Some of the vet-n-pet DIRECT canine team members!

Each year on the first Friday after June 19th, it is Take Your Dog To Work Day. Take Your Dog To Work Day is a day in which businesses are encouraged to allow staff members to bring their canine friends to the workplace. But let’s not forget our furry feline friends as they can be great workplace companions as well. The initiative aims to show people the benefits of companion animals and to encourage people to adopt a pet.

Many studies have shown the benefits of pet ownership on health and reducing stress levels in people, but did you know that there are many positive benefits to having pets in the workplace? Benefits of pets in the workplace include;
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dogswimmingSwimming pools are a wonderful source of fun and amusement, not to mention a great way to cool down. The whole family can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool, including your dog.

It is important to remember that even though pools are a great addition to our backyards they can also be dangerous. Pool safety is not only for people and it is important to realise that dogs (and other animals) can drown in pools. The following are some important tips on how to keep your dog safe when they are in or around a pool. Remember, dogs often don’t see the same dangers you do, so to them jumping in the pool is just fun and not potentially life threatening.

Dogs are often left unsupervised for long periods of time which allows them to get up to mischief. If they decide that they feel like going for a swim or getting into the pool area they can often find a way either by digging, jumping over a fence or pushing through a fence. You need to ensure that the pool fence is safe and well maintained to try and prevent this from happening. Make sure there is nothing on or close to the fence that they could climb on and then jump over the fence. Some dogs might like to dig under a pool fence so they can squeeze their way into the pool area. Be sure to check around the edge of the pool fence daily to see if your dog has been busy digging. Also make sure you do not leave toys in or around the pool as pets may be able to see them and be attracted to them.

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Image courtesy of www.assistancedogs.org.au

Image courtesy of www.assistancedogs.org.au

Dogs are not only fantastic companions and man’s best friend but some dogs have an even more important role to play. Some dogs save lives.

Medical Alert Dogs are specially trained dogs that can alert their owner to health dangers such as seizures and hypoglycemia. These amazing dogs can provide people that suffer from potentially life threatening conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and seizure disorders with some independence by acting as an early warning system and supporting or helping them through an episode.

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doberman-1443758_77030795Vaccinating your dog is an essential part of their preventative health program. There are a number of highly infectious and life threatening diseases out there but you can vaccinate against some of them. For these diseases vaccination and prevention is always better for your dog as well as cheaper than trying to treat the diseases if your dog was to contract them.

All dogs should be vaccinated regardless of whether or not they visit kennels, play in parks or even if they don’t come in direct contact with other dogs. Dogs are generally social animals and it is very easy for them to contract diseases. Highly contagious diseases can be transmitted from dog to dog by coming into contact with an infected dog, an infected dogs faeces or urine or they can even pick it up just walking and sniffing in an area that an infected dog has been. It is also possible for people to transfer diseases to their dogs by walking through an infected area or patting an infected animal and then going home to their own dogs. This is why it is necessary to vaccinate your dog even if your dog does not come in direct contact with other dogs.

Vaccinations are available to protect dogs from some of the most contagious and life threatening illnesses that they may come in contact with. Following are the illnesses that your dog should be vaccinated against.

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dog-cat-fireworksIt’s almost time to bring in the New Year which means celebrating, parties and fantastic firework displays.

For most people fireworks are exciting but for pets they can be very scary.   This is understandable as pets don’t understand that the fireworks won’t hurt them, all they see is bright colourful embers of fire falling from the sky and loud noises.  Therefore New Years Eve can be a very stressful and scary night for many animals, not only dogs and cats but also horses and farm animals.  The fireworks is what causes more pets to go missing on New Years Eve than any other day of the year.

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and calm during fireworks.

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When it comes to feeding your dog or cat it can get a little confusing with so many brands and different diets available.  So what do all these different diets mean?  Here are a few of the different varieties of food available, what they mean and when they are suitable to feed.

