Pet Advice

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Your 2024 Pet Parent Checklist

Your 2024 Pet Parent Checklist

Your 2024
Pet Parent
Checklist

As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to make resolutions and set new goals

It’s also a great time to make sure your pet is ready for the year ahead. We’ve made a helpful list to ensure your pet is all set for 2024.

1. Does your pet have a tag with your current info? If your pet gets lost, a tag with your details increases the chances of them being returned to you safely.

2. Is your pet microchipped? A microchip helps identify your pet and reunites you if they are found without a tag.

3. Is your pet registered with the council? Registering your pet helps support community initiatives and makes it easier to locate you if your pet goes missing.

4. Have you booked an annual wellness check? Regular checkups catch health issues early, even if your pet seems fine.

5. Have you started a flea and worm treatment schedule? Keeping your pet free from fleas and worms is vital for their health

6. Have you booked annual vaccinations? Regular vaccinations keep your pet healthy and should align with their wellness check.

7. Have you joined Best for Pet? Best For Pet is designed to provide your pet’s core and preventative healthcare needs for twelve months at a low fixed price.

Give the gift of wellness

Best For Pet is designed to provide your pet’s core and preventative healthcare needs for twelve months at a low fixed price.

A membership allows cat and dog owners to spread your pet’s core healthcare costs into affordable monthly payments and make great savings in doing so!

Remember, these steps help ensure your pet’s well-being throughout the year. If you have answered no to any of these questions, talk to our team to get your pet ready for the year ahead!

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7 tips for travelling with your pet

7 tips for travelling with your pet

7 tips for
travelling with
your pet this
summer

It’s that time of the year when day trips, road journeys, and holidays are in full swing.

If you’re taking your beloved furry companions along, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Incorporate Extra Breaks Factor in additional stops during your journey to allow your pet to stretch their legs and attend to their bathroom needs.

2. Pack Treats Ensure you have a supply of your best friend’s preferred treats. These can serve as rewards for good behaviour throughout the trip.

3. Crack the Windows Slightly Partially cracking your car windows by a few centimetres can help balance the air pressure inside and outside the vehicle, reducing the chances of nausea. This practice also promotes ventilation and maintains a comfortable temperature inside the car.

4. Find Pet-Friendly Spots See if there are any pet-friendly cafes, parks, and accommodations along your route, especially if you’re planning an overnight stay.

5. Address Nausea If your pet tends to experience car sickness, consult your veterinarian regarding suitable motion sickness medication.

6. Tackle Anxiety Consider bringing a few of your pet’s cherished toys on the journey. These items can help alleviate their anxiety while travelling in the car.

7. Prioritise Safety Whenever your companion is in the vehicle with you, make sure they are securely fastened with a harness or enclosed carrier. This is crucial for keeping both you and your pet safe.

If you have any questions about travelling with your pet, please speak to your Vet.

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Santa’s Pet Parent Quiz: Your pet’s festive foes

Santa’s Pet Parent Quiz: Your pet’s festive foes

YOUR PET‘S
FESTIVE FOES

Santa’s Quiz

Put Your Knowledge to the Test!

While we celebrate Christmas and indulge in the holiday season, it is important to remember to be mindful of our furry family members.

Do you know the dangers and things to be aware of for your pets? Test your knowledge!

Start

If you think your pet has ingested something that they shouldn’t or notice a change in their behaviour, please speak to your veterinary team.

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Dermatology 2023

Dermatology 2023

Is your pet suffering from a dermatological condition?

Just like us, our four-legged friends can suffer from skin issues and irritations from time to time. But unlike us, they can’t always communicate their dermatological complaints and tend to suffer in silence as a result. That’s why it’s important for us to look out for the signs.

If your best mate displays any of the common signs below, it’s best to come and see us to get them checked out by the vet. The good news is that skin issues in cats and dogs are generally treatable, so we can get your pet back to doing what they love, without all the itching!

Dermatological Issues for Dogs

The two most common reasons for dermatological issues in dogs are allergies and parasites. Summer and the hotter weather tend to make things a little worse or bring up problems that haven’t presented themselves before.

While we can’t speak doggy (yet), there are some tell-tale behavioural and physical signs that can mean a visit to see us to get it checked out is in order.

If you notice your dog is licking themselves a lot, has itchy spots, stinky ears, is dropping dandruff, has runny, swollen, or itchy eyes, has a funky smell, or is shaking or tilting their head a lot, you should book in a consult with us.

While these symptoms might sound a little nasty, the good news is they are generally treatable, and hopefully in no time your best mate will be doing way more ball catching and way less skin itching.

Speak to your vet about new treatment options in Dermatology

Dermatological Issues for Cats

Just like us humans, our feline friends can suffer from skin issues and irritations from time to time, with many cats having itchy skin, especially around the head, body and belly, caused by a dermatological condition.

