramas and the possible problems of old age. Your dog will depend upon you to help him safely negotiate all these stages happily and healthily.
On a basic level your dog will need good quality food according to weight (our dogs are fed Acana from Pet's Delight) and fresh water available at all times but there are many other things to consider too.
When you dog arrives at his new home it will be an overwhelming experience. New people, new smells, a whole new life. Make sure your dog's bed is somewhere he can feel safe and secure. The type of bed doesn't really matter, it just needs to be a place of safety and security for him if he needs a bit of time out. Make sure he can always access his bed and that he is allowed to rest there for as long as he wants. It's tempting to smother you new dog with love and want to give cuddles all the time but it's important he is allowed his own space and given time to adjust to his new home.
All our dogs will have been vaccinated before leaving K9 Friends but your dog will need annual vaccinations to maintain the protection against disease. All our dogs are vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo Virus and Parainfluenza. This is a combined vaccination known as DHPPi and will protect your dog against these diseases and it is very important to continue with the annual vaccinations as these diseases are common in the UAE. Our dogs are also vaccinated against Rabies which is a legal requirement in the UAE and again should be repeated annually.
Dogs at K9 Friends are treated to prevent fleas, ticks and worms. You should continue this treatment to prevent parasites and the diseases they carry. Worming tablets should be given every three months and flea and tick treatment monthly. Your vet can supply these medications or they can be purchased from a good pet shop.
All dogs at K9 Friends over the age of six months are neutered or spayed to prevent breeding. If you have adopted a puppy you will have agreed to have the dog neutered at K9 Friends vet at around 6 months. There is a huge stray dog population in the UAE and thousands of dogs are abandoned every year. It is vital we do not add to the problem with extra litters of puppies. Neutering or spaying also has various health benefits for your dog.
You should register you dog with a vet as soon as possible. Your dog also needs to be registered with the municipality if you live in Dubai. Your vet can register your dog for you or you can go directly to the municipality vet in Al Khawaneej, 04 289 1114. Your dog will be issued with a coloured tag to wear on it's collar with an identification number on it. These tags are issued annually after the annual Rabies vaccination and are compulsory in Dubai. Other Emirates may have different regulation, please check with your vet.
Most dogs need to be walked twice a day, sometimes more depending on their energy level. In the summer this will mean getting up early to avoid the worst of the heat and also walking later in the evening. It is a legal requirement that your dog is always kept on the lead unless at a designated off leash dog park. You should always carry poo-bags to clean up after your dog and in summer you may need to carry water too. Walks are not just about exercise, dogs love to explore the world around them and walks give plenty of opportunity for mental stimulation. If you are out of the house a lot or cannot give your dog the exercise they need, there are many good day care facilities around where you dog can run freely in a supervised environment and socialise with other dogs.
Your dog should be kept on a lead at all times to prevent accidents or loss. All dogs should be wearing their collar when out of the house with the municipality tag attached and an identification tag with your phone number on it. If you dog escapes from the garden or is lost at any time it is vital that you can be contacted if it is found. It is also a legal requirement in the UAE that all dogs are microchipped for identification. Any vet can provide this, All dogs at K9 Friends are microchipped and this is another way to identify your dog if it becomes lost.
If you are going on holiday, make sure you have planned who will be looking after you dog. If you need your dog to stay at a pet hotel, make sure you have booked this in advance as many facilities get booked up well in advance at busy holiday periods. Always check any pet hotel or pet sitter very carefully to make sure it is suitable for your dog.
If you know you will be leaving the UAE, start making plans to relocate your dog well in advance. Different countries have different regulations so do your research or contact a pet relocation agency to find out the specifics for your destination. Some countries require the process to be started several months prior to travel so do not leave it to the last minute. Always keep your dog's vaccinations up to date, not just for their health but so that they can legally travel without delay.
Relocation can be costly so it is never too early to start saving. There are many good pet relocation companies in the UAE who can help you with the paperwork required and help you plan the most efficient way to relocate you dog.
Welcoming a dog, especially a rescue, into your home is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. It is a long term commitment however and you need to be sure that it is the right decision for you and your family. Remember you dog will be totally dependant on you for the rest of its life.