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Info. on Dog Care

Caring for your dog

As a new or experienced dog owner, you should be well aware of the responsibilities that come with owning and caring for a dog.  However, the benefits you gain from this incredibly rewarding and pleasurable experience are well worth the effort.

It takes time, but with the correct training and care, your canine friend should develop into a well-adjusted dog who is a delight to own and a credit to you.

Take a look at our extensive ranges of dog training cages, car dog cages and puppy play pens.

Worm & Flea Treatment

You should de-flea and de-worm your dog regularly but ask your vet how often to do this as it very often depends on the  products you have chosen.

Microchipping

Microchipping your dog is a permanent method of identification and ideas-4-pets would always recommend that you do this. 

Keeping your dog safe

  • Take a look at our extensive ranges of large outdoor dog kennels and runs, modular runs and playpens.
  • Make sure that your garden is escape proof - most larger dogs can jump over fences under two metres high.
  • Always keep your dog on a short (not an extending) lead if you walking on roads or near to livestock.
  • Lock away all medicines, cleaning products and dangerous chemicals that could hurt or kill your pet.
  • Keep all chocolate, cocoa powder, raisins, grapes and macadamia nuts shut away, as these are poisonous to dogs.
  • It is not adviseable to use cocoa shell mulch in your garden as this can cause illness and death in dogs
  • Rat poison, slug pellets, weedkillers, fertilizers (especially bonemeal) or insecticides are also extremely dangerous to dogs.
  • Use a car harness, a dog cage or a fitted dog guard if your dog is travelling in the car with you.
  • It is not adviseable to let your dog hang its head out of an open car window for obvious reasons. 
  • Dogs should never be left  in a warm or hot car (even with the windows open) as it could suffer very quickly from heatstroke.
  • Make sure doors and windows are kept closed as your dog could easily escape when you are not looking.
  • Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop on its own as it may be stolen.
  • Always keep your dog inside on fireworks night, and keep it on a lead when outside as most dogs are terrified of the loud noises and will freak out.

Outdoor kennels and dog runs

  • We have an extensive range of high quality outdoor dog kennels and runs to suit all all your dogs' needs
  • If your dog has to spend most of its time outside, then you need to provide it with an enclosed run and a specially designed kennel, or it will wreck your garden.
  • Providing lots of toys for your dog to play with is particularly important if your dog is left on his own for periods of time.
  • Kennels with runs can be useful in providing a space for the dog to call its own - he will soon learn to love his new "den".
  • A dog kennel and run will also allow your dog to become less reliant on constant companionship and avoid separation anxiety if you have to leave him in the future.

Dogs on the move

  • Your dog should travel either behind a dog guard, secured with a car seat harness or in a car cage.
  • A dog car cage gives a dog its own space and ensures that he is safe and comfortable whilst travelling.
  • If you have space for a dog cage in the car, then this provides a safe haven for your dog .
  • There is nothing worse than seeing a dog squashed in a car with luggage piled up around it - uncomfortable & unsafe !
  • We provide an excellent range of dog guards, dog carriers and dog car cages

Bedding

  • Your dog needs a comfortable bed, so buy a bed big enough for it stretch out in. There are many types of good bedding on our site which would suit your dog.
  • Take a look at our excellent range of quality waterproof pet beds which are ideal for both inside and outside use.
  • We also have an excellent selection of dog beds to suit all your dogs' needs including heated dog beds, waterproof dog beds, designer dog beds and orthopaedic dog beds.

Puppies

  • Puppies, like babies,  always need a safe environment to live in.
  • Until they know how to behave properly, are reliably toilet trained and have gone through the chewing stage (at about six months old) it's better to keep them closely supervised or contained in a 'dog proof' environment.
  • Keep puppies away from carpets, chemicals, exposed electrical wiring or expensive furniture and anything else that could cause him harm.
  • Give puppies easy access to the garden for toileting and play.
  • For most people, the kitchen or utility room is an ideal place for your puppy to sleep in or to stay in if you are not there to supervise.
  • Alternatively you could contain your puppy in a particular room by using a dog gate which is available on our site
  • We also have a range of puppy pens and training cages to keep you pup safe and secure
  • Take out your puppy frequently under supervision as he will like to socialise and this is good for him.
  • Make sure your garden is escape proof or only take your puppy there on its lead
  • We supply an excellent range of puppy play pens and enclosures to provide him with a secure environment.

Routines

  • During the first few months, puppies really benefit from a good routine
  • Feed your puppy at regular intervals.
  • Take your puppy outside immediately it wakes up, following its mealtimes, and every hour or two.
  • Make sure that you schedule in 'play times', and 'quiet times' when you are present, but not interacting with it.
  • Your puppy needs to learn to settle quietly as well as how to occupy itself with a chew or its toys, otherwise it will become demanding and expect you to interact with it all the time.

