Friday, 23 September 2011

Getting a New Dog

Firstly think about what you want in a dog.

Lap Dog vs Exercise Dog
Small vs Large
Light Molting vs Heavy All-Year Round Molting
Lazy vs Energetic
Family Dog vs Solitary Dog
Lifespan length?
Fur length/Grooming needs
Amount of food they will need?

The list goes on and on, if you know the basics in a dog you want, and how much you can afford for food, veterinary bills, etc then you can get a better idea of a dog that will suit you.

Remember a dog is not a right, a dog is a luxury. There are things which happen and can cost a lot in veterinary bills. Particular breeds a predisposed to conditions that may also cost you lifelong medical costs.

The best way to decide on the right pooch for you, is to talk with a Veterinarian or Veterinary Nurse and friends with dogs. They can determine what type of dog will suit your lifestyle, so you don't choose a dog that can't handle your lifestyle and therefore be naughty or cost you a fortune.

This also enables you to learn about potential conditions that are breed specific. Plus the Veterinarians will know of good breeders where you won't get a half breed or sick dog. If we don't support the bad breeders, backyard breeders, puppy farms and pet shops, then gradually they will decrease in numbers due to poor profit, and save potential owners from buying what may be an unhealthy pup.

Once you know a few breeds you would be happy with, do some personal research on them, ask anybody you know with that breed, have a look at some down at the shelters, get to know the likely personalities.

Finally before getting a new dog, make sure you organise everything you will need:
(Always allow for the growth of the dog)

Lead (and Harness for toy dogs)
Food and Water bowls
Bag of Food
A collection of Toys (Wash without soap before use)
Dog Brush (Suitable for particular fur coat)
Dog Bed
Dog seatbelt for car/Dog carrier
Training/Toileting pads for pups
Jacket/Coat for cold nights (May need to purchase with dog for correct size fitting)
Ensure backyard/front yard area is well enforced so dog cannot run away
Keep money aside for Vaccinations, Worming, Micro-chipping, Council Registration and Sterilisation.

Good luck looking for the right pooch!
Remember to look in newspapers, the quokka, animal shelters, and certified breeders before looking in pet shops, puppy farms and backyard breeders.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Puppy Protocols

You get a puppy and now you have to get it vaccinated, micro-chipped, sterilised, registered, wormed!! and the list goes on.. This outlines all the things to consider when you get a puppy, or even a new dog. Before we get started, keep in mind that different veterinary clinics and animal shelters have their own set protocols, this could be for different products used, and different skill or opinions. At the end of the day. Find one YOU trust, of course it matters what puppy thinks too, though sometimes he/she may not be happy, just because of the smells of other animals present.

Let's start with a puppy. You just got your puppy all of 8 weeks old. Yes this is the age that most people obtain puppies, earlier means they miss out on important lessons from mum. Later means more lessons with mum, though less critical socialisation and training time for you. So the standard is 8 weeks.

Puppy receiving a vaccination

8 week old Puppies: Time for puppies' very first vaccination! Start on a Puppy-safe Flea treatment. Administer intestinal worming prevention and also ask your vet about Heartworm preventatives. Puppy Preschool is also a great first step for puppy because it is a safe, clean environment where your puppy can socialise with other puppies and humans too, it also allows you to learn a lot about puppy and basic training too.

10 week old Puppies: Time to give worming tablets again.

12 week old Puppies:
2nd Vaccination is due. Puppy needs to be registered now that he/she is 3 months old. Also yet again flea treatment and a worming tablet. Begin assessing the option of sterilisation and discuss with your veterinarian.

14 week old Puppies: Give puppy lots of love and attention this fortnight :)

16 week old Puppies: 3rd Vaccination! This is the last until a years time.

17 week old Puppies: Puppy can explore the world now! Just remember to keep puppy on a lead unless otherwise prescribed (home, dog park or other places specified for dogs).

6 month old Puppies: If not already considered/discussed with a veterinarian, then sterilisation can be performed at 6 months of age. There is also a heartworm preventative that lasts for 12 months (saving you the monthly, or even daily tablets). This can be given from 6 months onwards. Also consider micro-chipping at time of sterilisation if not already carried out.

