Caring for your dog

Caring for your Dog

Dog care tips from Russell Vale Animal Clinic

Ah, the lovable, cuddleable (is that a word), “always there for us” pup.

They are the extra member of the family who is often the only member happy to see us when we come home from work and are ecstatic to spend time with us at the beach or park. (those of us with teenagers or adults know what I mean).

Their love, devotion, and their sensitivity to the way we feel (they just want to make us feel loved) is truly, well, how do we write that down? So many poems and movies are dedicated to this very thought.

Before they come into your home, you need to check these things


  • The parents – are they suitable (are they kind, generous, friendly)
  • Is the puppy properly vet checked, vaccinated and microchipped (it is a legal requirement that they need to be microchipped at point of sale or by 12 weeks of age).
  • The breeders – do they actually care about what they are doing or breeding? Once this lovable bundle is in your household, you need to do these things
  • An independent vet check – preferably within 24 hours of picking up your pup
  • Make sure you have filled and have copies of their vaccination and change of microchip details
  • Booked yourself into a great Puppy Preschool Class – ask us, and we will steer you in the right direction. I personally believe that they should not be run by veterinary hospitals, unless they are by accredited experienced dog trainers with veterinary (this is rare in the area, so please ask for our advice)
  • Parasite control – do it yourself – it won’t hurt your puppy to do so, but at least you know what they have had, and
  • Love them – that is all that they want (plus food, shelter etc).

Pet Insurance:

You need to budget for veterinary bills, because (no secret), quality veterinary care is not cheap, and your family deserves quality.

Do I believe in pet insurance – As a disclaimer – our dog Piper was insured from the first five minutes she came into our household to Jan 2023 (she is now 10), and the premiums now far outweighed any benefit (sadly). I still believe in the right pet insurance for our pets, and the sooner you start the better, the issue comes in that if your pet is one of the lucky ones, and is healthy, you are paying for something you will never use. It is a gamble.

Some friendly tips

  • Every pet owner is an expert (not) – do what you feel is right for you and your pet
  • A well socialised pet is not one that likes everyone and goes up to everyone, but one is able to be present without interfering with everyone
  • Work to understand your own pet’s psychology – not all like to go for a walk, not all need to associate with their own Sometimes, they are just happy being with you.
  • Ditch the food bowl, and use dispensing treat toys instead
  • We are big fans of Adaptil collars in all puppies, and adult dogs – it is a great investment in allowing them to adjust to their new household, as well as any time there may be an upheaval (house change, new baby)
  • “happy visits” are essential – make your pet think that a visit to a place that smells like a vet hospital is absolutely the best place to Happy, happy, happy!

Finally, having an emergency plan, in the event of fire or flood is always a good idea. It is also important to think about who is going to care for your pet if you are unable to for a short or long time.

Know that all of us at Russell Vale Animal Clinic are here for you to make sure you are the best version of a pet owner that your dog knows that you are.