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Dogs Are Man's Best Friend

Aug 8, 2008
Dog's have always been man's best friend. They have been kept as pets in the UK for as long as time. The majority of them would have been kept as working animals in the beginning but because of their loving and loyal nature, they quickly developed into household pets.

A dog is one of the most loyal animals a person can keep. They learn very quickly and understand pretty much everything their owners say or expect of them. They will stay by an owners side through thick and thin, they will sense illness and even undetected diseases and have been known to pine to death once their owner dies.

Many dog owners swear by the company of their pet and insist they are a great deal easier than human company. As long as their basic needs are seen to, they want for little else other than a little petting. In fact, this is so beneficial to humans that studies have found the health and well-being of dog owners is markedly better than those without pets.

It has been necessary over recent years for local councils to bring about certain rules on dog ownership. The fashion for breeding and keeping dangerous dogs has led to an increase in the amount of bites and deaths from these animals, particularly in small children, as well as a very unpleasant trend for organised dog fights.

It is vital that dog owners are responsible for their pets. This is why dogs should be registered and licensed to ensure that the owners have full responsibility. The Control of Dogs Order (1992) states that all dogs must wear ID tags and collars when in a public place even if they contain a micro chip. If the dog is involved in an accident, or is picked up as a stray, the owner can be traced and the dog returned.

When it comes to public behaviour of dogs and their owners, you will now see plenty of notice about what exactly is expected. Dog waste bins are placed at strategic points throughout the streets and signs are erected in parks and public places to state what is expected of dog owners.

The restrictions are few and reasonable. In places such as children's parks, dogs are banned without exception due to the possible health and safety risks. There are also open spaces where dogs are allowed to walk freely and, although dog waste bins may be present, the owner is not under a legal obligation to clean up behind their pet. When it comes to public highways and pathways, dogs are allowed to walk on a leash with their owners and the owner is expected, without exception, to use the dog waste bins provided.

These are not simply recommendations, but legal requirements to protect the health of all, as well as giving the animals certain rights of protection. Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine of up to 1,000. pounds Some people think that this is extreme but there is good reason.

Roundworm is commonly caught from infected dog faeces. It can live for up to 3 years on dog excrement and is easily passed on to humans where they will live in the gut and follow a cycle of reproducing. The larvae of the roundworm penetrate the bowel lining and are carried to the lungs through the blood stream. From here they make their way to the back of the throat through air passages and are then swallowed where they mature in the gut to mature worms and live for up to 2 years. If roundworms are left untreated, they can lead to blindness, reason enough to use that dog waste bin and not risk a child picking up this worm form the street.

It is also easily possible to catch Ringworm, a skin disease, and toxocarosis from dog waste. Since the introduction of dog waste bins these illnesses have been reduced drastically in the UK population and could be virtually eradicated if all dog owners were responsible.
About the Author
Pet expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way using a dog waste bin is one way a dog owner can show his responsibility.
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