The two most common reasons are allergies and parasites, with summer and the hotter weather tending to make things a little worse or bring up problems that haven’t presented themselves before.

While we haven’t unlocked the secret to speaking fluent cat (we’re learning though), there are some behavioural and physical signs that can mean a visit to see us to get it checked out and sorted is in order.

If you notice your cat has bumpy spots, scaly skin, thinning or loss of coat, vomiting hairballs or itchy bits, you should book in a consult with us.

While these symptoms might sound a little nasty, the good news is they are generally treatable, and hopefully, in no time your cat will be doing way more purring and way less itching.

Speak to your vet about new treatment options in Dermatology

Feeding your pet a premium diet can have many benefits for their overall health, including aiding in the management of a dermatological condition. There are specific diets available that are designed to help pets with skin disease, allergies and more.

What are the benefits of premium nutrition for pets?

  • Formulated with the health of the animal in mind
  • Developed by nutritionists, food scientists and veterinarians
  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • A complete and balanced diet
  • Aligns with pet food industry regulations
  • Made with exceptional quality control
  • Highly digestible

Talk to your vet about premium diet options to help your pet live their best life.

Did you know that over 2 million cats and dogs in Australia and New Zealand suffer from dermatological issues?

Science based nutrition complements and can significantly improve the management of dermatological issues: a small change in the daily routine can have a big impact on a cat or dog’s quality of life.

Royal Canin understand that skin issues are highly prevalent, challenging for patients and concerning for their owners. Thanks to their leading scientifically formulated portfolio of Dermatology diets, nutrition can be a key component of the multi-modal treatment and management of skin disease in dogs and cats.

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Know Your Parasites

Know Your Parasites

They pose a threat to our pets, our kids, and even us. While most of them are minuscule and often out of sight, they’re one of the most common risks pet owners have to deal with.

They’re the parasite nasties that sneakily find their way to your pet and cause all kinds of disease. The good news is there are many pet parasite preventatives available that will keep you and your pet safe. Choosing the right protection plan can be confusing but our expert vets can guide you in selecting the most appropriate product for your pet.

It’s very important to know your nasties, and when you suspect they’ve infected your pet to get in touch with one of our experts. We’ve included some information below on the most common parasites to watch out for and some things you might not know about them.

Come into clinic to get a parasite
protection plan today!

COMMON CULPRITS/REPEAT OFFENDERS

Fleas

Fleas are one of the most problematic parasites for pets, leading to incessant itching, discomfort, and allergic reactions. They can also transmit diseases and carry tapeworms, posing a dual threat. In addition, they can be challenging to diagnose, and a pet with flea allergy dermatitis may never actually be seen with fleas!

Ticks

There are several types of ticks in Australia, some of which are a nuisance, such as the bush tick, right through to the dangerous Paralysis Tick, which causes many fatalities each year. Paralysis ticks are a common parasite for those living near the eastern seaboard of Australia. It can take as little as one tick bite to result in muscle weakness, respiratory distress and secondary infections.

Heartworm and Intestinal Worms

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms: affect pets’ digestive systems, causing weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia. The most common intestinal worms in Australia are roundworm, tapeworm and hookworm. Normally pets become infected with intestinal worms by ingesting the eggs of the parasites, which can be found in contaminated soil, faeces, and other sources.

Heartworms: are parasites transmitted by mosquitoes that live in the heart of pets and can cause serious damage to their health, and even death. Heartworm prevention is the best way to ensure dogs stay healthy and free from these parasites. Protection is recommended in most areas of Australia, however, Tasmania is considered low risk. Please consult your vet for heartworm protection recommendations for your pet.

Intestinal worms: affect pets’ digestive systems, causing weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia. The most common intestinal worms in Australia are roundworm, tapeworm and hookworm. Normally pets become infected with intestinal worms by ingesting the eggs of the parasites, which can be found in contaminated soil, faeces, and other sources.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

Whilst one of our vets can help you diagnose parasites and associated conditions, you’re their first line of defence as you hang out with them every day. Here are some of the key signs your pet might have a parasite infection:

Scratching and Biting: Intense itching, scratching, licking, or biting at the skin, particularly around the tail base in dogs, and the tail base, thighs, abdomen, head and neck in cats, can indicate a flea infestation.

Hair Loss with Irritated Skin: Patchy hair loss or thinning coat along with inflamed or irritated skin could be due to excessive scratching and grooming caused by fleas or mites.

Visible Parasites: You might see ticks on your pet’s skin, or fleas/ flea eggs on their fur, skin, or in their bedding.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea: Parasitic infections, particularly intestinal worms, can lead to digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhoea (which may contain blood), and mucus in the stool.

Bloating: Pets (particularly puppies and kittens) with intestinal worms often have a distended abdomen or pot-belly.

