Bermuda SPCA Please call 236-7333 or if it is an Emergency: 737-1108, 32 Valley Road, Paget PG 05

Pet Care and Behaviour


size: from tiny 4-pound tea cup Poodles to 3-feet-tall Irish

Lifespan: 8-16 years, depending on breed type, size, genetics & care

Cost per year: $600-$900, depending on size

Good with kids?: Young children may unwittingly mishandle or hurt puppies or small dogs, who are particularly vulnerable to injury. Children ages 6 & up can share simple pet care duties.



  • Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old need 4 meals a day.
  • Feed puppies 3 to 6 months old 3 meals a day.
  • Feed puppies 6 months to one year 2 meals a day.
  • When your dog reaches his first birthday, one or two meals a day are recommended.
  • Feed your adult pooch a commercial brand of dry food that meets nutritional requirements and is a well-balanced diet.
  • The amount of food will be indicated on the side of the food bag.  When switching food do so gradually by mixing new with the old. If you change food abruptly you may upset your dogs stomach.

WATER : Dogs require access to water at all times . If they are in a crate or kennel they need to be able to reach the water bowl and not be able to tip it over.

Dogs are pack animals which mean they are very social. They enjoy having company so keep this in mind when planning where the dog will stay. 
It is advised to crate train your dog. This will assist in numerous ways;
1. Dogs have a ’safe zone” in the house to which they can retreat if needed
2. It assists with housetraining (details on another pamphlet)
3. Dogs will be used to being in a crate if they need to travel or board

  • If your dog will be spending a lot of time outdoors, be sure she has access to fresh water, is protected from drafts and inclement weather (rain), has access to shade in hot weather, and a warm, dry covered shelter when it’s cold.
  • Do not tether your dog outside in the yard.  Dogs will either get themselves entangled or not be able to reach water, shade or worse. We have seen dogs suffer with severe neck abrasions or choke themselves to death as a result of being tethered in the back yard.  If your dog is for a period of time outside please keep your dog in a kennel with enough room to move around, eat drink and find cool dry shelter.


  • Exercise burns calories and helps avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Supervised fun and games will satisfy your dog’s instinctual needs to dig, herd, chew, retrieve and chase.
  • In general, dogs require at least one to two walks per day.  Individual exercise needs vary based on breed or breed mix, sex, age and health status.  Some dogs have more energy than others and therefore may require additional exercise like agility, for example.


Help keep your dog clean and reduce shedding with frequent brushing.
• Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats. Thoroughly rinse your coat after shampooing. Be sure to check and trim your dog’s nails periodically.



  • To carry a puppy or small dog, place one hand under the dog’s chest, with your forearm or other hand supporting the hind legs and rump. Never attempt to lift or grab your puppy or small dog by the forelegs, tail or back of the neck.
  • If you have to lift a large dog, lift from the underside, supporting his chest with one arm and his rear end with the other.

Licensing & ID

  • All dogs in Bermuda must be licensed through the Department of Environmental Protection
  • Attach the license, along with an up-to-date ID tag, to your dog’s collar.
  • There is a license required to own more than 2 Dogs on a property which must be requested through the Department of Environmental Protection
  • We recommend permanent ID, such as a microchip, to help secure your dog’s return should she become lost. Be sure to update owner registration information as needed.
  • Owners must also have a license to breed.  However, there are many unwanted and mistreated dogs out there that we strongly encourage spaying and neutering



  • A well-behaved dog is a joy. Teaching your dog the basics (Sit, Stay,Come, Down, Heel, Off and
  • Leave It) will improve your relationship with both your dog and your neighbors.
  • Keep your dog on a leash in public. Be sure your pet will come to you at all times. A disobedient or aggressive dog is not ready to play with others.
  • Taking time to train your dog is very important.  Pet behavioral problems are the number one reason for euthanasia in North America.  Your new family member needs to understand the rules of conduct and he can only learn those if they are taught.
  • It is normal for a dog to bark, mark his territory and use his mouth to interact. You, the owner, must teach him when it is appropriate. In just two regular 10-15 minute training sessions a day you can have a very well-mannered pup. It is all about learning how to communicate with a positive reward based system that allows the dog to understand what is expected. 

