Welcoming a dog into your life offers companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages and is a wonderful addition to families and individuals. That said, it is important you find the breed of dog most suitable to your particular lifestyle e.g. large or small, active and bouncy or more sedate, long coat versus short coat etc. and be aware of any breed specific medical problems that may impact you choice.
After purchasing or adopting your canine friend, there are several important aspects of care to consider:
- Desexing and microchipping are both compulsory in the ACT.
- Suitable bedding such as washable rugs, cushions or blankets either outside in a weatherproof kennel or indoors.
- A secure, dog-proof garden.
- Daily exercise and mental stimulation to help avoid behavioural and health problems. It is also very important for puppies to be socialised with people and other dogs from an early age to enable them to learn appropriate interactive behaviours.
- Annual health check. Did you know that on average, dogs age five to eight times faster than humans? This means that significant health changes can develop in a relatively short amount of time. Routine vaccinations, intestinal worming, heartworm protection, flea and tick control are also recommended.
- A balanced, healthy diet providing protein to build the body; carbohydrates for energy, fats for skin and coat health; and minerals and vitamins for good bone development and healthy tissues.
- A plentiful supply of fresh water bowls must always be available. They should be kept clean and placed in the shade.
- Grooming and brushing, particularly of long-haired breeds, to help remove dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, and tangles. Brushing also assists to shorten the coat moult every autumn and spring. Dirty or smelly dogs should be bathed, but remember that frequent shampooing can strip the natural oils from the coat and cause skin dryness and irritation.