Man’s best friend... Owning a dog is full of slobbery kisses, belly-rubs, and soothing midnight walks. They make us happy, and are there for you whenever you need them most. However, do we sometime neglect the proper etiquette required when dealing with our favorite furry four-legged creature? Do we lack the basics of knowing what a dog would need in a city like ours? Getting a dog, much like adopting a baby, is a full time job; because they are fully dependent on you, and as a result it is your responsibility to make sure their full needs are met. If you do not have the time to look after your pup, then you should not get one in the first place. Here is our full guide to canine care in Cairo.

If it’s got a double coat, it’s not for the Middle Eastern coast

Puppies with large manes, and gorgeous fur coats are absolutely adorable. But that does not mean that we should domesticate them in Egypt, a country which hosts summer temperatures that range from a sweltering 37 to 46°C. These doggies were originally bred to live in snowy climates, and cannot possibly survive in the dry, dry desert. "Some types of dogs were created specifically by God with beautiful thick fur to protect them from cold environments," says Dr. Omar El Saftawy, renowned veterinarian and founder of El Saftawy Clinic. “When we export these arctic animals to the Middle East we are exposing them to conditions they are not well adapted to, which can potentially be of harm to them”.  A very common consequence of bringing a double-coated dog to such hot climates is heatstroke, which can result in fainting and even death.  

 
(Photo: Wallpaper Cave) 

Adopt, Don't Shop

If you live in Cairo, you are bound to come across street-dogs on almost a daily basis. These dogs are, for the most part, abandoned and neglected by Egyptians as they are viewed as dirty or unfit for domestication. This common misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. “These animals are just as capable of receiving your love and affection as a 10,000 L.E. purebred championship bloodline dog”, says Dr. Saftawy. “In countries such as the U.S. and the UK, people’s first stop when looking for a brand new puppy is the adoption centre, why can’t we have that here in Egypt?” He’s right, instead of purchasing your pooch from a breeder and breaking the bank, you can save a life by stopping by your local animal shelter first. Organisations such as SPARE and ESMA do so much to try and help abandoned dogs in our community, and would love to have you drop by and potentially find your new soulmate.

 
(Photo: Esma Egypt)   

Pick up after your dog!

Who is tired of walking around Zamalek or Maadi and seeing piles of dog waste lying around on every street corner. In foreign countries, it is mandated by law that every dog owner cleans up after their dog, and violations to this can result in hefty fines. Before leaving the house for your daily walks, you should make sure that you have a plastic bag handy, by putting your hand in the inside of the bag you can ensure that you pick up the waste without even getting your hands dirty, how simple is that. No one wants to step into a pile of dog poop while strolling down the street, so people, please get you and your dog’s sh-t together.

 (Photo: Barkpost)

Exercise

According to PetMD, dogs must exercise every single day in order to remain healthy. A lack of exercise can result in obesity, slow metabolic processes, and cardiovascular diseases in dogs. Yes we know, fat dogs are cutest, but that doesn’t mean it's good for them! Take your canine out on daily walks (preferably at night), he/she will love you for it.

 (Photo: Nextavenue)

Be Mindful of Space

If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, it’s probably not the best idea to go ahead and buy a 50 KG animal, and if you are going to be at work 10 hours a day and you don’t have a place to keep your dog besides its cage, it's probably best you hold off on getting a puppy. Know how much space you have available and be conscious of how much room your prospective canine will need in order to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. Big dogs need big space, preferably a backyard so they can run and spread their paws. Extended time locked up can be extremely hard on your pooch, think about if you were locked up in a tiny cage all day!
(Photo: Blogspot)

Regular Trips to the Vet

Dogs, just like humans, need their check ups at the doctor’s to make sure that everything is fine. Make sure you take your puppy to the vet AT LEAST once a year. Vaccinations are a must, and not only keep your dog healthy, but ensure you and your family’s safety. Make sure to always monitor your dog to ensure that they aren’t crying excessively, there is no blood in their urine or poop, and they are walking correctly as these could all be signs that a trip to the vet is needed. Egypt is full of amazing vets like, Dr. Omar El Saftawy, who are prepared provide great care and nurturing to your animal.


 (Photo: Boredomtherapy)

Love

The most important thing anyone can give their dog is love. These creatures are by instinct more loyal, friendly, and good-spirited than humans themselves, all they need is a little bit of training and lots of care. “You are choosing a soul mate”, Dr. Saftawy told us. “This is a partnership that will span for the entirety of the animal’s life, so it is of the utmost importance that you make sure you are devoted enough to ensure that your puppy will have all what they need to live a happy healthy life”. Dogs have feelings just like we do, and good owners will always make sure their dog is a happy puppy by showering them with love: big bones, long brushing sessions, and lots and lots of belly scratches.  

 (Photo: Circleville Herald)