Cumberland County SPCA & Animal Shelter

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If you are going to put your dog outside for over 30 minutes, you are required to provide shelter for him/her. To be considered a proper shelter it must have a bottom, 4 walls, and a roof. The size of the shelter will depend on the size of your dog - in other words, don’t expect a Chihuahua size doghouse to be proper shelter for a Great Dane, and vice versa. The opening to your dogs’ house should be big enough for him to get into, but not so big as to allow wind & blowing rain inside. The inside needs to be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. Anything smaller is improper, and anything larger won’t help him retain body heat during the colder months. You will need to provide shade for your dog in warm months, and straw in his doghouse during colder months.


If your dog will be outside on a chain or cable you need to make sure to have the proper length. The chain or cable needs to be three (3) times the length of your dog from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. So if your dog is 3 feet from nose to tail you will need a chain that is 9 feet long. Please keep in mind that you need to think carefully about where your dog will be kept. You will need to make sure there are no items or fences that your dog could get tangled on or jump over, causing him to face strangulation. You may think this ridiculous, but it happens all too often. If your dog will be in a pen, the pen needs to be 3 times the length of the dog as well. ALSO, PLEASE DO NOT USE A CHOKER CHAIN TO TIE YOUR DOG OUTSIDE, THEY POSE A SERIOUS STRANGULATION DANGER. USE A REGULAR COLLAR.


You may think that feeding your dog daily and loving him is enough to keep him happy and healthy. During the summer we all know how many flies are around. Fly strike (bites) on your dogs ears and nose are horrible for him. One bite leads to another, and soon your dogs ears and nose can be raw and bleeding from those little black pesky houseflies. There IS a way to solve this problem though. Many companies make ointments or sprays that will keep flies away from your pet. Apply these items as directed by the manufacturer before a problem starts, or use them as soon as you see a problem starting. For fly strike (bites) on ears and nose: wash the affected area well with antibacterial soap, dry, apply antibiotic ointment, and then fly repellant ointment. This will help your pets wounds heal, as well as keep those pests away while healing is taking place. Hairloss, weight loss, and other changes in your pets’ physical condition should be addressed by a visit to your vet.

Your pet needs to be fed a nutritious meal at least once daily to keep him healthy and happy. You may want to discuss feeding options with your dog's vet since they have a wealth of knowledge about what your pet needs to stay strong and healthy. By law your dog must also have an ample supply of clean water available 24 hours a day. The water should be kept in a cool or shady area, and needs to be secured so that your pet can’t tip it over.  There are many ways to do this, one of which is to dig a hole into the ground large enough for a milk crate. Insert the milk crate, then place a bucket of water into the milk crate. You can also use a bucket with a thin handle, and purchase a double-ended clip to fasten one end of the clip to the bucket handle and the other clip to the fence of your dogs’ pen. If you need other suggestions please feel free to contact the SPCA.

Your dogs’ area should be kept free from trash, debris, and fecal material. Keeping the area clean, removing feces and uneaten food immediately will keep the fly population in your pets area to a minimum. Be sure to keep lawnmowers, chairs, poles and any other items your dog could injure himself on out of his reach. You can take several steps in order to keep down the smell of your dogs’ area. The first thing to do is to clean the area of fecal material daily. You can also keep a bag of lime handy. Take your dog out of his area monthly. Rake the ground to break up the soil, spread the lime - evenly dusting the dogs’ entire area. Lightly sprinkle the area with your hose and then rake the area again to mix the lime into the soil. Leave your pet out of the area for a few hours until the soil is completely dry. Now you can put your pet back into the area knowing you have made his area more pleasant not only for him, but also for yourself. This will help keep down the smell, and keeping the area clean helps keep away flies.


Unfortunately, your dog has no pockets to carry a wallet with him.  He also has no way of telling anyone where he lives - this is up to you. Your dog should always have ID of some sort on him JUST IN CASE. Let’s face it, people don’t loose their pets on purpose - it’s an accident. Like the old saying goes “the best defense is a good offense.” Don’t say “My dog NEVER” because it can and DOES happen to responsible pet owners. Having ID on your dog at all times is the best way to insure you are reunited with your pet if he should get lost. Most cities or townships require dog owners to license their pets. Check with your municipal building to see what your town requires.

May you enjoy many happy moments with your pet,
The Staff of Cumberland County SPCA



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