Gardens

  • Young puppies should not be put out or left out on their own in a garden for any length of time.
  • They quickly get bored and frustrated, and become destructive, noisy and potentially territorial.
  • Unsupervised puppies dig up lawns and flower beds, chew on plants (some of which can be dangerous to dogs) Let you dog have the freedom of the outside but enclosed in a puppy play pen or dog run to keep him safe
  • Some puppies like to bury their toys, destroy things, bark at every little noise (possibly aggravating the neighbours) and learn to chase cats, squirrels and birds (which can develop into chasing joggers and cyclists in the park).
  • They will eat bees and wasps (which can be very dangerous) and could even drown in the garden pond or pool.
  • It is much better to go into the garden with your puppy at regular intervals, so that it is clear that it is being taken there for toileting purposes.
  • Avoid leaving the back door open because if your puppy can go in and out as it pleases, this can adversely affect its toilet training, as well as its recall response.

'Home alone' training

  • Your growing puppy will sleep a great deal, and this is the ideal time to get it used to being separated from you (and other pets) for short periods every day
  • Leaving your puppy alone for short periods helps to ensure that it does not become over dependent on having constant company
  • If you do not get your puppy used to being left alone while you are in your home, it may suffer from 'over-attachment' and 'separation anxiety' when you go out. This can become a very serious problem, so put your puppy back in its sleeping quarters when it is tired, resting or sleeping.
  • Try not to return to your puppy when it is whining, crying, barking or misbehaving in any way, as you will be unwittingly rewarding the undesirable behaviour, which might make things worse in the long run.
  • Wait until the behaviour has stopped or create a noise diversion to distract the puppy and THEN enter the room.
  • Do not greet the puppy straight away 'do something else first (put the kettle on for example)' and then say hello (calmly and quietly) to the puppy.
  • This prevents problems later on with attention seeking behaviour and over-excited greetings.
  • See our range of puppy training cages and play pens to keep your puppy safe and secure when left alone.

Once your puppy is older

  • Your puppy will eventually be toilet trained and happy to be left on its own
  • You can leave it for gradually longer periods at a time
  • When it is an adult you can leave it for up to four hours at a time (maximum)
  • It is unfair to leave a dog alone for very long periods of time on a regular basis
  • Dogs are sociable, loving animals who need company

Puppy sitter/minder

  • If you occasionally have to leave your puppy alone for longer than a few hours, you should expect a few toilet training accidents which may set back your progress slightly.
  • However, if you have to do this on a regular basis you may well fail completely in the toilet training stakes and your puppy is also much more likely to get bored and develop destructive or noisy habits.
  • To prevent this you should consider asking someone to come in to let your puppy out and to break up its day.
  • Alternatively, take your puppy to someone who can look after it when you are gone for long periods.
  • Make sure you find someone suitable as it may not be fair to leave an energetic puppy with a relative, friend or neighbour who is elderly or infirm, or who may have young and excitable children!

Professional dog sitters & Walkers

  • Only use people who have been highly recommended (by several people) and always check out their references and that they carry appropriate insurance.
  • Some options may not be suitable for young puppies as they could result in them bonding more strongly with other dogs than with human company, which could make them excessively distracted by other dogs when out being walked.
  • If you would like your puppy to stay with a dog sitter find out how many dogs they keep at one time and the conditions they are kept under.
  • Make sure that your puppy is getting along well with its companions and is not being taught bad habits, being bullied (which could make it timid or aggressive) or learning how to become a bully!
  • Have a contingency plan in place in case your puppy does not get on with any of the other dogs.
  • Always take your puppy to the sitter's home.
  • Do not let them collect and deliver the puppy back to you, as you have no way of checking that they have not farmed the puppy out to be looked after by someone else!
  • Try and find someone who can give your puppy individual attention, rather than placing it within a pack of dogs, where it could be overwhelmed and make it timid or defensive.

"No go" areas

  • It is strongly recommended that you keep your puppy away from the stairs and steep drops, as running up and down stairs can damage a puppy's delicate growth plates, causing long term damage.
  • A suitable dog gate at the bottom of the staircase should prevent this.
  • A dog gate can also prevent your puppy from wandering off into places he shouldn't be. Suitable dog gates can be found on our site.
  • Even jumping off chairs, sofas and beds can cause unnecessary damage, and puppies are best kept off these. We have puppy steps to help your puppy to get on the sofa or chair without harming himself.
  • You should also lift them in and out of cars, and be careful not to play fetch games on slippery floors, or encourage them to jump about or twist themselves, for the same reason.
  • See our range of pet ramps to help old, infirm dogs in and out o f the car and also to prevent owners from huring their backs lifting them!
  • It is wise to keep puppies out of bedrooms as the temptation to urinate on carpets or beds and steal items is often irresistible.
  • If you do choose to have your puppy sleep in your bedroom then have it sleep in a cage to avoid problems.

Irritating behaviour

  • You should try and prevent adults and children becoming over enthusiastic with your puppy.
  • Do not allow them to disturb its sleep patterns, over-tire it, or to play rough or over-exciting games, which will encourage (undesirable) play-biting or grumpy behaviour.
  • Do not let young children pick the puppy up, as it is not uncommon for puppies to be picked up and carried awkwardly, causing pain and discomfort, and teaching pupies to be nervous and hand-shy.
  • Puppies that are constantly picked up and carried can become overly clingy and demanding, so it is better to squat down to the puppy's level when interacting.