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Exploring the world with your furry sidekick!

travel buddies

Are you thinking of going on an adventure? There are many things you can do to make travelling with your dogs a more pleasant experience for all involved! 

It’s important to be prepared and get organised before you go. If you’re planning a road trip but your puppy hasn’t been in the car before you should take them on a few small trips first to get them used to travelling in the car. It’s best if they haven’t eaten for at least an hour before your trip otherwise they may suffer from motion sickness. Some dogs get sick in the car but this can get better as they get older. If your pet is really struggling chat to your vet because there are some great anti-nausea tablets you can get from the vet that can make a huge difference. 

If your puppy is a bit nervous in the car, start by going on a few short drives (maybe drive around the block or go to the end of the road and back). If your puppy is very scared you can start by introducing them to sitting in the car but don’t go anywhere. Feed them treats or give them their favourite chew toy while they’re just sitting in the parked car. Slowly progress to turning the car on but not going anywhere, then gradually build up to going for a short drive that ends in an exciting play session with your puppy. Soon your dog will learn that car rides mean fun, exciting adventures and trips to the park! 

When you’re ready for a day outing ensure you have a secure pet carrier with comfortable bedding or a secure car harness to keep you and your puppy safe (this is required by law in most states). Bring their favourite toys along, treats, water and a pet bowl that is familiar to them.

If you are going on a road trip don’t forget to bring any medication they may need, check their microchip details are up to date before you go and if you are travelling up the east coast of Australia ask your vet for advice about protection from deadly paralysis ticks. 

Happy travels, we hope you enjoy the trip!

Check out Vets Love Pets for everything you need for your travel buddy! We have a range of car harnesses, treats, travel bowls and more! 

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What not to feed your puppy!

What not to feed your puppy

 

 When we are cooking at home it can be tempting to give our pets some of our food, especially when they are gazing up at us with those big brown eyes! It’s important to be aware that some foods that we enjoy every day can actually be harmful to our pets.

The following foods can be toxic to dogs, please do not feed your puppy any of these foods:

• chocolate

• macadamias

• chewing gum or lollies containing xylitol

• fatty meats or cooked bones

• onions, garlic or chives

• grapes or sultanas

• avocado

The foods listed above will vary in how dangerous they are to dogs. For example, if a big Labrador eats a small grape they may look fine even if they’re feeling a bit sick, but if a small puppy eats a little piece of dark cooking chocolate it’s a life-threatening emergency. There are variables which impact how dangerous a food is - including the food type, size of the dog, time since it was eaten and individual sensitivities. The best advice we can give you is to avoid these foods and if you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have immediately call your vet.

During life’s celebrations please remind your guests to keep food out of puppy’s reach. At Easter be careful if you are hiding chocolate eggs for the kids and at Christmas don’t place chocolate giftboxes or Christmas puddings under the tree. It can be tempting to give our dogs a little piece of the Christmas ham or a few left-overs from dinner but rich, fatty foods can make them very sick. Dogs can develop a serious illness called pancreatitis from eating fatty meat or rich foods. 

Puppies love to explore and they can easily get into a handbag or groceries left within reach and accidentally eat something that is harmful to them. It is important to never ever give your pets human pain medication; these tablets are absorbed rapidly making the window of intervention to save them limited. We don’t want to scare you but many puppies have died from accidentally chewing one or two paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets.

If you’re not sure if your puppy has eaten something it’s always better to be safe than sorry, act quickly and call your vet for advice immediately. This may save your pet’s life! Early intervention is the best (and the most cost effective) option to help your pet.

Visit Vets Love Pets for a selection of yummy treats and chew toys to spoil your puppy safely.

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Keep your best friend active!

keep your bestfriend active

This week on A Dog’s Tale Barney met lots of active pets who were loving life! Dogs who are very

active can put a lot of stress on their joints and they may develop arthritis when they get older.

Luckily Barney is a young, healthy and active dog but some of his other doggy friends are slowing

down a bit. Advances in veterinary care mean that our beloved pets are living longer than ever and

our pets need extra care as they age to ensure they can enjoy a good quality of life in their senior

 

Here are some tips to keep your best friend active and happy as they get older. Osteoarthritis is a

disease that occurs slowly over time and it is debilitating for one in five dogs over seven years of age.

