Caring for your dog - vaccinations, worming, flea, heartworm, feeding

Congratulations on the arrival of your new family member. The following information is provided to help you with all the necessary health care your new dog will require, including :-

Wellness for life^

Did you know pets age around seven times faster than you? Taking your dog to the veterinarian once a year is the same as a person seeing a doctor or dentist once every seven or eight years. That is why all dogs need twice yearly wellness check-ups. Wellness check-ups allow your veterinarian to detect, treat and help prevent health related problems early before they become painful and sometimes untreatable.


To safeguard your pet from potentially serious and sometimes fatal diseases we recommend vaccinations. Dogs are vaccinated against:

Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and the serious respiratory infection, Canine Cough.

Your dog may require two vaccinations a month apart so that they are fully protected.

Adult dogs require an annual vaccination booster every year. You will receive a reminder when your dog's yearly vaccination is due.


We strongly recommend all dogs, male and female, to be desexed. Dogs can be desexed at any age, usually after they are 5 months old.

As well as reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, desexing can prevent pets from roaming, fighting or causing nuisance to neighbours. In females it significantly reduces the risk of uterine and mammary cancer and in males it reduces the risk of cancer of the prostate gland and testicles. It is also advisable to have a tattoo placed in their ear to indicate that your pet has been desexed.

Heartworm Prevention^

Heartworm can affect dogs and is spread by mosquitoes. This disease can be very serious and left untreated could result in the death of your pet. From 12 months of age an annual preparation given by injection can be administered to protect against heartworm. Heartworm prevention is needed for the life of your pet.


The most common worms that affect dogs in Australia are roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and whipworm. Worms are a common cause of ill health in pets and can cause signs such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and in severe cases even death. Dogs should be wormed every 3 months for life with an allwormer, eg. Drontal tablet or Canex Cube.

Flea control^

Fleas are unfortunately an ever present nuisance to our pets. If fleas exist in the environment they will find a way onto your dog's skin. Fleas can be prevented easily and effectively with a once a month topical solution or tablet. All pets in the household need to be treated. Our Veterinary Healthcare team can provide you with more information about effective flea control.

Dental Care^

Teeth cleaning and gum massage are very important and probably best achieved by supplying your dog with the appropriate things to chew on. This helps exercise the teeth and gums and helps to prevent boredom.

Be careful when selecting toys that dogs can break off pieces and swallow, which could make them seriously ill. Greenies or Rawhide chews are good for your dog's teeth and will provide hours of fun.

Nutrition - a healthy diet^

To maintain your dog's health and wellbeing he/she must have a balanced diet. An all meat diet can cause nutritional deficiencies, therefore the most reliable and convenient way to provide a balanced and palatable diet is to feed a high quality, prepared dog food. We stock several varieties of premium quality dog foods at our hospital and our staff will be happy to recommend what is best for your dog.

Milk is unnecessary and can cause diarrhoea in those that are lactose intolerant. Clean water must be available at all times.

Identification/ Microchipping^

Your dog should be registered with the local council after they turn 3 months of age. Some councils offer discounted registration for desexed animals. A dog tag is supplied by the local council for their collar but we also suggest more permanent identification such as microchipping.

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification in the form of a tiny chip, which is implanted under the skin. Registration details are kept with Central Animal Records and can be updated by the owner if there is any change in owner details. We recommend to microchip at the time of desexing as a tattoo is required in the right ear to identify them as being microchipped. For more information visit Microchipping


Dogs generally do not require much bathing, however if this becomes necessary make sure you use a mild shampoo. Dog’s skin is very different to ours. We recommend that your dog is bathed no more than once a week. We also offer a hydrobath service


At home, your dog needs somewhere comfortable to sleep, and access to somewhere protected from the weather. Provide them with a blanket and a basket or box to curl up in.  To keep your dog’s bright mind active, supply a good range of toys such as Kongs, treat balls, rope chews etc which are rotated over a period of a week, so they are always kept novel. If you are out and about you should have your dog fitted with the correct lead and harness. A car harness is a good idea for car travel.

House Training^

There are certain signs you should watch out for that will alert you that your dog needs to go outside. These include walking in circles, sitting or whining at the door or sniffing on the ground. It is advisable to take your dog outside first thing in the morning, after sleeping, after being left alone for a period of time, after eating and before they go to bed. Accidents will happen! If you catch your dog in the act you should immediately take them outside. NEVER spank your dog, rub their nose in it or reprimand them after an accident.  Using praise is the best method of training. Dogs only want to please their owners. Give your dog lots of praise when the right thing is done. For more information on Toilet training


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Basic health and care