Preliminary considerations concerning dog care in Germany (english version)

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This booklet was written to inform Americans living in Germany on how to treat and raise dogs. Many Americans are unsure about German customs on dealing with dogs and therefore this booklet should help explain these things. I also write about specific German dog care rules and laws. One section of this booklet talks about the German animal shelter in Bamberg. I hope you find this booklet informative and interesting.

David Clubb, Author

Contents:

Getting a Dog

A dog is not a toy, but a living creature that needs to be fed and taken care of. Before buying a dog, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Which dog fits to me and my living conditions?

  • Will I take it for daily walks; in rain, snow, and in winter?
  • Do I have enough time and patience for a dog?
  • Am I allowed to have a dog where I live?
  • Do I have money for food and veterinarian bills?
  • Will I be able to take care of my dog in ten years?
  • Do all family members want a dog?
  • What will I do with my dog when I go on vacation or move?

If you answered no or were unsure about any of the above questions, then you should seriously not consider getting a dog. If you believe you can take care of your dog properly, then you will properly have a happy and joyful time with your dog.

Dog Care

  • What does the dog need?

The dog needs a bowl for food and water, sleeping basket, hair brush, collar, leash, toys, and plenty of time and attention.

  • Sleeping area

For sleeping the dog needs a clean, quiet area in the house that can be easily accessed. A good sleeping area is a basket with a blanket or pillow that can be easily cleaned. The dog must not sleep on cold rock floor, or it might become sick.

  • Cleaning

The dog should only be cleaned with a mild, dry shampoo when it is really dirty. A dog should not be given to many baths or else it might get a skin disease.

  • Walking the dog

Dogs like to be walked outside. Dogs like a lot of movement and they should be let out daily. They should be taken out at least four times a day so they can do their business. Dogs should be allowed to mark their territory and walk around for at least a few minutes. Dogs should not be walked around playgrounds or sidewalks. Dogs should be walked in grassy areas out of the way or in specially marked dog-walking areas.

Food

A dog is not a garbage eater, but a animal that needs special food. The dog should eat about two thirds mixed meat and one third carbohydrates like cooked rice. The amount of food that the dog eats consists of the amount of energy it needs. If the dog moves around a lot, it requires more food than a calm dog that does not move around much.

A) How much does my dog eat?

The amount of food a dog needs, consits of the weight of the dog and the animal´s activity level.Look at this chart to see how much dog food a dog needs:

Weight of the adult dog: Weight of food per day:
22 pounds about 15 ounces
44 pounds about 30 ounces
110 pounds about 70 ounces

Raw meat: especially raw pork, can not be fed to a dog because it might contain a deadly virus that is only harmful to dogs. The dog may be fed animal bones but never hollow bones or the dog might choke on them. Cooked vegetables may be given to a dog now an then. The dog should not eat candy, table leftovers, poultry bones, or fish leftovers. If you want to make sure you feed your dog properly then you should give your dog can food or special dry food. if you buy special food, you should read the label of the food to see how much food your dog needs. Fresh, clean water should always be available for your dog.

B) How many times should I feed my dog?

The puppy needs four meals a day after it leaves its mom. A one year old dog should only be fed two or three times a day. Starting with age two, a dog should only be fed once per day.

Raising the Dog

When does the dog go to the Vet?

  • Constant tireness of the dog
  • Rejection of the food.
  • Great thirst
  • Strange smelling breath
  • Constant vomiting
  • Constant coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Enlargement of the stomach
  • Very high or low temperature
  • Itchness of the hair
  • Hair loss
  • Skin changes
  • Ear shaking
  • Fluid loss of the eyes/ nose
  • Pain on different parts of the body
  • Rashes or bumps
  • Muscle aches
  • Signs of worms
  • Drooping of the head
  • Thick tongue

When a sign of sickness shows up, it is best to go to the Vet right away and not wait around. The Vet is the best place for a sick dog.

When to buy a dog?

A young dog ist best bought when it is between two and three month old and when you feel you are ready and read all the questions above (Getting a Dog).

Where do I buy a dog?

Buying a mixed-breed is not a problem. You will often have more fun with a mixed breed because it is more energetic and lively then a pure breed. The best place to buy a dog is at an animal shelter because they are healty and vaccinated. By buying a dog at an animal shelter, you help and support the shelter and the community.

Specific German Dog Care Laws

Germany has many rules and laws dealing with dogs that may seem new to Americans. Here are a few examples:

A) Collar
The collar of the dog must be wide enough so it does not cut the dog into the throat. Even better for the dog is a chest collar.

B) Leash
If the dog is outside an on a leash, the leash has to be light weight and be safe for the dog. If a chain is used, the chain should not be thicker than 0.126 inches (3,2cm).

C) Guide wire
The dog´s lesh may not be tied onto something. If the dog is to be tied onto something, then the dog must be tied onto a guide wire. The guide wire has to be at least 20 feet long. The dog must also be able to walk at least 8,2 feet in any direktion from the guide wire freely.

D) Dog house
If the dog is kept outside on a guide wire, there must also be a dog house in which the dog can go into in case of rain, heat or bad weather.

E) Walking the dog
The dog has to be walked at least once a day for sixty minutes.

F) Dog Contests
It is forbidden to have dog fight against another dog in a dog fight.

G) Abandoning the dog
It is unlawful to take a house-trained dog and desert it. If you know you will not be able to take care of your dog properly, please make arrangements accordingly.

H) Training the dog to be agressive
It is illegal to train a dog to be agressive or attack other animals or humans.

I) Giving the dog deadly or harmful food
It is forbidden to give dogs dangerous food or liquids that may harm or hurt it, such as poison.

I hope that these laws can help you to better understand the German dog care laws.

Bamberg Animal Shelter

The Bamberg animal shelter is an no-kill shelter and located in the Rothofer Weg 30 in Bamberg-Gaustadt. The shelter consists of an association for the protection of animals and a shelter. The Tierschutzverein, as it is called in German, is over 50 years old! The shelter has a capacity of about 60 dogs, but many more dogs are often brought to the shelter. All dogs at the shelter are taken care of properly and are vaccinated. Due to the cost of food, vaccination, and other costs the dogs at the animal shelter are not free.