Visible Worms: Worms may be visible in the faeces or around the anal area.

Weight Loss: Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite could be a sign of intestinal worms affecting nutrient absorption or energy metabolism. (Note – there are many other diseases that are more likely to cause weight loss with a normal or increased appetite in adult animals!)

Anal Scooting: Pets might drag their rear end along the ground (scooting) due to irritation caused by tapeworm segments around the anal area.

Sudden paralysis and/or difficulty breathing: Paralysis ticks attach to the skin of pets and inject a toxin into their blood stream that can cause paralysis and respiratory distress. Pets who show these signs need emergency treatment from a vet.

If you see any of these signs or suspect that your cat or dog may have parasites, it’s crucial to come in to see your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Our expert team can help protect your pet.
Come into the clinic today

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Dental Offer 2023

Dental Offer 2023

Your pet
needs annual
dental care

– just like you

Many pet owners don’t realise that bad breath isn’t normal, and that roughly 80% of adult pets have dental diseases like gingivitis.

Sadly, dogs and cats hide dental pain really well, so you mightn’t even realise your pet is suffering. Putting off dental work is more expensive and painful for your pet in the long run.

Book a FREE pet dental health assessment

Our pets trust us to look after them, so watch out for these signs indicating poor oral health in dogs and cats:

– Smelly breath
– Inflamed or bleeding gums
– Facial swelling
– Discoloured teeth
– Loose or broken teeth

Book a FREE pet dental health assessment today

Get 10% OFF any dental treatments!

Booked before 31 August

Book now

The importance of eating habits and a healthy diet

Keep a watchful eye on your pet’s appetite. If they’re off their dry or hard food, it could point to a dental problem that’s stopping your pet from eating normally.

A dedicated dental diet can help pets to maintain healthier teeth through the cleaning action of these specially designed diets.

Read more

Best for Pet members save $250 on dental

Join our Best for Pet Wellness Program and instantly save $250 on any dental procedure.

Plus, members save $20 OFF Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Food before 31st August. *For participating clinics only

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Hills Dental Diet

Hills Dental Diet

Oral Care

We all know how important dental health is for our own teeth. We go to the dentist regularly and brush and floss our teeth twice a day. But did you know that dental health is important for your pet as well? Dental disease is the most common health problem of our pets – 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have some level of disease by age 2¹.

What causes dental disease in dogs and cats?

The underlying cause of dental disease is plaque. Plaque is that furry film you feel on your teeth when you first wake up in the morning. It is a mix of saliva, bacteria and tiny food particles that sticks to your teeth and accumulates especially at the gum line. If it is not removed, it can mix with minerals in saliva to cause tartar and the bacteria can cause pain and inflammation of the gums also known as gingivitis. This inflammation can eventually affect the tissues that support the teeth leading to tooth loss. It isn’t always obvious that your pet has dental disease but some signs you may see include bad breath, drooling, swollen gums and loss of interest in chew toys.

So how do I keep my dog or cat’s teeth clean?

Just as it is in ourselves, dental care is a two-step process that involves both professional and at home care. Your vet is your pet’s dentist – regular assessment and teeth cleaning by your veterinarian are important steps in caring for your pet’s teeth. Because gums are very sensitive and dogs and cats won’t sit in a chair with their mouths wide open, dental work in pets needs a general anaesthetic. This means the vet can properly check the entire mouth for any problems and allows them to thoroughly clean your pet’s teeth, including under the gum line. However, again like us, dental care doesn’t stop there. Pets need a daily home dental care regime to keep their teeth clean in between visits to the vet. One option is to brush their teeth every day, however, our pets are not always cooperative and pet owners often find brushing difficult. That’s why feeding specialised dental foods can be a good alternative, as they can help clean your pet’s teeth whilst they eat.

There are so many dental diets and treats available, how do I know which one to choose?

The key to controlling dental disease is to control plaque, and this is something that not all dental diets and treats do. One thing to look for is the VOHC seal on the pack. This shows that the product has clinical studies which have been examined by a group of independent veterinary experts and that the product has been proven to help control either plaque, tartar or both. Only Hill’s dental foods (Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d and Science Diet Oral Care) have been awarded the VOHC seal for the control of plaque and tartar for both dogs and cats.

How do Hill’s Dental Diets Work?

Most dry kibble shatters and crumbles in the mouth when the tooth comes into contact with the food. This is why ordinary dry kibble has minimal effect on the dental health of our pets. Hill’s dental foods have an innovative kibble designed to work like a toothbrush as pets eat. This diagram shows how they work. The unique combination of kibble size, shape and interlocking fibre technology allows the tooth to penetrate deeply into the kibble before it breaks. The kibble gently scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth as the pet eats.

What is the difference between Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care and Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d?

