Hills science diet and Advance foods are premium diets and highly recommended by our veterinarians, as they have all the essential components for dogs at all lifestages. There are numerous other foods available but it is very important that your dog or puppy eats dry food +/- canned food that is specific to the lifestage it is in E.g. Puppies must be fed puppy food up until 1 year of age after which they can be gradually transitioned to an adult dog food. It is important for your dog and puppy to have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Depending upon the age of your dog, will depend upon how often you should feed it. Puppies should be fed two to three times daily when it is between the ages of 8-16 weeks of age, after which we recommend that you continue to feed your puppy twice daily. Whereas adult dogs can be fed once a day. A dog's primary diet should be dry food, although some people may choose to feed a small amount of wet food, consisting of mince or meat. Wet food is to be the secondary component of your pet's diet and can be fed in addition to dry food. Remember that wet food is high in calories and therefore only a small amount is required and it should not be left to sit out at room temperature for longer than an hour. If it is not eaten during that time please discard the remainder.
It is very important to contact your veterinarian to set up your new dog or puppies vaccinations as soon as possible. When you call the clinic, our staff will help you determine which vaccinations your puppy or dog requires and set a schedule for your pet. Vaccinations are required to protect your dog against contagious diseases. Our standard vaccination protocols protect your dog against a range of viruses including canine cough and the deadly parvo virus.
Vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age, and involve a course of 3 injections, each 4 weeks apart. It is necessary to keep your pet indoors until the course has been completed and to ensure that all other dogs in the household are up to date with their vaccinations. If there is a chance your dog will travel to the coast or go hunting, then it may require additional vaccinations including the lepto vaccination. Your veterinarian will discuss your dog's risks and determine if your puppy or dog should be vaccinated against these diseases.
All vaccinations require annual boosters and will need to be kept up to date to influence the ongoing health of your pet. If you are unsure about your pet's vaccinations, please call us today.
Dogs and especially puppies are commonly infected with intestinal parasites or 'worms'. Puppies can often become infected from their mothers during their early days of life. Puppies need to be dewormed every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly till six months of age, then once every three months for the rest of their lives. Deworming tablets should only be purchased from a veterinarian or pet shop as cheaper brands may not be affective in removing all worms.
Heartworm is a blood borne parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes. If a mosquito that is infected with heartworm bites your dog or puppy it can infect it with heartworms. The baby worms travel from the bite site up into your dog's heart, growing in size as it migrates. Obviously it is not good to have worms living in your dog's heart and it can therefore be potentially life threatening. Treatment for heartworm is very difficult, painful and expensive; thus it is much better to prevent infection. We strongly recommend that all dogs and puppies be on heartworm prevention either with a monthly tablet or a once yearly injection. Most monthly heartworm preventions also contain an intestinal worm control but do need to be stringently given at the same time every month to be effective. The once yearly heartworm injections is our preferred method for heartworm prevention as it can be given at the same time every year as regular vaccinations and does not require strict monthly compliance. Please note that this injection does not protect your dog against intestinal parasites, therefore standard deworming protocols are still required (see above).
It is required by Queensland law that all dogs and puppies be microchipped. A microchip is a permanent identification device approximately the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades, via an injection. If a pet is found, a vet or council member can immediately scan for a microchip and the owner's details can be located so that the pet can be returned safely and quickly to the owner. It is also required by Queensland law that all pets be registered with the council. Please contact your local council immediately after getting a new pet and they will inform you how to get registered. Most councils typically offer discounted registration for desexed and microchipped pets.
All dogs and puppies should be brushed on a regular basis to help keep their hair coat healthy and well kept. All dogs have different coats, some double coated and some single coated, depending upon the breed of your dog. We recommend grooming your pet regularly and our professional groomers at the Maraboon Pet Resort Emerald, can work with you to design a style and grooming schedule that suits the needs of your pet.
Nail trimming, depending on amount of activity and where you exercise your pet, will need to be done every two to six months. This will prevent injury and paw deformity which can be very painful for your dog. Most pet groomer's include nail trimming in their service.
Regular teeth brushing is also important for all dogs, in order to maintain healthy teeth and keep their breath fresh. It is important to use dog toothpaste (not human) as it does not contain fluoride - as pets do not spit out toothpaste as we do when we brush our teeth. It is recommended to brush your pet's teeth three times weekly, and focus on the outside of the teeth as the tongue keeps the insides of the teeth fairly clean. It is important to practice trimming nails and brushing teeth at a young age to get your pet used to these procedures.
All puppies should be desexed at five to six months of age. Desexed pets have less health problems than undesexed pets and are proven to live significantly longer. Desexing female dogs helps prevent unwanted pregnancies, significantly decreases risk of mammary, ovarian and cervical cancer, prevents in-season bleeding (which can last up to 3 weeks and occur up to 3 times yearly), and help prevent wandering behaviour (which can result in serious accidents and loss of pet). Desexing male dogs helps prevent unwanted pregnancies, significantly decreases risk of testicular, prostate and perianal cancers, and helps prevent wandering behaviours which can result in serious accidents and loss of pet.
Socialisation of your puppy is an essential part of emotional and behavioural development. This is most successfully done by exposure to many different positive experiences. The optimal age for socialisation is less than 16 weeks, and waiting past this time can make it more difficult to train you puppy. Puppies that are not properly socialised are more likely to develop aggressive, fearful, and anti-social behaviours. Puppy preschool is an excellent way to socialise your puppy in a safe environment, resulting in a well adjusted dog. Before taking your puppy to any preschool classes, have it checked by a veterinarian to ensure vaccinations are up to date. All puppies attending puppy preschool at the Maraboon Veterinary Surgery Emerald are required to have had at least 2 vaccinations, be up to date with worming and free from external parasites. This ensures a safe environment and decreases risk for all other puppies. Contact us for the next class dates and pricing.
Fleas and ticks are annoying and irritating for both you and your pet and can carry potentially life threatening diseases. There are numerous different products available to protect your pet against these. We recommend prescription strength products that are available through veterinary clinics. Over the counter products that are available online, through grocery stores and pet shops are not the same as products purchased through a veterinary clinic. The staff at Maraboon Veterinary Surgery will be more than happy to assist you in finding the right product for efficacy and safety. If your pet has any side effects from the medications we can assist you in dealing with these problems and speak to the drug companies on your behalf. Different pets and regions are affected by different external parasites and we can help determine what is best for you and your pet.
In addition to the above measures, your dog or puppy will also need close supervision. If you allow your pet to be outside without supervision, please ensure that they can not escape from your property. Please also ensure that your pet does not have contact with potentially life threatening wildlife or motor vehicles. Dogs and especially puppies are very curious and like to get into mischief, thus your home and yard will need to be puppy-proofed. Please ensure that there are no dangerous objects around, bath tubs are empty when not being used and plastic bags are picked up (to prevent suffocation). Do not leave hot objects turned on, and put all dangerous substances/plants out of reach to ensure ingestion does not occur. Also ensure all electric cords are out of reach and discourage your dog or puppy from playing with such things as they can easily become very dangerous. If your puppy accidently gets injured please contact your veterinarian immediately.
There are also a whole range of everyday objects and plants that can potentially be very toxic to your pet. If your pet ingests something toxic please immediately contact your veterinarian and you may also want to contact the poison control hotline at 131126 (note there is a fee for contacting poison control hotline). A partial list of potentially harmful toxins include; chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, toads, snakes, rat bait, snail bait, chemical cleaners. If any of these are ingested please contact our clinic.
A full list of toxic plants can be found at www.veterinarypartner.com