Owning a dog provides companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages. A dog can be an invaluable addition to families and individuals.
However, it is important to find the type/breed of dog most suited 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 more than willing to discuss the many aspects of dog care, including breed-specific medical issues and routine health care advice for vaccinations, flea/tick control, desexing and worming that your future dog may need.
When bringing home your new puppy or dog, there are several important aspects of their care to consider:
- We strongly recommend that you insure your new dog. Learn more about Pet Insurance.
- Provide suitable bedding such as washable rugs, cushions or blankets in a weatherproof kennel or secure area indoors.
- A secure exercise area such as an escape-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. Puppy School is a great way to start out on the right foot – visit our puppy school page for more information.
- All dogs require minimum veterinary care of an annual health check. On average, dogs age 5 – 8 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 the vet helps us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Routine vaccinations, flea/tick control and worming are also recommended. A visit to us is also a good opportunity to ask about nutrition, behaviour, and other issues.
- 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 dogs’ teeth. Never give your dog cooked bones, as these can be brittle and easily splinter, causing harm to your dog.
- 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 and non-shedding 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.
Our staff are always keen to discuss routine health care for your current or future dogs. For further information about canine care, please contact us.