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The essentials of responsible dog ownership

Vaccinations, neutering, flea and tick treatments, worming and microchipping; these are all things that dog owners need to consider to ensure their pet stays in good health. Here, we take a closer look at these aspects of essential dog care.

Vaccinations

Some infectious diseases could kill a dog so it’s important your dog is vaccinated against parvovirus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis and leptospirosis. Your vet might also recommend your dog is vaccinated against kennel cough depending on their overall health and whether you plan to house them in a kennel whilst you are on holiday. If you are taking your dog abroad, you will need to get them vaccinated against rabies.

Neutering

Dogs are neutered under general anaesthetic and will often be up and about just a few hours after the procedure. Neutering is the best way to prevent unwanted puppies and can prevent aggression amongst male dogs.

Flea and tick treatments

Fleas can be a problem at any time of year. It’s important to treat your home as well as your dog to stop the problem recurring. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible to avoid tick-borne diseases being spread to your dog. You can buy a special tool to remove the ticks or you can use fine point tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the dog’s body as possible and then pull gently straight upwards. You want to avoid leaving any part of the tick under your dog’s skin which could cause infection. There are also some treatments available which can kill ticks.

Worming

Worms can make a dog seriously ill. It’s important to give puppies a comprehensive course of worming treatment. There aren’t always symptoms for worm infestations so prevention throughout a dog’s life is a good idea. Speak to your vet about regular worming treatments.

Microchipping

In the UK, it is a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped. Microchipping is a quick procedure carried out by a vet which doesn’t require an anaesthetic. The microchip is inserted under your dog’s skin at the back of the neck using a syringe. Once microchipped, your contact details will be stored on a microchipping database so that if your dog gets lost or is stolen, you can be contacted if your dog is found and their microchipped scanned.

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