Top tips on caring for your dog

We all love our dogs and want to do the very best to keep them happy and healthy.

Having a dog in your life also brings responsibilities and if you are thinking of buying a dog, you need to weigh up the time and commitment involved. Our dogs are protect under the law within the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which means that anyone caring for a dog (even temporarily) has a duty to care for him or her properly.

The Act covers the 5 welfare needs of our animals:

  1. The need for a suitable environment.
  2. The need for a suitable diet.
  3. The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
  4. The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
  5. The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
  • Insurance
  • Diet
  • Fleas
  • Worms
  • Medicating Your Dog


One in three pets will require veterinary treatment each year. The treatment may be a one-off problem such as a road traffic accident or it may be an going problem such as diabetes which can result in costs which are not planned for. When looking to take out your pet insurance, please make sure that whoever you take your insurance policy out with that it is a ‘Cover For Life’ policy and not just a ’12 month policy’.

Should you have taken out ‘cover for life’ then any treatment for any condition the animal had received in the previous 12 months would still be covered for the following years to come. Yes, you pay more each month for this ‘cover for life’ policy but the peace of mind it gives knowing you are insured for your pet’s lifetime is worth it. If you are at all unsure please phone our Insurance Manager, Lisa and she will gladly advise you.


It is important to feed your dog a balanced diet formulated for your dog’s age and size. Dry food is more cost effective and helps keep the teeth and gums healthy. Tinned food has a much higher water content which means that you have to feed more. There are different life stage diets to consider.

Please come and see one of our nurses for a free consultation, where they will be able to discuss nutrition as well as other important aspects to keeping your dog healthy and happy.


Fleas are a common problem and may be difficult to spot. Fleas can cause irritation and produce extensive itching, red lesions, and hair loss to those pets with a flea allergy. Fleas can also transmit several diseases and parasites, such as tapeworm and will bite humans. Due to the life-cycle of the flea (5% on the animal, 95% in the carpets/flooring), it is very important to treat the home environment as well.

If one flea finds your dog an attractive food source, you can be sure that other fleas will, too, laying 30-50 eggs per day.

How to prevent flea infestation?

You can prevent flea infestations either by a licensed spot-on applied to the back of the neck every month or a tablet given every three months. Getting rid of an established infestation can take some weeks. One of our nurses or vets will discuss your individual needs.


Most infected dogs do not show signs of having worms; however, heavy burdens of worms can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea, irritation around the anus and failure to thrive.

Importantly, while worms can sometimes not cause a problem for the dog itself, some worms can also be passed on to humans and on rare occasions can be a cause of serious human disease. As part of our Pet Health Club, you'll receive regular worm treatment for your dog.

There are three types of worms:

  • Roundworm
  • Tapeworm 
  • Lungworm

How can I treat worms?

You can treat or prevent round and tape worms by either a licensed tablet/chew every three months or a licensed spot-on applied to the back of the neck. One of our nurses or vets will discuss your individual needs.

Medicating Your Dog

Just like you, your dog is going to get sick occasionally and you may come home from the veterinary practice with some medication to administer. Be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your veterinary surgeon.

How to administer tablets to your dog:

Step 1:
Place the pill between the thumb and index finger of one hand. Firmly grasp the upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of the other hand.

Step 2:
Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. This will reduce the chance of being bitten.

Step 3:
Tilt the head upwards. Use your middle finger to slowly open the lower jaw.

Step 4:
Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Immediately close the mouth. Keeping your hand over the mouth, move the head down to facilitate swallowing.

Step 5:
Stroke the throat to encourage swallowing.

Our nurses and vets are more than happy to show you how to give tablets, ear drops and eye drops, so please ask.

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