Re­mem­ber, a dog is a gift for life

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

WITH the fes­tive sea­son com­ing up some peo­ple may be con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a dog as a gift.

But prospec­tive own­ers are be­ing re­minded that a dog is for life not just for Christ­mas.

West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil has is­sued im­por­tant ad­vice for any­one con­sid­er­ing buy­ing one.

A pet dog can be­come a great part of any fam­ily, but own­ers have a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Cllr Kevin Wright, port­fo­lio holder for health and com­mu­nity safety, said: “Peo­ple should re­mem­ber a dog is for life, not just for Christ­mas, and by law they must be re­spon­si­ble dog own­ers.

“If peo­ple fol­low our ad­vice their pet will be a friend for life, and not just a nov­elty gift.”

Dog own­er­ship can be ex­pen­sive and a new pet could live for 15 years or more.

Costs in­clude food, in­sur­ance, toys, a col­lar with tag, a lead, and train­ing classes as well as the cost of the pet.

A dog owner’s main re­spon­si­bil­ity is to pro­vide a lov­ing home.

Prospec­tive own­ers should con­sider the amount of time they will need to leave a dog on its own as some breeds and age groups would cope bet­ter with this than oth­ers.

Dogs need to be safe, well-be­haved with peo­ple and other an­i­mals.

Own­ers should look into train­ing their pets.

All dogs should have a bal­anced diet and ac­cess to wa­ter at all times.

Vet­eri­nary care is es­sen­tial, in­clud­ing vac­ci­na­tions and flea treat­ments.

Own­ers should groom, and check pets’ teeth, ears and nails on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Dogs also need time and at­ten­tion.

Some breeds will need more men­tal stim­u­la­tion and ex­er­cise than oth­ers, or they may be­come de­struc­tive.

By law, own­ers must keep their dog un­der con­trol at all times and pre­vent it from be­ing a nui­sance to oth­ers.

A dog must be clearly iden­ti­fied, wear­ing a col­lar and tag with the name and ad­dress of its owner, and since April 6, 2016 it has been the law that dogs must be mi­crochipped.

Peo­ple think­ing about buy­ing a dog should con­sider which dog – if any – suits their fam­ily and life­style.

They should ask friends about theirs, and find out more about breeds they like.

Neu­ter­ing a dog can have health, fi­nan­cial and be­havioural ben­e­fits.

Un­neutered dogs can dis­play un­wanted sex­ual be­hav­iour and ag­gres­sion.

Neu­ter­ing could en­cour­age calmer, more pre­dictable be­hav­iour which makes them a more suit­able fam­ily pet.

Those con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a pedi­gree should only go to a rep­utable, li­censed breeder and avoid puppy farms and back­yard breed­ers.

Visit www.rspca.org.uk for more in­for­ma­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the coun­cil’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties re­gard­ing dogs see www.west­lancs. gov.uk/dogs.

A dog can be an ideal fam­ily com­pan­ion, but make sure you know what is in­volved with own­er­ship be­fore you buy one

Cllr Kevin Wright is­sued ad­vice

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