Owning a dog will be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you will ever do.
To enjoy all the benefits of owning a dog, it is vital you take the steps to ensure he or she stays healthy and happy. This information guide will help you achieve this.
- Owning a dog
- Shelter and housing
- Feeding requirements
- Protect against fleas
- Ensure your dog is vaccinated
- Dog checklist
If your dog is less than 12 months old, please refer to PETstock's Puppy Care Brochure.
While it's exciting bringing a new dog home, remember the environment is new and your dog may be very apprehensive and scared. Act calm and don't be too rough or boisterous in these early days. Provide a warm, soft and cosy area for your dog to feel secure. Certainly a toy or two will help them settle in.
Dogs can live indoors and outdoors. Provide a clean, waterproof kennel if living outdoors and place a comfortable dog bed inside the kennel. If your dog lives indoors, they require a dog bed to sleep on.
Dogs need to become accustom to sleeping outside in the cold, so don't put an indoor dog outside for the night as they need to grow a coat appropriate for the weather. PETstock staff can advise on a great range of kennels, bedding and dog coats to keep your pet warm and happy.
TIP: Ensure the kennel is not too big for your dog as they must be able to warm it with their own body heat.
A premium adult dog food is recommended as it is full of the right nutrients in the right proportions, unlike many supermarket foods. The quality of your dog's food can be indicated in the condition of their coat.
Adult dogs should be fed once or twice per day.
Wet food is fine but it is important to always feed some dry food too, as it is much better for your dog's teeth! In addition, bones or recommended treats should be given twice a week.
There are certain foods that can be fatal to dogs and should be avoided in their daily diet. These include: cooked bones, onions, grapes, sultanas, avocado, coffee/tea, alcohol, chocolate and too much high energy human foods such as barbecued or cured meats.
You should also avoid feeding raw eggs, fatty marrow bones and lily plants.
TIP: Bones should be raw and twice as big as your dog's head. Remember, you want your dog to chew on the bone, not chew up the bone so remove it after a few hours.
Your dog should be wormed every three months for life. The most common intestinal worms include roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and whipworm.
TIP: 'All wormers' are a good way to protect your dog from all types of intestinal worms. Remember, worms can transfer from dogs to humans, so be diligent - especially if you have children.
Fleas carry tapeworm and can cause severe scratching and allergic reactions, known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
Protect your dog with a good quality flea control product on a monthly basis, all year round. Ask a PETstock staff member for a product suitable for your dog.
TIP: Flea collars, powders and flea rinses are not considered adequate flea control. They may kill fleas but don't provide protection for more than a few days.
Dogs are at risk of a number of serious diseases including parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis among others. These diseases are debilitating and can be fatal, so vaccinating against them is vital.
Your dog should have been vaccinated as a puppy, so yearly boosters should be sufficient. If there are any doubts about your dog's vaccination status, an immediate course of two injections, four weeks apart, is required.
If your local PETstock store offers a PETvet service you can get your dog vaccinated conveniently in store.
Heartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart and lungs of dogs and is spread by mosquitos. This disease is usually fatal without treatment and contrary to popular belief, is present in all Australian states.
It is vital to protect your dog against heartworm rather than waiting for them to contract it. The old saying 'prevention is better than cure' definitely applies here.
Prevention comes in the form of yearly injections or monthly tablets, chewables and spot-ons.
TIP: Most 'all wormers' do not prevent heartworm, so check carefully and ensure your dog is protected.
A microchip is a permanent identification device implanted under the skin, allowing a quick and easy return if your dog ever gets lost.
Pet microchipping is mandatory in most Australian states, so ask a PETstock staff member or your local council if this is a requirement in your area.
Your dog can be microchipped at any age but the earlier the better. Microchipping is quick and easy, causing very little discomfort.
If your local PETstock store offers a PETvet service you can get your dog microchipped conveniently in store.
TIP: It's essential to inform the microchip registry if you move, or your contact number changes.
TIP: As well as microchipping, it's a good idea to purchase an I.D tag for your puppy's collar, engraved with their name and your contact number. This will also increase their chance of finding their way home if they should get lost!
Training should start as early as possible and is vital for a happy and healthy relationship between you and your pet. Dogs are pack animals and are used to a social hierarchy. Set your rules and stick to them. You should be fair, firm and consistent but most of all you must become the dominant pack leader.
Always praise your dog for good behaviour and correct undesirable behaviour with a firm 'no' before ignoring them for two minutes. Ceasing 'playtime' is a good punishment for a dog. Rewarding with treats is a great way to train your dog when he does things right.
Due to various health and behaviour problems it is highly recommended your dog is desexed at 5 - 6 months of age. This will not change the personality of your dog.
- Flea & tick control
- Heartworm prevention
- Premium food
- Bedding & kennel
- Food & water bowl
- Treats & toys
- Desexing Collar & lead
- ID tag
- Shampoo & grooming tools
- Council registration