Your dogs health should be just as important to you any member
of the family. With the right care, you dog should live a long and
happy life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easy when you follow
our tips below.
Vaccinations are such an important part of
maintaining a healthy, disease free lifestyle for your pet. Often
the infections that animals contract can be easily avoided by
following the standard vaccination programme co-ordinated by your
Vaccinations are a necessity when it comes to
pet health as they stimulate and promote immunity, enabling your
pet to fight off infections. As a pet owner you will need to visit
your veterinarian with your pet for a series of general
vaccinations over a specified period of time. Primary vaccinations
for puppies will generally be at 7, 13 and 16 weeks.
Later in life boosters are necessary as
vaccinations may decline to non-protective levels. Boosters are
generally an annual exercise. When your animal has been vaccinated
by a veterinarian you will be issued with a vaccination
certificate. This will show what vaccinations have been
administered and when the next one is due. It is very straight
forward and easy to understand so always remember vaccination means
Dogs often groom each other in the wild as a
sign of companionship. Brushing your dog creates a similar bonding
experience and has the benefit of keeping their coat shiny and
clean. Different coats require different grooming techniques and
Medium and long coats: Use a wire dog brush.
Brush very gently to avoid scratching and irritating your dog's
skin. Angle the brush so it's close to the skin. Start at the head
and work down to the tail, working with the angle of the coat
Short smooth coats: A rubber dog brush
removes loose hair and dirt. It also increases blood circulation to
It's a good idea to brush your dog before a
bath as it disperses oil and loosens dirt. And for all dogs,
sensitive areas are the tummy and genitals.
Use a shampoo that's right for your dog's
breed. Your vet will be able to suggest some of the better options.
You'll only need to bathe your dog about once a month provided
he/she has relatively good personal grooming habits. Bathing too
regularly could dry out the skin, making it itchy and flaky.
OPTIMUM® range dog
products can help keep your dog's skin and coat looking beautiful
and in peak condition.
Check regularly that your dog's ears are free
from wax build-up and dirt. This will help prevent irritation,
infection and inflammation. It's best to check when your dog is in
a happy or relaxed mood. Depending on their breed, gently hold or
fold back their ears so you can have a good look inside. For more
information consult your vet.
Letting nails grow too long can be painful
for your dog. If you haven't done this before, take your dog to the
vet or groomer and ask them to show you when and how to clip them
and what tools to use.
Is your dog's breath a little smelly? The
possible causes of bad breath include an unbalanced diet, nose and
mouth infections, tartar build-up and tooth decay. If you
notice changes in your dog's mouth or breath you should consult
Care has been designed to help reduce the build-up of
plaque and tartar, promoting healthy teeth and gums.
The mechanical action of chewing the
specifically designed kibble, in combination with the active
ingredient (sodium tripolyphosphate) promotes good oral
here to read more about OPTIMUM® Oral
Care for Dogs.
It's not just dimensions that differentiate
small dogs from their larger relatives - aging rates and maturity
also vary depending on size. Although small-medium dogs will reach
their full weight and size earlier than large dogs, they reach
their senior years later. A small dog enters its senior years at
approximately 7 years, compared to around 5 years for large
Although they mature later, small dogs won't
show signs of aging until after large dogs do. These maturity and
aging rates generally mean that small-medium breeds live longer
than large breeds. That's why OPTIMUM® has a variety of
different formulations to suit your dog's various life stages and
Along with humans, pet obesity is a "big"
problem in Australia. Incredibly, about 20% to 30% of all dogs and
cats are overweight! You may think that giving your pet what they
want is the right thing to do but obesity can lead to even greater
health problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver
disease and joint disease such as arthritis.
The best way to help your pet maintain a
healthy weight is to ensure you feed your pet a balanced healthy
diet. Exercise for pets is also just as important. Every animal
should either be walked or have some sort of exercise that gets the
heart pumping every day. When your pet is obese it is hard for them
to exercise and they eventually stop trying all together when it
gets too hard. Implement an exercise regime and the weight should
drop off quickly.
If you have any concerns or questions about how much or how often
to feed your pet make an appointment with your vet so you can sit
down and work out a schedule to shed those extra pet kilos.
