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Dog Care

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 they stay healthy and happy.

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 your dog with a soft and cosy designated area inside that they can call their own. For example, a bed or crate where they can have some time out, especially from children. Certainly a toy or two will help them settle in.

Dogs can live indoors and outdoors. If outdoors, provide a clean, waterproof kennel with a comfortable dog bed inside. The closer the kennel is to the house, the more likely your dog will feel part of the 'pack'. If possible, have the kennel facing toward the house so your dog can see you inside. 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. The PETstock team 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.

If you are leaving your dog alone outside for a few hours, make sure you have carefully checked your yard and removed any items your dog should not have access to.

Also, leave some treats and toys to entertain them while you're away!

Premium adult dog food is full of the right nutrients in the right proportions, unlike many supermarket foods. The quality of your dog's food will be reflected 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, raw bones or heathly treats should be given twice a week.

There are certain foods that are dangerous (and occasionally fatal) to dogs and should be avoided in their daily diet. These include: cooked bones, onions, grapes, sultanas, avocado, lily plants, coffee/tea, alcohol, chocolate and too much high energy human food such as barbecued or cured meats.

Also avoid feeding fatty marrow bones and only feed raw eggs in moderation.

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 it up, so remove it after a few hours. This will also avoid attracting flies.

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, some worms can transfer from dogs to humans, so be diligent.

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 team 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 flea prevention.

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.

Heartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart and lungs of dogs and spread by mosquitos. This disease is usually fatal without treatment and contrary to popular belief, is present Australia wide.

It is vital to protect your dog against heartworm. 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 PETstock VET service you can get your dog microchipped conveniently in store.

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 they do the right thing.

Due to various health and behaviour problems it is highly recommended your dog is de-sexed at five - six months of age. This will not change the personality of your dog.