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Dog health and welfare

Dogs feel pain and have similar pain thresholds to people. Make sure your dog is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Health logo © RSPCA publications and brand 2010

 

Ensure your dog is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

 


Our top tips to caring for your dogs health

  • Dogs are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases and other illnesses. Check your dog for signs of injury or illness every day, and make sure someone else does this if you are away.
     
  • Individual dogs and breeds show pain and suffering in different ways. A change in the way your dog behaves can be an early sign of illness or pain. If you suspect that your dog is suffering consult a vet promptly.
     
  • Take your dog for an annual health check. Ask your vet for advice about vaccination, neutering, and parasite treatments (e.g. fleas and worms). Many vets provide health care packages that work alongside your pet insurance to help manage the costs of check-ups and preventative treatments. Ask your vet if they offer a health care scheme.
     
  • Get your dog neutered, unless they’re intended for breeding and provisions have been made to care for both parents and offspring. Seek the advice of your vet to ensure they are suitable for breeding in terms of their health and personalities.
     
  • Before deciding to get a puppy or dog, find out what health and behaviour problems they have, or may be prone to as a result of breed, how they’ve been bred and cared for. Some breeds have exaggerated physical features that can cause pain and suffering, some are also prone to inherited disorders/diseases.
     
  • Avoid harsh, potentially painful training methods. Only use positive reward-based training.
     
  • Dogs are inquisitive and may put themselves in danger. Be alert to risks that may affect them and take sensible precautions to keep your dog safe. Keep your dog under control, and don’t let them stray.
     
  • Only use medicines that have been prescribed for your individual dog.
     
  • Ensure your dog’s coat is kept in good condition by grooming them regularly. If you’re unsure how, seek advice from a pet care specialist.
     
  • Make sure your dog can be identified, ideally via a collar and microchip (ask your vet for advice), so that they can be treated quickly if injured, or returned to you if lost. By law, a dog in a public place must wear a collar with their owner’s name and address either on the collar or on an attached tag.

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