OPTIMUM® Light &
Mature has been developed to help you manage the
weight of your pet.
Flea control is
very important when it comes to our furry friends. Both cats and
dogs can experience the annoyance and discomfort of these tiny
Treating your dog for fleas is easy but you
have to remember two very important things.
Firstly, preventions are available at most
Supermarkets and vet clinics. Exelpet® provides a
range of products suitable for the prevention and treatment of
fleas (for more information visit www.exelpet.com.au. And
secondly, once you've got them, you need to tackle them in two
Fleas must be controlled on your pet
must be controlled in your pets environment
Killing just the adult fleas and not the eggs
will not do the trick as they will grow and you will still have an
annoying flea problem! Visit your local veterinarian or www.exelpet.com.au for more
information on how to go about controlling fleas in your home and
on your pet.
If you've just taken your dog camping, this
would be a great time to check for Ticks. Ticks are those nasty
little blood suckers that can do a surprising amount of damage.
Ticks can cause paralysis, so by the time you spot one, it could be
too late. Basically the female tick will attach herself to the skin
of your pet "the host" and burrow its mouth parts into the body,
while injecting a neurotoxin.
The tick will keep sucking the blood from the
host and grow in size every day. A neurotoxin has a few side
effects that contribute to muscle damage and can also be damaging
to the respiratory system. You may see your pet having trouble
breathing. The most likely place to pick up a tick is in natural
bush land areas and the danger period is in the warmer months of
spring and summer.
You can protect your pet from ticks by using
a good flea control treatment. Exelpet® products offers
protection from fleas and ticks for up to six months www.exelpet.com.au, However,
if you find a tick on your pet or start to notice any symptoms of
tick paralysis, get to your vet immediately as the sooner the tick
has been discovered, the better chances your pet has of
It's often tempting to give your dog a snack,
especially if he is looking expectedly at you and your food. But be
aware that human snacks aren't always suitable for dogs as many
contain high levels of preservatives and fats, which can be
detrimental, especially if you are trying to manage your dog's
weight. And although you may love it, chocolate is a no-no for dogs
as it contains an ingredient that is potentially poisonous to
pooches. This is not to say you can't treat your dog, just do it
with nutritious doggy snacks and in moderation to maintain a
healthy, balanced diet.
As dogs age they can start to lose their
eyesight and rely more on their sense of smell and hearing. In
determining whether your dog has a vision problem, it is important
to take note of both physical signs, such as watery eyes or redness
in the eyes, and behavioural signs, such as difficulty moving
around the house.
Most likely your dog would have memorised the
layout of your house and so if he is gradually losing his sight,
you may not notice. If you are worried, visit your vet for an eye
exam. If your pooch has vision problems, try to keep his
environment safe and familiar by not moving furniture, bedding or
Also, it's a good idea to talk to your dog
before approaching him, to avoid any unexpected frights.
Heatstroke is when the body reaches an
abnormally high temperature. Within 10 minutes of leaving your pet
in the car on a warm day, (it doesn't necessarily have to be a
scorching hot day) heatstroke can set in. Aside from leaving your
pet in the car, heat stroke can also result from lack of water,
exercising in hot weather and being outside in the sun on a hot
Heat stroke can be very damaging to the
health of your pet, potentially causing haemorrhaging, kidney
failure and even death in extreme cases. Some signs that your pet
may have heat stroke are rapid panting, wide eyes, salivating from
the mouth and/or collapse. There are a few things that you can do
to try to minimise the chances of your pet getting heat stroke.
- Always having access to fresh water
- Never leave your pet in the car (even if it's just for a
- Walk your dog in the mornings and evenings during hot
- Provide shade if you leave your pet outside during the day
Think smart when it comes to hot weather and
give treat your pet as you would like to be treated. If you do
think that your pet may have heat stroke take them to your
veterinarian as they will require medical attention.
Microchipping is becoming more and more
popular as a permanent and effective way of identifying domestic
cats. In the painless procedure, your vet implants a tiny
microchip, the size of a grain of rice, under your dog's skin. The
microchip holds unique information about your dog and, should it go
missing, the chip can be used to trace your cat back to a central
So effective is this method of identification
that in some Australian states it is compulsory.
Check with your vet or local council about your obligations as a