Can I Bury My Dog Or Cat At Home?

dog burial gravestone

Burying a dog or cat is an important part of the grieving process for many people. It certainly was for me. So as someone who advises it, and has done it, I was annoyed to see “Why you shouldn’t bury your pet in the backyard” featured on my ABC.

It’s the classic case of sitting in an ivory tower making the rest of Australia feel guilty for doing what comes naturally. It also says some fairly silly things. So before I give you some simple tips for a proper home burial, let’s clear them up.

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Myth 29: The runt of the litter

puppy choice

Runt. What a powerful word. It instantly brings to mind images of poor, sickly puppies destined to never be as healthy as their brothers and sisters.

What if the whole idea of the runt of the litter is a myth?  Well that’s what I think, anyway. My 20 years tell me you can take home the smaller puppies without having poorer health, as long as you follow a few basic rules…

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Bathing Dogs: How Often To Bath, How To Do It

dog sponge bath

“I thought you can’t bath a dog more than once a month”. We hear this almost every day when we tell someone how the right bathing strategy can help their dog’s skin (read how to bath dogs later). This has to be the most common and widely held myth of all and it deprives dogs of a great way to soothe their itchy skin. However, there is an element of truth to it.

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Myth 25: Heelers, Kelpies and Collies are crazy

“Watch out. Those dogs are crazy, they bark and dig and destroy things.” This is what Daisy’s owner was warned when he told his friends he wanted a heeler.

Luckily for him and Daisy he didn’t listen and followed his instincts. And he is now able to enjoy one of the closest and happiest dog-owner relationships you will ever see. Read how he did it.

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Myth 24: You feed a dog by following the instructions

dog given food

hamish the cavalier king charles spaniel
Are Dog Food Instructions Accurate?

I’m going to start with an admission; my dogs have been fat. This will come as a relief (and possibly a delight) to those thousands of dog owners over the years to whom I’ve discussed their dogs’ weight. Today I’m going to explain why this happens to all of us, how to judge your dog’s weight and how to decide how much to feed them.

The guidelines written on dog foods are almost never right for your dog.

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What Causes Bad Breath?

dog dirty teeth

Do you have a friend with ‘cat breath’ or ‘dog breath’? We joke about it, sometimes tell them off for it, perhaps even suspect them of eating something foul.

The truth is that bad breath doesn’t come from the stomach and it isn’t just from the food. Instead it’s often the only sign of a painful dental problem.Thankfully, more and more owners now bring their pets in just because their breath smells bad.

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Myth 21: Tea Tree Oil is good for my dog’s skin

toyah the boxer

This is Toyah’s gift to all dogs with itchy skin. She had mild dermatitis for a while and her owners quite rightly thought a bath would help. They found a nice-looking soothing shampoo with tea tree oil and gave her a good clean. Instead of getting better, her dermatitis got dramatically worse, and three days later when she came to us her skin was looking angry and sore.

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Myth 20: My dog is too old for surgery

mia old malamute

We’ve known Mia since she came bounding in to the clinic twelve years ago and started stealing our soft toys.

These days she still has a go but though she’s a puppy at heart, she’s old and has significant arthritis. However, her quality of life is good. A few weeks ago, her owner noticed Mia being a bit unsteady and wondered if it could be the arthritis treatment. We thought that was unlikely and so did a home visit to check on her.

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Help! My Cat Is Constipated: Treating Constipation

feline stool softeners

‘At A Glance (Details Below)’ Emergency Care

How To Treat Constipation In Cats

  1. See the vet as more than 50% of male cats who are thought to be constipated actually have a urinary obstruction.
  2. True constipation often has very few visible symptoms other than poor appetite and weight loss.
  3. Treatment is via dietary fibre, hyperosmotic laxatives, lubricants, diet & grooming.

Now dive deeper.

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Myth 11: All Vets Charge The Same

This article aims to save pets lives and improve owners’ awareness of their rights. While I believe it  is a discussion we need to have, it includes topics which may be upsetting to some. It in no way is intended to be read as criticism of the business practices of any veterinarian and is not referring to any specific surgery, clinic or hospital. At the end is a series of recommendations for what to do when faced with the need to make a quick decision.

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Myth 7: If it is sold for pets, it must be safe

pet treat recall

Update 2018: visit this page for details on the ongoing Senate inquiry into pet food safety.

Perhaps the biggest scandal of pet ownership in Australia is that there is no independent monitoring, testing or licensing of pet food products, and nowhere to turn when they cause harm. And equally shocking to vets is that it is easier to buy flea control products that are neither safe or effective than it is to buy good ones.

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Do Dogs Need Treats?

Following our killjoy post about Christmas hazards, now we’re going to tell you why your pet doesn’t need treats! And why they are happier without them.

Don’t worry. We’re not going to report you to the RSPCA if you occasionally give in to those pleading brown eyes. We know treat feeding comes from the heart and later I even talk about ways to do it well. But we do hope that after reading this you will feel less like you have to give the treat, and less guilty if you don’t.

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