Dogs:  Flea treatment and worming should be done once a month. Though may vary depending on the product used, in which case ask a veterinarian.
Side-note: If you have a cat along with a dog. No you cannot use the same product on both unless it specifies that it is for cats too. This is because some products that are used in dog flea treatments are highly toxic to cats and can even send them into seizures, and can also be fatal. (The active ingredient that I am specifically talking about is Permethrin.)

This is the surgical procedure that makes your dog permanently infertile. Normally this procedure is carried out at 6 months of age. Though varies where dogs may have testes already palpable at an earlier stage, health risks, etc. It is possible for "future stud dogs" to be implanted with something called "Suprelorin" this inhibits the reproductive functions of dogs, (currently available for male dogs only). Ask a veterinarian for further information.

Micro-chipping: This is a small microchip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted just between the shoulder blades with an application needle. This micro-chip contains a unique code that is traced back to an Australia wide database to collect owner contact details should the puppy go missing. It can only be read using a special scanner and pet/owner details can only be obtained by an authorised member of a veterinary clinic, animal shelter, etc.

Nutrition: Puppies should be fed on a well balanced diet aimed at puppies for the first 12 months of their life, then gradually switched onto an adult diet. Some foods are for smaller dogs, larger dogs, more active dogs, etc. It is important to discuss which is best for your puppy/dog with a veterinarian.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. Always ask the veterinarian that is seeing your puppy about any of the above information because protocols may be different depending where you live, and who you visit.

Take care and enjoy a long happy life with your puppy or new dog :)


Monday, 19 September 2011

Kitten Conundrums

Messing about the house. I don't just mean knocking over your precious ornaments or heirlooms. I'm talking about urine and faeces in your washing! (litter box training).

So your gorgeous new kitten has just messed on you stunning new dress or your favourite cap. Let's stop this becoming a regular problem.

Paws Solved: When your kitten wakes up, exercises or eats a meal he/she will likely need to use the litterbox, so taking kitten to the litter box shortly after, will encourage use. Reward your kitten with a treat after using the litterbox (though do keep in mind how many treats you are giving, or use cat food, always provide less in the meal if giving more during snacktime). Kitten will be more happy to use the litter box if it is clean, so clean it, wash and replace with fresh litter. (You wouldn't use a toilet which was dirty would you?)

New couch? Don't you mean Scratching Post? Kittens love to sharpen their nails and keep them short, so buying a new couch will be such a treat for them! But a half ripped couch doesn't tend to blend with the decor.

Paws Solved: Make sure you either use a scratch deterrent sheeting or attach double sided sticky tape to deter kitten. Provide a scratch post, tree bark or even carpet for kitten to keep up the manicures, and save your couch from destruction.

Eating the Roast. Kitten loves food, but this does not mean that human food is a healthy source of nutrition. In fact there are many human foods that can be toxic and even fatal to your kitten. It's also unpleasant if you turn from your meal one second, and the next it's in kitty's mouth, bounding away.

Paws Solved: Don't provide food to your kitten ad lib (always out and available for kitten). Provide between 3 and 6 meals to your kitten throughout the day. Always prioritise your own meal first. Do no feed kitten off your plate because this tells him/her it's okay to take your food. Use the feeding guides on packaging, just remember it's a guide not a rule. More active kitties will need more food than less active kitties, and most likely you are feeding too much. Check with your veterinarian if you are unsure about kittens weight and food supply.

I won't cover all the tough stuff in Kittens. But if you have questions or would like information/a post on another topic, feel free to ask on a comment.

*Note: Litter used: Recycled Newspaper. (Probably not allowed to specify brand.. but good stuff).

Welcome to Twice the Advice

I would like to welcome all my visitors to Twice the Advice, along with upcoming connected blogs regards animals, for your interest and convenience.

I am a qualified veterinary nurse, and have had years of experience and interest in animals. I am not a dog or a cat person. I'm an animal person. I have a cat and numerous fish, and in case you are wondering, my cat prefers the fish food and has never eaten the fish.

I want a dog, I plan to get a dog, I will get a dog. I know a bit about dogs, mainly through veterinary nursing and also family and friend companions. I will try to cover as much on dogs, or seek someone with the knowledge.

This blog is where I tell you how to care for your dog, cat, fish, bird, snake, or whatever! If I cannot give you the right information I will try to get that information from another valued source.

So if you would like to know a little more, then this is the place for you.

Welcome to Twice the Advice, enjoy reading!

Just some of my fishy companions...