9. Health and disease
- A dog's health and welfare must be checked daily.
- Veterinary advice must be promptly sought for dogs showing signs of injury, ill health or distress.
- Dogs must be treated regularly for internal and external parasites and vaccinated against common diseases.
Recommended Best Practice
A daily health check should include examining the dog's physical condition, checking for signs of ill health and that the dog is eating, drinking, toileting and behaving normally.
It is important to present sick or unwell animals for examination early in the course of a disease as this gives the veterinarian the best opportunity to quickly return the pet to good health.
Dogs should receive an annual health check by a veterinarian. More frequent checks may be needed for older dogs or those with health/welfare problems.
Regular vaccinations for the control of contagious diseases, as well as preventative treatments for internal; i.e., worms and external fleas and parasites, need to be provided to safeguard the general health of dogs. Frequency of treatment depends on the product used and life stage of the dog.
Puppies need more frequent worming than adults.
Dogs should receive regular check ups of their teeth for dental problems and be fed raw bones or appropriate chewing/ teeth cleaning substitutes.
Dogs should be groomed regularly. Severe matting of the coat is not acceptable and may require a veterinarian or groomer to deal with this. To avoid matting of the coat. dogs require regular grooming, shampooing and routine clipping.
If a dog's claws are too long they should be trimmed. However, if not done correctly it can cause bleeding, so a veterinarian or an experienced person should undertake this procedure. Flea allergies, mange and other skin disorders need special treatment.
Keep any poisons or chemicals used in the house, garden or work place stored away from areas to which a dog may have access. Most common poisonings of dogs result from access to snail or rodent poisons.
Dogs with white hair, or white or non-pigmented nose, eyelids or ears can be prone to sunburn and skin cancers. Precautions, such as use of sunscreen, should be taken to protect the vulnerable areas or alternatively keep dogs indoors or in shaded areas during the heat of the day.