Millions of people live with dogs across England, and for good reason. Dogs are man’s best friends. But although cats will likely leave home if they are not being treated well (not always), dogs are pretty passive and will often put up with abuse, as they are so loyal. So along with training, socialising with other dogs in the park, and other issues, it’s a bit of minefield on dog welfare. But dogs are wonderful, so here are links to posts within the site and a few other places.
See companion animals tag for help on pet food, vet care, lost pets and shelters. Make your garden safe for pets to avoid toxic plants (just brushing a tail against houseplants like lilies or sago palm an harm). Avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch (and fresh compost) near pets.
- See this book to keep your dog safe, which covers toxic foods and plants, hazards to avoid, info on safety collars (that break in emergencies but keep safe on the lead) and an illustrated first aid guide. Best used with flush tags (hanging tags can get caught).
- Both at home and on walkers, see how to train your dog with kindness. Most cases of disobedient, runaway or aggressive dogs can be rehabilitated, using kind and positive methods.
- Although essential oils are often more dangerous to cats, many are toxic to dogs. Never use essential oils (beauty, cleaning, candles) near pets. Air rooms before allowing pets back in (don’t use aromatherapy oils, if pets sleep on your bed).
- See how to find good dog walks (info on safety and the Countryside Code, to keep dogs and livestock safe). Or if you can’t walk dogs yourself, find out where to find volunteer dog walkers.
- Live with an old pooch or two? See resources to help senior dogs.
Not all dogs like wearing coats. But if yours does, Ruffwear Sun Shower Raincoast is one of the better brands (have your vet help you fit it, if you are not sure how). Designed with PVC-free waterproof fabric, it has an over-sized storm collar that folds up for added protection, a reflective trim and side release buckles. Wash in cold water, gentle cycle and hang to dry.
- See clothing brands that help animals. Buy your tees, hoodies and beanies from here, to fund charities that help street dogs and dogs/cats used for the meat trade abroad.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Puppy mills are in the process of being banned, thanks to Lucy’s Law, which recently came into effect, after the rescue of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who was born into a Welsh puppy farm (she was rescued after being poorly treated). Puppy mills are like factory farms for dogs, with a grim life for pups who are not vaccinated, loved or cared for. The law was thanks to vet Marc Abraham, founder of PupAid, who launched a 10-year campaign that is now inspiring others across the world.
The simple truth is that when you buy, a shelter animal dies. Shelters are full to bursting with over-bred dogs, yet 25% of them are purebreds (just google your breed choice, to find specialty shelters who can help).
Read Rescue Dog Tales (the story of 16 dogs who found forever homes (written by the author of Arthur, about an Ecuadorean dog who followed a Swedish adventure racing team, and eventually became adopted, where he rolls in the Scandinavian snow). The book led to the author founding Arthur Foundation, which is helping to bring better animal welfare laws in Central/South America. Also read 101 Rescue Puppies, the story of one mighty foster mum!