Dogs provide companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages and are an invaluable addition to families and individuals.
However, it is important to find the breed of dog most suitable to your particular lifestyle and be aware of the responsibility that comes with dog ownership before you adopt or purchase a dog. As your vet, we are willing to discuss the many aspects of dog care, including breed-specific medical problems and routine health care such as vaccinations, flea and tick control, desexing and worming that your future dog may need.
We strongly recommend that you insure your new dog. Please see our information sheet on insurance for more about this topic.
Suitable bedding such as washable rugs, cushions or blankets need to be provided in a weatherproof kennel or indoors.
A secure area such as a dog-proof yard is essential. Your dog should never be left unsupervised when tethered.
All dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation to help avoid behavioural and health problems. Dogs view their human owners as being part of their pack and can develop behavioural issues if they feel neglected or excluded. It is also vitally important that dogs are socialised with people and other dogs from an early age in order to learn appropriate interactive behaviours.
Fresh water bowls must always be available for your dog. They should be kept clean and placed in the shade
Grooming and brushing is essential, particularly for long-haired breeds. This helps remove dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, and tangles and it also assists to shorten the coat moult, which occurs every autumn and spring. Dirty or smelly dogs should be bathed. However, keep in mind that frequent shampooing can strip the natural oils from the coat and cause skin dryness and irritation.
Vaccination & Health Checks
Puppies should be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, followed by annual vaccinations. This provides your pet with protection against 4 major infectious diseases: Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Kennel cough, the first three of which are often fatal. Treatment is difficult, expensive & often unsuccessful.
All pets require a minimum of one health check a year. On average, dogs age five to eight times faster than humans, allowing major health changes to develop in a relatively short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age. However, a visit to us helps us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening.
Regular worming of your dog with an all-wormer is essential to control intestinal parasites. This should be done every 2 weeks until your puppy reaches 3 months of age and then once monthly until they are 6 months old. Worming can then be reduced to once every 3 months.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and without proper diagnosis and treatment the disease is usually fatal. Even with diagnosis, treatment can be dangerous. If your pet is not on Heartworm prevention, your vet can test for heartworm infection using a small blood sample.
Both monthly and yearly preventatives are available for Heartworm. Your vet can give you advice on what the best option for your dog would be.
Desexing is recommended at 6 months of age. This is a simple day procedure and reduces the risk of your dog developing cancer and other diseases of the reproductive tract such as testicular cancers and prostate diseases in males, and ovarian cysts, tumors, mammary cancer and uterine infections in females. Desexed dogs also tend to be less aggressive and territorial.
Unless you are truly committed to being a responsible breeder have your pet desexed. Desexed pets are easier to manage and lead healthier lives.
All pets should be identified to promote their own safety should they accidentally stray. Microchips offer the most reliable and permanent form of identification. Please be aware that it is compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped in NSW.
There are many products available over the counter to provide protection against external parasites such as fleas and ticks. Ask your vet for the product best suited to your pet’s needs.
Providing proper nutrition for your dog is essential, but often neglected. Puppies have totally different nutritional requirements to adult dogs, meaning they need to be fed foods specially formulated for their age group. Thankfully the advent of “life stages” diets designed for pets of different age groups has made nutrition a lot easier. Dogs should be fed a good quality commercial dog food relevant to their age and size (small breed, large breed).
While dry dog kibble is better than canned food and minced meat when it comes to dental care, don’t forget the importance of giving your pet bones.
Please remember that you should NEVER feed your pet cooked bones and stay clear of chop, fish and T-bones. Chicken wings, Ox tails, Knuckles, Lamb shanks & Pig ears are good for your pet’s teeth.
Socialization and basic obedience training is crucial. After receiving their second vaccination, puppies should spend time around as many different people and animals as possible. This will teach them how to interact with others and will minimize the possibility of them becoming aggressive as they grow up.
Obedience training should begin as early as possible. Lots of positive reinforcement using treats and praise is essential.
Our staff are always keen to discuss routine health care for your current or future pets. For further information about pet care, please phone our helpful staff during business hours.