Guide to Owning a Pet


You can view SPCA’s summary pamphlet on Responsible Pet Ownership here.

Please kindly go through the guideline on the adoption of animals before you consider adopting an animal from SPCA Penang. Adopting an animal or owning a pet is a great responsibility as it is a commitment one needs to have for the entire life time of the animal. Remember that to you it is only a pet. But to him or her, you are everything.

CATS AND DOGS

  1. Prospective owners must have at least some knowledge about animals.
  2. Pet owners to be must satisfy the Society that they will provide suitable home for the animals and look after it to the best of their ability.
  3. Owning a pet is fun and it can bring you a lot of joy. They need the love and attention that people like you can give. Think carefully before you adopt an animal and ask yourself these 3 questions:
    • DO I HAVE THE TIME?
    • DO I HAVE THE SPACE?
    • DO I HAVE THE MEANS?
  4. Upon adoption, an adoption agreement must be signed.
  5. The SPCA PENANG reserves the right to refuse any application for adoption.
  6. In cases of illness or injury etc., the owner must provide veterinary treatment for his/her pet.
  7. The SPCA has the right to visit the premises of the pet owner. This is to ensure that the animal is happily settled.
  8. The SPCA has the right to repossess the animal if, in the Society’s opinion that the Agreement is not reasonably adhered to.

Please think carefully before you adopt an animal. Their life is in your hands. It is you who makes the difference. Be Kind to Animals!!

A Guide for New Pet Owners

Dog make good companions for people, as they are intelligent, playful and fun. However, this mutually benefiting relationship takes up time and energy a dogs can be expensive to look after and they need space. A dog is not a good pet in busy households or for owners who are out all day. Having a dog is a long tem commitment and dog owners must be prepared that their dog can live up to 10 years or more. Owning a dog is a lot of fun and it can bring a lot of joy to the owner, but prospective owners should have some knowledge about the animals that they are going to keep.

LIFE SPAN

This depends on the size of the dog, usually 12-14 years.

CHARACTERISTICS

All dog should be alert and responsive. A dog’s temperament depends on its upbringing and environment; it is a product of its home life, handling, socialization and heredity. Dog can be aggressive towards strangers; therefore control must be exercised when a strange dog meets unfamiliar people. To reduce a dog’s human-aggressive trait, walks in the park and other socializing activities can be carried out.

BEHAVIOUR

The dog is a pack animal and will be upset if left on its own for long periods of time. Different breeds have different temperaments and abilities, but all dogs need the company and attention of their owners. Basic training is important and puppies should be house trained and behavioural training from 8 weeks of age. Formal training should begin at three to four months. HANDLING Lift a puppy by scooping it up gently with one hand under its chest. Lift a dog by standing sideways to it and taking its weight at the chest and hindquarters. Dogs may bite when surprised or when teased so they need to be handled gently. There are also some dogs that, as a result of bad experience, behave unnaturally or even bite in fear, or due to pain. Anyone who adopts an adult dog should first get some information on the dog’s background and peculiarities.

BREEDING

Thousands of unwanted puppies are born every year and the SPCA strongly advises that dogs be neutered to stop them from reproducing. Neutering is a simple operation that can be arranged through a veterinarian. The operation is done under general anesthesia and it is a simple, safe procedure, from which the dogs recover quickly. The neutered dog also has the added benefit of lowered risk of suffering from uterine infections, mammary tumours. Female dogs that have not been neutered come into season up to twice a year and they can have up to 12 puppies in each litter. Puppies should stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.

HEALTH

Puppies must be vaccinated against certain serious diseases and given regular boosters throughout their lives. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on this. Many dogs suffer from external parasites such as mites or ticks or internal parasites such as worms. Treatments for these conditions are available from your veterinarian. A good diet and exercise is also important for proper growth and maintenance of the dog at its optimum weight. Generally if you have any concerns about your dog’s health, ask your veterinarian for advice. So, if you want to own a dog, you need:

  1. Commitment – a dog’ life is likely to last 10 years or even longer.
  2. Space – you have your work, friends and other commitments but your dog only has you. Don’t tie or cage your dog the whole day. Dogs need exercise. Leash your dogs when they are out with you.
  3. Budget – provide your dogs with adequate feed and you should take them for annual visits to the veterinarian.
  4. Welfare – dogs don’t need to reproduce and unwanted litters are a nuisance to the community. You should avoid dumping dogs anywhere.
  5. Time – Care for your dog. Talk to your dogs, even though they don’t understand your words. They know your voice when you speak to them. Make sure you give them time to understand what you want from them.
  6. Be Aware – Before you scold dogs for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering them. Perhaps they are not getting the right food, or they are unwell.
  7. Companionship – No matter how busy you are, your dogs need a little of your time, company, love and attention.
  8. Consideration – Never let your dog be a nuisance to your neighbours. Never let them foul in public places.
  9. Observation – It is the law that dogs should have a collar with identification when they are in public places.
  10. Be Humane – When your dog is sick or pain, do not leave it to suffer and die from starvation or disease. Take it to the veterinarian if it is ill.

Important Advise to Dog Owners

Animals have as much right to live as we do. Have respect for them and give them these 5 freedoms. They should be entitled to:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – enough good food and water to keep them healthy.
  2. Freedom from discomfort – comfortable cages or resting areas.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease – rapid veterinary treatment if they are ill.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – so they have enough space and company.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress – treatment that avoids mental suffering.

Before getting a dog as a pet, you should ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the time?
  2. Do I have the space?
  3. Do I have the means?