Last week we taught our beloved working pets how to herd livestock, now we move onto something even more important, caring for your animal.
Your animal’s welfare should be first and foremost your main priority. There are many different ways and things needed to look after your animal sufficiently. Take a look at the below list of must haves for any working dog.
Part One: Feeding your dog.
- High quality dog foods should be a must to ensure your working pet is well set up for the day ahead. Always check the ingredients of any product you feed your animal prior to purchasing it. The first few ingredients should be a meat of some kind and not a meat by-product or a grain. This ensures your dog is receiving the correct amount of protein in their diet. If unsure ask your vet for food recommendations and they should be able to provide you with some highly regarded products. Also ask how much to feed your dog as well, different breeds and sizes require different portions.
- Keep your dog on a regular feeding schedule. Twice a day feeding should be carried out, feeding any more will cause unnecessary weight gain in your dog. Your animal should be fed in the morning and again in the evening on its return back from the fields. A stable routine also helps with house training, as most dogs tend to use the bathroom up to 30 minutes after eating.
- Please avoid over feeding your animal, especially treats and people food. These should be restricted to a minimum, and if given a lot will lead to weight and health problems. Stick to only giving treats when training and be stern on this. There are many different foods that should be avoided as they are very dangerous to dogs. This includes chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, avocado and bread dough.
- Always ensure your animal has plenty of water. It is vital to ensure that there is always a clean water supply for your pet. Especially if working in hot, humid conditions. A working dog needs a lot of water, as they tend to cover a lot of ground. If travelling in a tractor or jeep always bring a portable water supply with you.
Keeping your animal’s condition up should be a number one priority. A lame, weak animal will be no use to you if they cannot carry out their jobs. This not only helps you but your farm. A dog should be treated as every other animal should.
Next week in part 2, we will look into more ways to care for your beloved pup.