Did you know that arthritis also affects cats? Sadly, many cats suffer in silence because cats are so

good at hiding their pain.

 

The best way to keep your pet active and healthy is to have a regular check-up with your vet every 6

months. They can help manage arthritis and minimise damage to your pets’ joints, especially if they

detect arthritis early and intervene at the early stages. There are treatments and special diets

available that can help repair joint cartilage, improve mobility and relieve arthritic pain. As soon as

you notice your pet showing any signs of arthritis please contact your vet so they can help! Signs

include: slowing down, being less active, having difficulty getting up, avoiding stairs or difficulty

jumping up onto the bed or couch.

 

Mobility Tips

There are many things that your vet can do to help and simple lifestyle changes that you can

make at home to keep your pet comfortable as they get older.

Bedding: Provide padded, soft bedding and a bed that is easy to get in and out of.

Exercise: Gentle exercise will help keep their muscles strong. Try gentle walks on the

lead, avoid excessive running or strenuous activities.

Low impact activities: Help dogs gently out of the car or provide a step or chair to help

cats jump up onto surfaces. High impact jumping may damage their joint cartilage.

Warmth: Keep your pets cosy this winter, try a warm jacket or snuggly blanket. In

summer, be extra careful that your pet doesn’t overheat. Older pets have difficulty

staying cool on hot days and are susceptible to heat stroke.

Joint repair & pain relief: Talk to your vet team about special diets and medications that

can provide pain relief, repair cartilage and help to keep your pets moving!

Nutrition: obesity or excess weight damages joint cartilage. Your vet can recommend

specific diets to help with weight loss and joint health to keep your pet satisfied, lean,

happy and healthy!

 

Vets Love Pets has an extensive range of Hill’s Science Diet and Prescription Diet foods designed to

improve mobility in pets. For all of your senior pet’s needs visit www.vetslovepets.com.au

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Why do Puppies Chew?

Why do dogs chew?

 

Being a Jack Russel, Barney loves to chase toys and play fetch. He also loves to chew on everything he can get his little paws on (including Steve’s favourite shoes!). Dogs and puppies like Barney love to chew because it is relaxing, fun and it helps keep their teeth clean and healthy. Dogs don’t have hands so they explore the world with their mouths and chewing is a natural behaviour. Just like human babies, puppies have baby teeth which are replaced by new teeth as they grow. Puppies can go through stages of intense chewing as they lose their baby teeth. We recommend providing puppy safe chew toys (especially designed for puppies) during this time. We have some great puppy chew toys on Vets Love Pets, Barney’s favourite is the Puppy Kong because you can also put yummy treats inside or freeze it with tasty treat flavoured water to make a puppy Kong icy pole! During this time of intensive chewing it’s a good idea to keep any precious items out of reach so they don’t become victim to your pup’s teeth!


Most dogs grow out of the destructive chewing behaviour once they have their full set of teeth. They tend to then chew for fun and if you give them toys this should keep them occupied. However, if dogs are bored, frustrated or anxious they can begin to chew excessively or their chewing can become destructive. We recommend giving your dog lots of exercise and a fun chew toy alternative to keep them busy. Remember, if you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour at any time, please don’t hesitate to give your vet team a call so they can give you personalised advice.

There are lots of interesting, durable and safe chew toys to choose from. Many toys are especially designed to keep dogs entertained for hours, these are called enrichment toys. If your dog is nuisance barking, an enrichment chew toy may help with this too! If they are enjoying chewing on a toy, they are less likely to bark or destroy your home! You can get toys that fit treats inside or you can even feed your dog their portion of kibble using the toy, your dog will need to play with the toy or complete a puzzle to get their reward.


Not all toys are created equal. Remember that investing in one good toy can be better than buying five cheap toys. If you’re not sure which toy is right for your dog chat to your vet or call our friendly Vets Love Pets customer service team on 02 8320 3086 and we’ll be happy to help.

Check out the range of enrichment toys and puzzle toys at Vets Love Pets!

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Are you Puppy Ready? Here is your New Puppy Checklist!

Are you puppy ready?

