Welcoming your new dog:
Dogs provide companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages and are an invaluable addition to your home.
However, it is important to find the breed of dog most suited to your particular lifestyle and to be aware of the responsibilities that come with dog ownership before you adopt or purchase a dog. Taking time to look into which breeds will suit you in terms of size, activity level, and temperament, will help avoid problems as your new pet settles in. Talking to your veterinary clinic about any breed-specific health concerns will also help avoid surprises along the way.
Once you have selected your new dog and welcomed them into your house, follow these guidelines for a happy, healthy dog:
- Organise a veterinary health check. This health check will ensure there are no health problems of concern, and provide you with an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian. Any vaccinations, worming treatments, or flea treatments needed can also be given at this time, and this will get your new pet onto the reminder system for their yearly health checks.
- If not already microchipped, organise for your new dog to be microchipped as soon as possible. Then, if your new pet does get out of your property and is unable to find their way home, they can still be reunited with you quickly.
- Register your new pet with your local council.
- Consider pet insurance for your new pet. Pet insurance does not cover for any pre-existing conditions, so it is best to insure your new pet as soon as they become part of your family.
- Set your new dog up with safe areas for play and sleep. If they will sleep outside, establish a sheltered, dry area, out of the wind, and provide soft, raised beds to avoid chills. Also check that all fences are dog-proof to avoid escapes, and remove any baits or poisons in all areas the dog will have access to.
- Provide good nutrition. Premium pet foods will ensure your new dog receives all the nutrients they need. Puppies will need the nutrients from a specially-formulated puppy diet, while adults may have specific requirements for their health and lifestyle. We can discuss the best foods for your pet to keep them healthy. Try not to change their diet suddenly - gradually introducing new food over 1-2 weeks will help avoid upset stomachs from the new food.
- Begin training your new dog. Not only does this help produce a well-behaved dog, but it also establishes a bond between you and your pet. Puppies benefit from socialisation classes such as puppy preschool, and older dogs will enjoy group obedience or agility classes.
- Provide appropriate toys and treats. Many dogs enjoy treat-based toys where they have to figure out how to get the food out, and these provide longer-lasting entertainment when you leave your dog alone. Using different toys when you are home vs when they are alone keeps dogs interested in the toys and enjoying the variety.
- Start regular home-care routines, such as grooming, brushing teeth, washing, and clipped fur. Starting slowly and gently, and making these fun, will establish a routine to keep your dog looking their best, while also establishing a good bond between you and your pet. These times also give you a chance to check their body for grass seeds and burrs (remember to check between the toes, as this is the most common place for them to embed themselves), and to check their teeth for any tartar build-up.
If you have any questions about any aspects of your current or future pet's health care, please call the clinic.