Frequently Asked Questions and General Information
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Before You Adopt
There are several things you need to know before you make the decision to adopt a dog. The average dog lives for 10 to 15 years and will cost its owner between $10,000 and $20,000. Dogs require a substantial investment of time and money.
In addition, you need to consider the size of your backyard, who will be responsible for caring for your dog, (training, exercising and feeding), and who will look after it while you are away. You should also consider how a dog will impact other lifestyle decisions, such as having a baby and moving.
Dogs need to be fed a well-balanced diet to maintain health, vitality and body weight in the correct range for their breed and age. Factors such as size, age and life stage, activity level, medical requirements and climate impact the diet required by a dog. Your dog should have access to fresh, clean water 24 hours a day.
If you adopt a puppy, they should be fed at least twice a day between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months. Adult dogs (6 months and older) should be fed at least once per day. The quantity you should feed your dog depends on its breed and size. If you are unsure about how much to feed your dog, you should consult your vet, as obesity in dogs causes serious health problems.
The following substances are toxic to your puppy/dog:
- Raisins, nuts and grapes
- Garlic and onions
- Rat bait
- Snail bait
Dogs should be fed dry dog foods, raw bones or pet products, such as synthetic bones, regularly for good dental health. Cooked bones should not be fed as they can splinter and lodge in a dog’s throat or intestine, causing serious health problems.
Dogs must be provided with a weatherproof sleeping area, and shelter from sun, wind and rain, preferably inside. Kennels must be large enough for the dog to stand, turn around and lie comfortably. Comfortable bedding free from fleas must be provided for your dog.
Before you own a dog, you need to ensure you have:
- adequate yard space and fencing
- enough time to care for the dog
- the ability to pay for required food and medical expenses
Dog enclosures/runs need to allow dogs to move around freely, to urinate and defecate away from sleeping and eating areas and be cleaned daily so that enclosures are free from droppings. If you live in an apartment with no back yard, you should consider which type of dog is best for you or if you should
really keep a dog at all. If you are at work all day and your dog will be at home all day by itself, you should consider how much time outside of work you can spend with your dog giving it the care it needs. Dogs are social animals with feelings and should be treated as members of your family. If you go on vacation regularly, you should consider the average cost to house your dog at a boarding kennel. All dogs admitted to a boarding kennel must be current on all vaccinations.
In addition to the minimum standards outlined above, there are legal requirements to owning a pet, which set out the offenses for failing to properly care and provide for a dog. If you mistreat your dog, you may be prosecuted for animal cruelty. You may also be fined and your dog could be removed from you by authorities. Most legislation will also include requirements for the provision of proper and sufficient food, water, shelter and veterinary treatment. Clean water should be available for your dog 24 hours a day.