Are you thinking about making your family a little furrier? Getting a new puppy is a very exciting time, here are some tips to prepare your home for the new arrival. Make sure your garden and home are secure because dogs love to explore. In 2012 an APCA study found that 1 in 6 pet parents will have a dog or cat who goes missing within 5 years. This is why it is so important to get your dog microchipped and ensure the details are correct (ask your vet for help with this). You can choose a nice collar with an ID tag and select a lead so it’s easy to take them for walks.

 

We recommend getting everything ready before you bring your new puppy home. Decide on some house rules to encourage good habits, just like with human children. Set the limits and boundaries from day one, will they be allowed on the bed or couch? Will you feed them ‘human’ snacks in between meals (remembering that many foods we enjoy are actually toxic to animals, if in doubt please ask your vet for advice). Another important step is to decide where they will toilet. Train your puppy to use this area, positive reinforcement and consistency is the best way to do this. Finally, select a sleeping area, set up their bedding, food and water bowls so you are ready to go before they come home.

 

Do you have other pets or children at home? Make sure they are prepared for the arrival of the new family member. With animals a slow introduction is best and always supervise time together at first. With children encourage them to be calm and gentle; children and animals should not be left unsupervised for the safety of both. Many new pets, especially puppies and kittens, require vaccinations and a health check-up.

 

Give your vet a call, they will be happy to answer all of your questions and help your puppy settle into their new home with you. Most of all, we hope you enjoy your new puppy companion!

 

New Puppy Checklist:

  • Puppy collar with ID tag and lead
  • Comfortable Bedding
  • Travel crate and/or car harness
  • Hill’s Science Diet puppy food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Treats for training
  • Grooming utensils (brush, puppy shampoo etc)
  • Puppy training pads and/or Urine Off Spray
  • Stop chew spray
  • Chew toys
  • Enrichment and/or fun puzzle toys
  • Flea, tick and worming treatments
  • Book in for vaccinations & vet health check
  • Puppy Preschool Classes

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What not to feed your pet!

what not to feed your pet

We all love our pets and it can be tempting to spoil them with treats and human food.

 

Please remember to share the love, and not the chocolate! We enjoy many foods that can be dangerous to our pets. 

 

It can be tempting to give our furry friends a little piece of toast or leftovers from dinner but this can sometimes be harmful. Did you know that some fatty foods can cause a life-threatening ilness called pancreatitis? Many other foods we enjoy can actually be toxic to pets. 

 

Early intervention is best (and the most cost effective) option to help your pet. If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn't have, call your vet straight away and they can give you advice on what to do. This action may save your pet's life! Don't wait, act quickly and make informed decisions for your pet's health and wellbeing. 

 

Please do not feed your pet any of the following foods:

- chocolate

- macadamias

- chewing gum or lollies containg xylitol (often labelled 'sugar-free')

- fatty meats

- cooked bones

- onions, garlic or chives

- grapes or sultanas

- human pain medications

- avocado

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✹ Stay Cool in the Summer Heat ✹

stay cool in the summer heat VLP

 

Summer heat can be deadly to our pets and it’s important to keep your pets safe. Imagine how you would feel if you went for a walk outside in summer wearing a shirt, jacket, long pants, enclosed shoes, topped with a thick beanie and gloves? Pets can’t sweat to cool down and they can overheat easily. Keep your pet indoors on hot days and provide plenty of fresh water. You can add ice blocks to their water bowl, mist them with cool water and provide a fan or air-con. Avoid walking during the heat of the day and remember the pavement can get really hot on their paws! Please never ever leave your pet in a car unattended.

Signs of heat stress include: excessive panting, brick red coloured gums, disorientation, distress or collapse. Call your local vet clinic immediately for advice, pets can deteriorate rapidly and it is a life-threatening emergency. If in doubt, cool them down by placing them in a cool shower or hose them down with cool running water and contact your local vet clinic urgently for advice.

 

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Toilet Training Tips for Kittens!

Toilet Tips for Kittens

 

Our Vets Love Pets Team share some toilet training tips for new kittens

 

1) Cats are usually private, discerning animals who like to toilet in peace! It can help to place the litter tray in a quiet area where your kitten can have some privacy. If you have other pets or dogs in your home, ensure the litter tray is an area where your dogs can't access. 

2) When you are beginning toilet training, consider confining your kitten to a room or area where you can keep an eye on them and where the litter tray is easily accessible. 

