For ages a dog has been known to be a man`s best friend. Dogs are mainly kept for companionship, for their ability of distinct sniffing and for guarding purposes. Regardless of its usefulness, there are dogs which continue to endure poor nourishment and improper care. Kgakgamatso Moseki, an inspector at SPCA Mafikeng enlightens us about dog cruelty and how to ensure sound care for your dog. Moseki holds a BSC Degree in Animal and has been serving the organisation for close to seven years.
PROPER DOG DIET
Dog diet is a critical aspect which should never be overlooked. A properly nourished dog is a happy, active, and healthy dog. Moseki points out that you can feed your dog twice or once a day. What is important is that the quantity should be adequate for the dog`s particular weight and age. Moseki advices that canned food is fine as a treat but not as daily food. Regular canned food will give your dog dental problems in the long term.
In some homes dogs are fed left overs and bones. Moseki points out that some dogs do adapt to that, depending on how that particular dog was brought up. She also cautions that some dog`s stomach might be sensitive and can react to food such as onions and peanuts. Furthermore, bones can be hazardous as they sometimes get stuck on the throat. “We normally ask people to buy scientific vet approved dog food. Unfortunately most people cannot afford them because they are expensive”, she says. “Any nutritious dry pellets would do. You have to look at the back of the package, for the contents of the nutritional value”.
MORE WAYS FOR DOG CARE
Regular bathing of your dog is essential for hygienic purposes. “Washing your dog and dipping it prevents so many parasites like fleas and tricks. You also get to see if there is anything wrong with your dog”, says Moseki. “The water should be warm, depending on the weather. For example, you can`t bath your dog when it’s very cold”.
Effects of poor dental care on the dog includes halitosis and gum diseases such as gingivitis. Moseki relates that regular eating of dry pellets usually cleans the teeth naturally. She forewarns that if you notice that your dog has gangre, which can be identified by a black spot on the teeth, you have to take it to the vet.
Moseki agrees that it is important for you to observe your language around your dog. “The way you talk to your dog it is the way it will react to you. If you are aggressive, it will not bond with you as well”, she says.
Denial of vet treatment is a form of abuse and a contravention to the animal`s protection act. “Make sure that your dog is fully up to date with vaccinations. Ensure that your dog is vaccinated every three months and dipped every month”, she says.
CRUELTY THAT DOGS ARE OFTEN SUBJECTED TO
Not cleaning after your pet, giving it drugs, hitting it, terrifying it, denial of food and water is considered as abuse to the animal. Moseki strongly condemns animal mutilation. She cautions that dogs use their body parts to show emotions. “If a dog is angry it will raise its tail, if it is happy it will wag the tail. If you mutilate such parts, then you won`t be able to read your animals, she says.
Moseki argues that there are some people who tie their dogs to an extent that the dog is not able to move, which is another contravention to the animal`s protection act. She maintains that if you have a dog your reason for tying the dog should justify why you have to tie it. Moseki elaborates on the correct way of tying a dog. “You have to get a runner which will allow the dog to have easy movement. A runner is where you have a wire which is about five to eight metres, you can make it longer”, she says. “There is a chain that extends from the dog to the wire, which allows the dog flexible movement. It should be able to access, shelter, food and water.
ADVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Moseki emphasizes that it is important to integrate the pet into the family. “You have to decide as a family that you are going to get a pet and it is going to be a part of the family”, she says. “You have to take it into consideration that you will have to take it to a vet when it is sick, provide nourishment, and clean the animal and where it stays”.
SPCA is an acronym of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They go out and do inspections when cruelty complains have been launched. They also do educational talks and outreach in the community.
If you have a complaint with regard to animal cruelty, call the SPCA on 018 381 0374. They promise that their sources remain anonymous.