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How to Safely Approach A Dog

Safety guidelines to ensure Scooby doesn't become a Scrappy-Doo...

Most dogs are friendly, socialised and well trained. This is not the case with all dogs however, which is why it is important to keep these tips in mind when approaching someone else’s dog.

DO

  • Approach the owner before approaching the dog – if the dog observes the owner trusting you, it will likely follow
  • Ask the dog’s owner for permission before coming into contact with the dog
  • Let the dog approach you first – dogs feel more comfortable when they feel as though they are in control of the situation
  • Stay calm
  • Let the dog smell you before patting it - this allows for the dog to establish a relationship of trust
  • Pat the dog in less threatening areas such as chest or neck – avoid patting the head or back as they might take it as a cue to reign dominance
  • Stop when the dog gives cues of not wanting to be touched anymore

DO NOT

  • Approach the dog if the owner is not present
  • Assume the dog has been socialised and is not aggressive
  • Advance the dog face to face – dogs may take this as a challenge
  • Scream and jump around even if excited - it might promote fear and aggression from the dog
  • Be afraid – dogs have the ability to sense fear, which may trigger aggression
  • Crouch over the dog – the dog will feel intimidated and may become aggressive
  • Approach a dog head on as this may be intimidating – try approaching the dog from the side
  • Hug an unfamiliar dog – although humans might enjoy this, dogs may see it as a dominance challenge

By keeping these tips in mind, you are respecting not only the dog and its owner, but also putting your safety first. For more tips check out the video above.



How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.