To put it simply, reward the good behavior and ignore the unwanted behavior.  For more information contact the Dog Training Club of Bermuda


  • Your dog should see a veterinarian for a full physical examination every year. At this time it can be determined which vaccines and diagnostic tests are necessary. If he is sick or injured, seek help immediately.

Spaying and Neutering

  • Female dogs should be spayed (the removal of the ovaries and uterus) and males neutered (removal of the testicles). This surgery can be safely done as early as 5-6 months of age.
  • Spaying before maturity significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer, a serious disease of older female dogs. Spaying also eliminates the risk of an infected uterus, a potentially fatal problem in older dogs that requires surgery and intensive medical care.
  • Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and reduces the occurrence of prostatic enlargement, some hernias and certain types of aggression.


  • Puppies should be vaccinated with a distemper combination vaccine beginning at 6-8 weeks and repeated monthly until they are 16-24 weeks, and then once annually. This vaccine protects against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza.
  • If you have an unvaccinated dog older than 4 or 5 months, he will need a series of 2 vaccinations given 3 to 4 weeks apart, followed by a yearly vaccination.
  • Puppy vaccination and socialization should go together. Many veterinarians recommend that new owners take their puppies to socialization classes, beginning at 8 to 9 weeks of age. At this age, they should have received at least their first series of vaccines.The Rabies vaccine is given beginning at 3 months of age, with a titre a month later, one year later and then every 3 years. This vaccine is required if travelling outside of Bermuda with your pet but may vary based on destination so please consult your veterinarian for further information.
  • Other vaccines for dogs are appropriate in certain situations. Your veterinarian can tell you about them.


Tooth Care

  • Bad breath is the most common indicator that your dog is in need of a dental checkup. Keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy by brushing her teeth once or twice a week. Use dog toothpaste and toothbrush or a gauze pad.

Fleas and Ticks

  • Daily inspections of your dog for fleas. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas.
  • There are several methods of flea control. The environment must also be treated. Speak to your veterinarian about these options.


  • This parasite lives in the heart and is passed to dogs by mosquitoes. Although many dogs who are infected with heartworms can appear healthy, heartworm disease can be fatal. Your dog should have a blood test for heartworm every spring—this is crucial for detecting infections from the previous year.
  • Your veterinarian will develop an effective heartworm prevention plan.


Medicines and Poisons

  • Never give your dog medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • Make sure your pet is screened annually for internal parasites! Dogs are commonly exposed to worms and other microscopic parasites. Some parasites may cause disease in humans so proper screening and treatment are essential for the health of both you and your pooch.
  • All puppies should be dewormed by a veterinarian. Most pups, even from healthy mothers in good homes, can carry roundworms or hookworms.
  • The key to treatment is correct diagnosis, which is most often obtained by a microscopic examination of your dog’s feces by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can then prescribe the  appropriate medication.

Dog Supply Checklist

  • Commercial brand of dog food and treats
  • Food dish
  • Water bowl
  • Toys, toys & more toys, including safe chew toys
  • Brush & comb for grooming, including flea comb and nail trimmer
  • Collar with license and ID tag
  • Leash
  • Carrier (for smaller dogs)
  • Training crate
  • Dog bed or box with warm blanket or towel
  • Dog toothbrush

The No-No List
Do not feed your dog:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, macadamia nuts
  • Grapes, raisins and avocados
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Onions, garlic & chives
  • Poultry bones
  • Salt & salty foods
  • Tomato leaves, stems & unripe fruit
  • Yeast dough
  • Human medications unless prescribed by your veterinarian

The above information was compiled by the Bermuda SPCA from the following sources ;

©2018 Bermuda SPCA