Dogs make great pets; they are loyal, loving, fun, great company and are often considered part of the family. Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience however it does come with responsibilities. By law you must care for your dog properly, this means providing somewhere suitable for them to live, a healthy diet, opportunities to behave normally, the provision of appropriate company and ensuring that they are well. View the Animal Welfare Act

. We have put together a few tips on how to care for your dog but for a complete guide visit the RSPCA's online dog care page

Food & Drink

Your pet needs a well-balanced diet to stay fit and healthy as well as constant access to fresh, clean drinking water. The amount your pet needs to eat will depend on factors such as age, how active they are and their general health.

Feed your dog with appropriate food at least once a day unless otherwise advised by your vet. At Mason Cash, we have spent decades perfecting the size, thickness and material weight to ensure that the bowl you choose is right for your dog. Feeding guidelines, vets advice and dieting requirements should be followed to ensure your dog is getting the correct amount of food on a daily basis.

Meal times with your dog should be supervised and once you’ve found a balanced diet which works for your dog stick to it as sudden changes in diet can lead to upset stomachs. Always provide plenty of clean, fresh drinking water, especially if you choose a dried food as this can make your dog very thirsty. Because the Mason Cash water bowls are made from heavy stoneware, they help keep water cooler for longer than other materials.

Be aware that most human meals do not provide any nutrition to dogs and some foods can be poisonous. For example, never give your dog…. chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants or avocado.

Avoid making sudden changes to your dog's diet as this can also make them ill. You should monitor their eating & toileting habits and if these change e.g. consumption falls, faeces become moist you should seek veterinary advice.

Home Comforts

Provide your dog with an easy to clean, comfortable bed and place it in a dry and draught- free place to make them feel warm, safe and secure. Give them some dog friendly toys to chew on and play with. If leaving them on their own for an hour or two consider leaving them an activity toy that you can fill with food or treats to keep them occupied while you are not there.

House Training

Your dog needs to be let outside to relieve himself every few hours. Very young puppies have little control over their bladders and need to be let out every hour including as soon as they wake up, a few minutes after eating or drinking and after lively play. With puppies and dogs look for signs such as restlessness; sniffing; circling, waiting by the door or pawing it and pacing between a person and the door.

Exercise and Play

Dogs need regular exercise and plenty of opportunities to walk, run and play outdoors and to learn new skills through training. They are playful animals and enjoy having fun with toys, people and other dogs.

How much exercise, and the type of exercise your dog needs will largely depend on the individual dog’s habits, age and health. You should exercise your dog outside at least once a day.