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Being a responsible owner: what you cannot ignore if you have a dog

Being a responsible owner: what you cannot ignore if you have a dog

Having a pet involves a responsibility of many years. Find out what things your dog cannot lack so that it can develop a healthy and natural life of its kind.

Many people feel tender when they see a dog in a petshop, veterinary or even in a video; Her little face is so tender, that it gives us the feeling of company and protection, then the impulse arises to want to take one home. This is especially the case during the festive season, which leads to many people deciding to give a puppy as a gift.

But the reality is that, although pets can provide us with many moments of happiness and love, they require enormous care and attention, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the races, sizes or characteristics.

Therefore, from the NGO World Animal Protection, we want to give you several tips that will help you be an exemplary owner to give your best friend all the love he deserves.

How do I know if I am taking good care of my dog?

The Dra. Melania Gamboa, Manager of International Campaigns of World Animal Protection, argues that the key to knowing if we are taking good care of our dog (as well as any animal), is to think about whether we are taking care of the five animal welfare needs:

  • Need for a suitable environment.
  • Need for an adequate diet.
  • Need to be able to show the normal behavior of the species.
  • Need for accommodation in the company of, or apart from, other animals.
  • Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury or illness.

Health care and disease prevention

To be sure that our dog will be healthy and with the aim of preventing any disease, it is essential assess whether we are meeting the five needs. If we respect them, the animal will probably not get sick, although it is true that other issues could arise, be it due to viruses in the environment, contact with other animals or age issues.

However, fortunately, all of this can be avoided through prevention with vaccines and deworming.

Depending on the country, there will be more classic vaccines, such as rabies, which is mandatory once a year), parvovirus and distemper, as well as others that will be given or not according to the veterinarian's recommendations, depending on the country, climate or medical history of the dog.

Do "dangerous races" really exist? What role does responsible tenure play?

Today, the term "dangerous dogs" or "dangerous breeds" and the care that must be taken with them is heard a lot. In fact, recently in Argentina, a controversial situation arose from an attempted robbery at a home. There, two pit bulls lived that reacted by attacking the thief in order to protect their territory. However, because the intruder received a strong attack, not only was the owner charged for the "aggressive response of the dogs", but also, the rumor spread that the dogs would be euthanized.

Thanks to more than 300,000 signatures collected in just a few days, the local prosecutor's office backed downsince animals cannot be slaughtered just because; much less to protect their territory and private property. This fact leads us to think about what importance is given to the lives of animals and the role of people who have a dog in charge.

Many countries in the world have developed legislation to prevent bites from "dangerous breeds", as happened with these pit bulls. In Argentina, for example, there is Law 14107 and 4078, which seek to protect the health of people and other animals, requiring owners of Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Dogos, Dobermans (among other breeds) to comply with a certain protocol, such as For example, the use of mail and muzzle, the inscription of animals in a registry, among other points.

The question is: Do these laws work and prevent bites? Do they favor responsible ownership by owners?

The AVMA (Veterinary Medicine Association) maintains that the laws proposed in several countries to stop the bites of “dangerous breed dogs” are vague and in vain since they do not produce any change, since the number of bites remains exactly the same.

Of course, the bite of a pit bull is not the same as that of a chihuahua, but the act of biting does not depend on the breed, but on how the animal was raised, if there has been an intentional cross to increase aggressiveness, if it has socialized with others dogs since childhood, among some other issues. The problem is not the dog, but what the human being encourages.

The question then is what role do human beings play, not as responsible owners, but as responsible individuals.

Dr. Gamboa adds that “it is key to understand that all dogs bite, and they warn before doing it, only that sometimes, we cannot understand the message. The issue of dangerous races, to be eliminated through legislation, does not work since the blame is placed on the race and the responsibility is removed from the human being. Dogs can bite because they are afraid or because they are protecting their territory, their food, their owners, their marriage or their property, as happened with the two Argentine pit bulls.. It's to be expected! And that doesn't depend on race. "

It has been shown that in countries where dogs are mistreated, aggressiveness is greater, and therefore bites, too, so that it all depends on our behavior; not generate any trauma, respect the five freedoms, give love, affection and let him behave naturally.

What Dr. Gamboa recommends, if you have a dog that is more aggressive, is to take it to an ethologist (expert in animal behavior) in order to learn the reason behind the aggressiveness and for the owner to learn to handle the dog, always providing well-being . In the meantime, use a strap and a muzzle, especially if this is what the legislation requires.

In addition, if there are children for example (particularly under 7 years old), it is advisable that there is always an adult to supervise the situation, as there are studies that show that children cannot detect canine signals and that only the physical presence of an adult prevents bites at those ages.

We hope that all these tips have been useful to you! And remember: the life of an animal is as important as ours, so if you decide to have one, respect it and take care of it as it deserves.

By Jezebel Handel

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