Pet Care Information
Owning a puppy will provide you with years of enjoyment and is a very rewarding experience. Owning a dog also carries responsibilities, we hope this information will help.
Table of Contents:
Click on the links below to take you to the information you require.
- Useful items for your puppy
- What you should receive with your puppy
- The right breed for you
- Naming your puppy
- Dental health
- Flea & tick prevention
- Dog Sports
Use this handy list to help you select the necessary items to care for your puppy:
- Inside Bedding
- Outside Kennel
- ID Tag
- Food Bowl
- Water Bowl
- Flea Control
- Intestinal Wormer
- House Breaking Aid (wee wee pads)
- Comb & Brush
When you purchase your new puppy whether it be from a pet shop or directly from a breeder, it should be at least 8 weeks of age, vaccinated and wormed. All puppies that are vaccinated will have a vaccination certificate issued by a veterinarian to indicate when the puppy was vaccinated and when it’s due again. Puppies are vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus. Your veterinarian may also suggest a vaccination against Tracheobronchitis, often known as Kennel Cough, especially if you plan to board your dog of if it will interact with others such as at shows or dog training. Dogs are usually vaccinated at 6 to 8 weeks of age, 10 to 12 weeks of age then annually. Sometimes your veterinarian may suggest a different time for your dog and you should take your veterinarian’s advice.
Selecting the right breed of puppy is very important, you should think about your lifestyle and how much time you will need to groom or exercise a particular breed. To find out some of the breeds that may suit your lifestyle see the Select-a-pet website.
Once you have decided what breed of puppy you would like, you will need to find a puppy. If you would like a pedigree puppy you will be able to contact the Canine Controlling Body in your State to enquire about dog clubs. Registered breeders are subject to a code of ethics governed by the State Canine Associations. Pedigree puppies should grow true to the recognized standards of the breed. You therefore have a good idea of the ultimate size, appearance, weight and temperament of your puppy.
If you would like to give a second chance to a homeless puppy, there are many animal welfare organisations that have puppies available. Local pounds also have puppies that are looking for homes, your local pound is listed in the Local Government section of you telephone book.
This is fun, but it’s also very important. A puppy needs a name it will recognise, so try and avoid names that sound like commands you are likely to use. For instance “Beau” sounds similar to “No”.
A short, simple name is ideal. Don’t forget one day you may have to stand in a park and call it, so don’t pick something you’ll be embarrassed by.
For suggestions on the most popular dog names and their meanings check out the Bow Wow Meow website.
Ensure your puppy has his own bed right from the start, this will allow him to have his own area which he can go to. It provides security and will teach him where you want him to sleep. There are many kennels on the market and recently plastic baskets have become available, both are sturdy and long lasting so don’t forget to select one that the puppy will fit when it is full grown. Position your pup’s kennel not too far from the back door, as dogs love to be part of the family.
A puppy’s diet is very important as they use a lot of energy playing and have a lot of growing to do. We recommend feeding Eukanuba puppy food, it is a complete balanced food, which means there is normally no need to add additional vitamins or other supplements to the puppy’s food.
To ensure your puppy has clean healthy teeth and gums the addition of raw Brisket bones regularly to the dog's diet is recommended. As well as helping to clean the dog's teeth they also provide jaw exercise. Regularly cleaning your dog's teeth with a dog toothbrush and paste will also keep them healthy. Be careful to only gently brush and start with a small area to get the dog used to it. It is a good idea to start this routine from a young age and ensure you only use special pet toothpaste.
It is a good idea to get your puppy used to being grooming while it is young to avoid problems later. Regular grooming also allows you to check your puppy for fleas, ticks or any potential problems. When grooming your puppy, you should pay particular attention to problem areas, such as ears, and body folds. Your grooming routine will vary depending on the breed of puppy, you will be able to find lots of helpful tips from it’s breeder or from dog grooming books.
Fleas can be picked up quite easily when your dog comes in contact with other dogs or visits areas such as parks where they have been. You only need one flea on a dog to make it start scratching, the saliva from a flea bite causes an allergic reaction. Fleas need warmth, moisture and vibration to hatch, so many flea eggs that are laid in cool months do not hatch till spring when the conditions are ideal.
The best way to beat a flea problem is to treat the dog, your yard and your house. It might seem like a lot of work but if you can eradicate the fleas on your property and keep treating the dog for fleas to prevent new ones jumping on him, you will solve the problem.