3) Place your kitten in the litter tray after they've eaten and at regular intervals during the day. Usually their instincts will kick in and they will learn to toilet in the litter tray, ensure you praise them when they are using the litter tray as intended. 

4) You can never have too many litter trays! If you are in a multi-cat household ensure that you have lots of clean litter trays available for your cats. We recommend at least one litter tray per cat, plus one spare. 

5) For little kitten legs a low sided litter tray may allow for easy access. Cats to tend to have individual preferences for the shape and type of litter tray (and litter) that they will use. You may need to experiment with different styles and types until you find something your cat readily uses. 

6) Always ensure that you clean the litter tray regularly. Not only will this ensure good hygine for your cat and keep your family home fresh, it will make the toilet training process faster. Many cats will not use a litter tray if it is dirty and they may find a clean area of the home to use instead. 

 

At Vets Love Pets we stock a wide range of kitty litter brands to suit the fussiest of felines. If you have any questions don't hesitate to give our friendly customer service team a call. 

 

Finally - an important Vets Love Pets health tip for cats. Did you know that urinary problems can be very common in cats? If you notice that your cat is having difficulty urinating or if their habits have changed, please contact your vet immediately. If your male cat is straining to urinate or is unable to urinate at all, this could be a deadly, life-threatening condition where their urethra gets blocked by urine stones or sediment. This needs to be treated straight away (cats can deteriorate rapidly within hours). It is very important to monitor your cat's health and contact your vet for advice if you are concerned. 

 

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Toilet Training Tips for Puppies!

Toilet Trips for Puppies

 

Here are some toilet training tips for your new puppy from our Vets Love Pets team.

1) Think of where you want your puppy's 'toilet' to be. Ideally a grassy secluded spot in the garden that you can take him/her to quickly and easily.

2) Puppies need lots of patience and praise. Let your puppy know when they are toileting in the correct place where you want them to go. Use a high-pitched happy voice to reward them and give them lots of pats and praise. Never hit or yell at your puppy if they toilet in the wrong spot. If you catch them in the act of starting to toilet somewhere they shouldn't be, pick them up and take them where they should be, and then praise them for finishing in the correct location. 

3) Bladders take some time to mature, and for young little puppies they may not be able to hold it for long, even if they understand that they shouldn't toilet inside. Be ready for mistakes and be patient with your puppy, accidents will happen, especially in the first 6 months. Be consistent with your toilet training and with time your puppy will improve. 

4) Clean up any accidents inside with a specially designed cleaning product. Some cleaning products can actually attract puppies to the area and encourage them to toilet in the wrong spot again. Products like 'Urine Off' neutralise odours and can help to discourage toileting in the same spot. If your puppy has accidents in the similar area frequently, try to limit access to that area so that it doesn't become a habit. 

5) Watch for signs that your puppy needs to toilet so you can set them up for success! Your puppy is most likely to need to toilet when they wake up, after a play session, after drinking, chewing or eating. Most puppies will need to use the toilet every hour whilst they are young. 

If you are struggling or your puppy doesn't seem to be improving, please ask your friendly vet clinic for some additional toilet training tips. You can ask your vet when you take your puppy in for their vaccination appointment. If you are going to puppy school classes your dog trainer or vet nurse may also be able to provide helpful advice. 

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Enjoying holiday treats? Keep your pets safe!

Enjoying holiday treats?

 

We all love food and at holiday times like these we enjoy sharing delcious meals with our friends and families. Sometimes this means we may have a few extra inches appear on our waistlines and our pets are even more prone to putting on weight. 

 

Whilst the occasional treat is ok, your pet's diet needs to provide the best nutrition - without extra calories or rich fatty food. We recommend speaking with your vet for advice on the best food for your individual pet's needs. Veterinary practices stock the best premium pet foods that are designed to keep your pet as healthy as possible. 

 

Remember that young pets have different nutritional needs because they are growing. Senior pets (pets over the age of seven) also require a special balance of nutrients to support them as they age. Did you know that certain medical conditions such as obesity, urinary tract issues, kidney problems, food allergies and osteoarthritis can be managed by feeding specific veterinary prescription diets. Ask your vet to help design the best diet to meet the nutritional needs of your pet. 

Vets Love Pets has a wide range of pet foods including prescription diets. If you have any questions about our food ranges, please contact our friendly customer service team at [email protected]

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