FAQ

Behaviour

Q

How can I stop my dog pulling on the lead when I walk her?

A Positive training and rewards can help by getting them to sit and stay on the walk. Also, excellent head collars (see your vet or pet store) can be used to prevent the desire to pull.

 

Q

How can I stop my cat from scratching the furniture?

A If the scratching is in many areas, it may be an anxiety problem. If localised on a few objects, it is your cat sharpening their claws. There are plastic sheets that adhere to surfaces to prevent damage. Use pheromone diffusers to reduce anxiety and a water spray when they are not looking as an aversion. Fortunately and humanely, declawing is illegal in Australia.

Breeding

Q

Should I buy my pet from a breeder or the pet shop?

A This is a difficult question, as the answer ultimately depends on your own unique circumstances. We recommend preventing impulse buying and, if you choose a breeder, ensuring responsible breeders continue to improve the temperament and medical health of their respective entrusted breeds.

Choosing a new cat or dog

Q

I am thinking of getting another kitten, how do I introduce it to my older cat?

A Expect an initial settling in period of up to 2 weeks. Separate them when unsupervised and gradually introduce them using food and rewards at quiet times. Use water spray as a distraction if needed and become educated in reading their body language. You can also use pheromone diffusers to reduce anxiety.

 

Q

Should I buy my pet from a breeder or the pet shop?

A This is a difficult question, as the answer ultimately depends on your own unique circumstances. We recommend preventing impulse buying and, if you choose a breeder, ensuring responsible breeders continue to improve the temperament and medical health of their respective entrusted breeds.

Exercise

Q

How can I stop my dog pulling on the lead when I walk her?

A Positive training and rewards can help by getting them to sit and stay on the walk. Also, excellent head collars (see your vet or pet store) can be used to prevent the desire to pull.

Feeding

Q

Should bones be fed to dogs?

A In the US, bones are not recommended due to the bacteria lysteria and salmonella potentially transferring to people. In Australia we still recommend bones as long as they are raw and of an appropriate size for your dog (i.e. no chicken bones for a Labrador!)

General health and wellbeing

Q

Is cat AIDS the same as in people and can I catch it from my cat?

A In cats, the virus is FIV. It is a cat-only disease that is transmitted by biting and saliva. There is now an exceptionally good vaccine against this which involves 3 initial injections followed by a yearly booster.

 

Q

Do cats get arthritis?

A Yes. As arthritis is an inflammation of the joints often associated with old age, we see it often. Most cats just move around less, but when given appropriate medication, can seem to get their youthful exuberance back. If you are concerned, talk to your local vet about your options.

 

Q

I have heard about "catnip". What is it and can I give it to my cat?

A Catnip is a herb that you can grow in your garden. Some cats are genetically sensitive to it and if supplied will roll, rub, sniff and twitch like when exposed to it. It is supplied in a dried form in many cat toys. Only 30% of Australian cats are sensitive to it.

 

Q

Do I have to brush my cat's teeth?

A Since 85% of cats over 3 years of age have some sign of dental disease, this is an excellent idea. The problem is, only 1% of the population can! Because of this, we also recommend food specially made to help keep teeth clean and treats such as Greenies©.

 

Q

I am pregnant - what precautions do I need to take with the family cat?

A Be led by your specialist obstetrician. Make sure your cat is fully vaccinated and wormed so it is healthy. The major issue is with the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis. Your doctor will blood test you to make sure you are protected against this. Wash your hands after playing with the cat and wear gloves if handling litter trays and fully wash any homegrown vegies.

 

Q

In summer, the flies bite my dog's ears. How can I stop this?

A Make sure you wash the ears in a medicated shampoo and spray a special fly repellent that is safe for animals on the head and coat every day. If bad, you can also apply a fly repellent cream. If it persists, get your vet to make sure there is no ear infection attracting the flies.

 

Q

What diseases can I catch from a dog?

A The most common problem is not a disease but traumatic bites. You can contract roundworm and tapeworm (hydatid). Also fungal and a gastric bacteria that can cause ulcers. Be careful when handling faeces, as some bugs can also cause diarrhoea in people, especially giardia in puppies.

 

Q

Do dogs still need to be vaccinated?

A New information shows that for some diseases such as parvovirus and distemper vaccination may only need to be given every 3 years. Other diseases such as canine cough still need annual vaccines. ALWAYS check with your vet about your local and individual dog's situation.

Travel

Q

How can I stop my dog being sick on car trips?

A Celebrate positive stuff in the car such as games and feeding while stationary. Get your dog used to small trips first. Try a ¼ ginger tablet 45 mins before travel. Otherwise, talk to your vet about medications.