Summertime is here and that’s when we enjoy being outside, many of us with our dogs. And even if you don’t take your dogs with you, there are still some things to consider when you own a dog - for your dog’s safety. Pennsylvania has created laws for dog owners just for that reason.
All dog owners must purchase a license every January for their dogs. Many people disregard this law for various reasons: cost, inconvenience, don’t know where to get one or simply not wanting to bother. But a dog license is so important for your dog’s safety. If your dog runs away from you and is picked up as a stray, the very best way to retrieve the dog is through the dog license. The animal shelter can quickly run a search to determine the dog’s owner and your dog can be safely returned to you.
It is a law in Pennsylvania that all dogs are vaccinated against rabies, for the dog’s protection and for the prevention of the spread of rabies. Puppies must be vaccinated by the time they are 3 months old. Another serious virus which infects puppies is distemper. Puppies between 3 and 6 months old are highly susceptible, as well as unvaccinated adult dogs. Parvovirus also is a very contagious disease mostly affecting young puppies. Symptoms are weakness and lethargy leading to vomiting and loss of appetite. As the virus progresses, bloody diarrhea and a high fever develop and sudden death often occurs. Sadly, young puppies only show the first stage, lethargy, and then die suddenly. Many puppies from pet stores succumb to this illness.
While it may look really cool to be able to have your dog walk by your side without a leash, it is a dangerous practice for your dog. All dogs, no matter how well-trained they are, have the potential to be distracted by a person or another animal, and may run away from you. The biggest risk is your dog getting hit by a car. So for safety’s sake, please walk your dog with a collar and leash.
Puppies Under Seven Weeks
Many people don’t realize that it is illegal to sell, auction or give away puppies who are less than seven weeks old.
Finally, although it is not a law, the Animal Rescue League encourages everyone to spay and neuter their dogs. So many dogs (and cats!) need homes. Why bring more into an already crowded world? And if you want to get a dog, please visit the Animal Rescue League or any other animal shelter or rescue group. Lots of happy, fun animals are waiting for you!