Kibble size and density are both very important for the Hill’s dental foods. While all Hill’s dental foods have a large kibble size, t/d kibbles are the biggest. The large kibble size cleans the teeth to the gum line to promote healthy gums and teeth. Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d also has a lower density which prevents the kibble from breaking easily, increasing the time that the kibble is in contact with the tooth surface, improving its tooth cleaning ability. It is these differences in size and density between the t/d and Oral Care kibbles that make a difference in the level of reduction of plaque, tartar and stain. Science Diet Oral Care is for healthy pets to improve dental health. Prescription Diet t/d is for pets with signs of dental disease and should be used on the recommendation of your veterinarian.

Can I feed Hill’s Dental Diets long-term?

Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d and Science Diet Oral Care are both complete and balanced for adult dogs and cats. In addition to the dental benefits, they are complete and balanced to support your cat’s daily health, and our clinically proven antioxidant blend to support a healthy immune system.

In summary, if you have a dog or cat over 2 years of age, then the chances are that they may have some degree of dental disease. Treat their teeth as you would your own. Book in to see your veterinarian for a dental check-up and feed your pet Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care, or Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d if recommended by your vet, so you know that they are cleaning their teeth every day as they eat.

References: 1. Niemiec B, Gawor J, Nemec A et al. World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Dental Guidelines JSAP 2020;61:E50

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Kitten Teaching Through Toys

Kitten Teaching Through Toys

Teaching through toys

Cats, especially when they are still kittens, are naturally playful and energetic. Being a new cat owner, you will want to make sure you have plenty of toys for them to play with. Toys are a great thing to have for your kitten for a multitude of reasons. Not only do toys help your cat get physical exercise, but they also provide them with enough mental stimulation for training good habits. But best of all, toys can be an outlet for you and your fur baby to develop closer bonds with one another.

From cat trees to chasable toys, there is a wide range of toys to choose from that are all over the market. It’s best to experiment with these different toys to see which ones your kitten clicks with the most. Once you have a greater understanding of your kitten’s personality and preferences, then you’ll know which toys are perfect for them.

Talk to our team for advice today >

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Questions about new kitten

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about anything regarding your kitten, get in touch with us today, or bring them in for a check-up (we love meeting new kitties!)

Book an appointment >

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Kitten Dental Care

Kitten Dental Care

Kitten dental health

It’s a good idea to start caring for your kitten’s teeth from a young age. Proper dental care can help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay in later years.

And don’t be alarmed when your kitten starts losing their baby teeth – this is a normal process as their adult teeth start to push through. You’ll most likely see wonky teeth that are about to fall out or bleeding gums from teeth that have just fallen out.

As they’re teething, they’ll most likely look for anything to chew on. Offer them a kitten-friendly chew toy that they can sink their teeth into and be prepared to water down their food if they’re finding it hard to crunch.

If you have any concerns regarding your kitten’s dental health, book an appointment with us today.

Member Advantage

And did you know Best for Pet members get $250 offBest for Pet members get $250 off dental care annually? Contact us to find out more about how you could save on dental.

Book an appointment >

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Questions about new kitten

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about anything regarding your kitten, get in touch with us today, or bring them in for a check-up (we love meeting new kitties!)

Book an appointment >

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Kitten Nutrition

Kitten Nutrition

Kitten nutrition

Proper nutrition is another part of helping your kitten get the best start in life. Kittens need a balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients for growth and development. Proper nutrition is vital for kittens because it helps them to grow strong bones and muscles and provides the energy necessary for play and learning.

There are many premium-grade commercial foods that meet the exact nutritional requirements of growing kittens. Although brands vary in quality, premium brands generally provide higher-quality ingredients. Therefore, we recommend you feed your kitten premium-grade kitten food.

Talk to our veterinary team for advice on the appropriate nutrition for your kitten.

Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight for your kitten is extremely important for their overall health and well-being. Keeping your kitten at their ideal weight helps to keep their bones, joints, and muscles strong and healthy. In addition, keeping your pet at their ideal weight can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as urinary problems, diabetes, heart disease, and types of cancer.

Monitor your kitten’s weight regularly and work with your veterinary healthcare team to make adjustments to ensure they stay at their ideal weight. By doing so, you can help your pet stay healthy and happy.

Talk to our team to see if your kitten is due for a weight check today!

Member Advantage

Next time you pop into our clinic, why not pick up their food as well? We sell premium kitten food, and Best for Pet members get 10% off RRPBest for Pet members get 10% off RRP.

Book an appointment >

Read more

Questions about new kitten

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about anything regarding your kitten, get in touch with us today, or bring them in for a check-up (we love meeting new kitties!)

Book an appointment >

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Privacy Policy Update

Effective from 1 March 2024, we will be replacing our Privacy Policy. A link to the text of the new policy is here.

We are doing this to keep our privacy management practices up-to-date, and to tell you about those practices in an informative way. If you have any questions, please contact our Privacy Officer via this link.
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