Veterinary or Prescription Diets
These Veterinary or Prescription Diets are specially formulated for dogs and cats that have a diagnosed medical condition and require a special diet.  Within the food description it will usually say VD, Veterinary, Vet or Prescription Diet to differentiate it from other feeds.    Although these diets are available from a number of outlets, not only vets, these diets should only be fed when prescribed or advised by a veterinarian.  You should never change the veterinary or prescription diet that your pet is on, even from one brand to another that is for the same conditions, without consulting your vet.  The animal should be under continual care and receive regular vet check ups to ensure that the diet is correct for the animal and it is not affecting their health in any other way.

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JrMy brothers dog “Junior” is a 3 year old purebred Great Dane with bit of eating disorder.  He sees anything and everything as food and eats it before even thinking and without tasting.  About a month ago he ate a tomato sauce packet, the squeezy type that you put on your pie. His mummy accidently dropped it and before she could even say “no” he had swallowed it.  The vet advised that there was two options, either surgery or observation.  They opted for observation, as Junior had already undergone stomach surgery for bloat a while ago.  They watched him very carefully, monitoring his faeces, his eating habits and behaviour.  Thankfully Junior showed no signs of distress, continued eating and was quite happy.  One day, two weeks after ingesting the tomato sauce packet, he vomited a couple of times and then the third time he vomited the packet up.  Since vomiting it up he has been perfectly fine, luckily the packet did not get stuck in the oesphagus and did not cause any damage to the stomach or oesphagus.  The tomato sauce packet isn’t the only thing that Junior has swallowed, he has also swallowed bottle tops, palm trees, bread packets and a whole packet of soothers.

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Well Summer is here!! Its only the first week and here in Queensland we have been sweltering with temperatures reaching 40 degrees and the hottest December days for ten years.

The heat is not only felt by people but our four legged friends feel it too.  During the hot and humid summer days it is always a possibility that our pets may suffer from heat stroke.  Heat stroke is a very serious and life threatening condition that can progress quite quickly.  Heat stroke occurs when your pet starts to overheat and is unable to cool themselves down.  Unlike people, dogs and cats do not sweat, only a little through their foot pads and nose, and they rely on panting to cool themselves down.  Often when the air temperature is high their panting is not efficient enough to cool them down and they can become stressed and suffer from heat stroke.

Some things that make your pet more susceptible to suffering from heat stroke include;
*  Extreme heat and humidity
*  Being locked in a car
*  Exercising in extreme heat or humidity
*  Being confined with no shade or fresh cool drinking water
*  Being confined with no ventilation or air circulation
*  Being confined on hot surfaces like concrete or bitumen
*  Being muzzled
*  Obese pets are more prone to heat stroke
*  Pets with medical conditions, like heart and lung problems
*  Short-nosed breeds like Pugs or British Bulldogs are more susceptible to heat stroke
*  Having a history of heat stroke

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lilly skin blogFor Lilly’s whole life she has suffered from very sensitive skin that has been prone to allergic reactions, itching and infections.  During the last week her skin has once again flared up with a reaction to something and she has a number of red sore spots on her tummy and flank area.  Surprisingly the rest of Lilly’s skin does not seem to be bothering her and it is not red or inflamed, except for in these localised spots.  It seems that she has probably had a reaction to something she brushed up against, maybe when we went for a walk in the bush.

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Recently my mum and I were out with the dogs, doing some work with the
horses and we saw a big brown snake up in front of us.  When we finally stopped squealing and realised that the dogs were moving towards it we had to yell out to them.  Rose, my mum’s Kelpie x Cattle dog came back as soon as she heard my mum say “Rose Come”.  Lilly, my Dalmatian, took a little bit more convincing but did stay away from the snake and come back to me.  This has happened a number of times over the years and it reminded me how important it is to have control over your dog.

Dog training and obedience is an important and necessary part of owning a dog.  There are many benefits to dog training and obedience but I think the most important is that having an obedient dog is safer for both the dog and people around it.  If your dog is obedient you can call them away from dangerous situations like snakes or cars.  Dog training also helps form a strong bond based on trust and respect between you and your pooch.  Basic obedience helps a dog understand its place in a household and trained dogs are less likely to develop other behavioural problems like biting or jumping up. Dog training and obedience is fun and rewarding for both you and your dog.  It fulfills needs in your dogs life like exercise and mental stimulation as well as allowing them socialise with other dogs.

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