Owning a dog provides companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages and is an invaluable addition to families and individuals.
However, it is important to find the breed of dog most suited to your particular lifestyle and to 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 with you the many aspects of dog care, including breed-specific medical problems and routine health care such as vaccinations, flea control, micro-chipping, desexing and worming that your future dog may need.
After purchasing your puppy or dog, there are several important aspects of their care to consider:
- 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, regular visits to your vet helps identify, diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Routine vaccinations, flea control, heartworm control and worming are also recommended. A visit to your veterinarian is also a good opportunity to ask about nutrition, behaviour, and other issues.
- Make sure your dog is properly registered with the council, and has appropriate identification should they ever get out of your yard. Microchipping is the best way to make sure your dog will always be able to be identified and brought back home to you.
- 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 your dog is socialised with other people and dogs from an early age in order to learn appropriate interactive behaviours - this is one way that puppy preschool helps in socialising and training your puppy from a young age.
- Nutrition is an important part of your dogs care. A healthy and balanced diet is essential. This will provide protein to build the body, fats for skin and coat health, carbohydrates for energy, and minerals and vitamins for good bone development and healthy tissues.
- It is essential to keep your dogs teeth clean. A regular dental care routine will minimise tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth. Never give your dog cooked bones, as these can be brittle and easily splinter, causing harm to your dog. To help you set up a routine for the care of your pet's teeth, we now offer regular 6-monthly dental checks to monitor your pet's dental health and to discuss preventative measures.
- 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. If you start while they are young and make the brushing a fun activity, your dog will learn to enjoy a regular grooming session, and you will enjoy bonding with your dog. Dirty or smelly dogs should be bathed regularly, with gentle dog shampoo. Please discuss with your veterinary clinic about the best shampoo for your dog, especially if your pet has any skin concerns.
- We strongly recommend that you insure your new dog. Click here for more information about pet insurance.
If you have any questions about any aspects of your current or future pet's health care, please call the clinic.