- On the dog - There are several good sprays and drops to put on the back of the dog’s neck that work well. If you have a puppy under 12 weeks always read the label as some products can not be used on young puppies.
- In the yard - You will need to treat your whole yard and under the house, if the dog has access to it with an insecticide. Most insecticides do not have a long residual effect so you may need to retreat the yard regularly for a course of time. The insecticide will have its residual time listed on it. Dog Rinses are perfect for this job, they are economical and easy to water or spray on.
- In the house - Treat the house with a “Flea Bomb”, use one that has an initial knockdown for adult fleas and an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) to prevent eggs hatching out.
It is important to note that no insecticide kills flea eggs, you must either use products with Insect Growth Regulators to prevent the eggs hatching out or retreat regularly to control new fleas hatching out.
There are many different types of ticks in Australia, but it is the paralysis tick which threaten dogs with death. Found primarily in coastal areas on the Australian East Coast, it can easily attach itself to dogs as they walk through grass or scrub.
Ticks attach themselves to a host and suck blood, while doing this they release a toxin into the host. Dogs become ill very quickly and it is important that you seek veterinary assistance as soon as you find a tick or have a dog with any of the following symptoms, unco-ordinated, muscle weakness, trouble standing, breathing or swallowing, a change in bark and vomiting.
The best way to deal with ticks is to use the same method as to control fleas but select products that control paralysis tick aswell. Also examine your dog everyday using the “finger-crawl” technique. Run your hands over the dog feeling for ticks that have attached themselves rather than relying on sight. Don’t forget to check under the collar, between paw pads and in the ears and mouth
With both fleas and ticks prevention is always better.
If you do not plan to breed your dog we strongly recommend desexing, please talk to your vet about the advantages of desexing your dog. Most vets recommend desexing at six months of age.
The facts about desexing:
- There is no reason why your dog needs to have a litter prior to being desexed.
- Desexing does not make your dog fat.
- Desexed males are less likely to wander, fight or be territorial.
- It is the only 100% way to prevent a litter of puppies (they may be cute, but you have to care for and find them all homes)
The socialization period for puppies is between 4 and 12 weeks of age. During this time the puppy is very impressionable to social influences. You should encourage good experiences in many different situations, though be careful as your puppy is still not fully vaccinated. We recommend using a light collar and lead at home to practice walking. After your puppy is fully vaccinated local training schools and puppy pre-schools are an ideal way of ensuring socialization and dog and owner participation in basic training methods. Your vet will be be able to advise you of local puppy preschools.
For contact details of local training schools you can contact the Canine Controlling Body in your state.
There are many independent training schools. To deal with individual behavioural problems Bark Busters offers a lifetime training guarantee, they can be contacted on 1800 067 710 (in Australia) or 0800 167 710 (in New Zealand).
The fastest growing sport in the world is Flyball. It's easy to learn, fun for both dog and owner and almost any dog, regardless of breed can do it. Flyball is a relay race with four dogs on each team. The course consists of four hurdles and a box. Dogs jump each hurdle then step on the spring-loaded flyball box pedal and a tennis ball shoots out of the box. The dog catches the ball then runs back over the hurdles. Once the dog crosses the start line the next dog begins.
For more information contact The Australian Flyball Association Inc
The canine sport of tracking lets dogs use the natural instincts that many of them have been bred for throughout human history. Dogs are given a scent then instructed to sniff out that scent on a pre-laid track. All you need to start is a harness and a 10 metre lead for your dog.
For more information contact:
- ACT (02)6288 1049
- New South Wales (02) 9649 6231
- Northern Territory (08) 8984 3570
- Queensland (07) 3208 9048
- South Australia (08) 8276 7914
- Tasmania (03) 6272 9443
- Victoria (03) 9741 6378
- Western Australia (08) 9459 7623
It is compulsory to register your puppy with the council, simply visit your local council office or the pound to do so. With some councils it is only compulsory after 6 months of age, but do it today as a puppy is just as likely to get lost as an older dog.
Microchipping of dogs is available from vets and is a permanent form of identification.
The recently introduced New South Wales Companion Animal Act will require all puppies purchased from 1st July 1999 to be permanently identified (Via Microchipping) and registered. All other dogs (currently owned) must be permanently identified (Via Microchipping) by 1st July 2002 and registered.
For more details about the New South Wales Companion Animal Act contact:
- Your local council, or
- The Department of Local Government Ph (02) 9793 0822
To find out about Laws and restrictions regarding dogs in other Australian states contact your local council.