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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Dealing with the loss of a pet

devon rex cat

Going through the grief of losing my beautiful old cat made me understand how we shouldn’t go through this alone. To avoid thinking about the death of our pets is natural but it leaves us terribly unprepared when the moment arrives. I know these discussions will be unwelcome to many and understand if they create feelings of anger or distress, for which you have my sincerest apologies.

Here are my suggestions to help you or others through this terrible time. Remember that everyone’s individual experience of grief is different and not all these will apply to each case. And it will get better.

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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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Help! My Dog, Cat Or Rabbit Is Lost

stray dog

‘At A Glance (Details Below)’ Emergency Care

If Your Pet Is Missing In Adelaide

  1. Check your pet’s microchip registration details are up to date
  2. Notify the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League
  3. Ring the nearby local councils and vets
  4. Post a recent picture to the lost pets Facebook pages
  5. Print fliers, post a free Gumtree lost ad and consider a paid Facebook ad

Now dive deeper.

lost dog
Own work by Nikola B Flickr via license

Here is a summary of what you need to do to find a lost dog, lost cat or indeed any missing pet animal species. Just like in missing persons, the sooner you act the greater the chance of success.

If you have had the foresight to get your pet a microchip implant, then there is no reason to panic. When your pet reaches a shelter, someone will scan the chip and as long as the details registered to the chip are accurate, you will be quickly reunited.

We’ve never seen a microchip fail to work unless the pet doesn’t get scanned. That’s called stealing: it’s rare but read one example here.

What To Do If You Lose Your Pet

  • Get out your microchip registration paperwork and check the address and telephone numbers you supplied. If you know or suspect the details are incorrect, contact the database or update them online. It is also a good idea to notify the database that your pet is missing. If you have lost the papers and can’t remember which database, don’t worry. There are several, but they can access all the others. At Walkerville Vet we only use Australian Animal Registry.
  • Contact the local council, and all surrounding councils where it is possible your pet could have strayed. If they have found or will find your pet, you will hear from them quickly. Additionally, if a resident calls them to report a found dog, they may be able to get you directly in touch with the finder. While on the phone, ask your council’s policy on where found animals are taken and for how long they are held (see more re this below)
  • Contact the veterinarians within a logical radius of the site of loss plus the after-hours emergency vets. If your pet has been injured, they will very likely be taken to one of these. Also, many people who find a stray animal go first to the local vet instead of calling the council ranger.
  • Contact the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League to report your loss and enquire about the animals currently being held. Once unidentified pets reach these shelters, they only have 72 hours before being rehomed or euthanased. Very importantly remember that your description may not be the same as theirs regarding age and breed. For this reason it’s a good idea to make a personal inspection visit if there are any dogs or cats who sound even remotely like your pet.
  • Place a post with a recent photo on the Facebook pages Lost Dogs of Adelaide and Lost Pets of South Australia. Place a free ad in Gumtree Pets Lost & Found and the Animal Welfare Lost Pets page.
  • Print a flier with a large picture and distribute it throughout the area where your pet could have strayed. The problem can sometimes be that the person who finds the pet doesn’t notify the appropriate organisations so this will help locally.
  • Facebook ads are really worth considering too. They are cheap and can be accurately targeted to a certain demographic within a set radius around your home.

These days most local councils do not have facilities to hold animals. The majority will send animals directly to the Animal Welfare League. The exceptions are:

  • Campbelltown City Council has its own pound facility where dogs are held for three days before being sent to the AWL.
  • Eastern suburbs councils such as Norwood, Payneham & St Peters send dogs to All Pets Boarding Village. (Mt Osmond) where they stay for four days, before being sent to the AWL.

Many councils either post found animals on their website or keep a list at their reception desk. While these are worth checking, they will not be updated out of hours or on weekends, so checking at the shelters is likely to produce a faster result.

Good Luck. And please make sure once you’ve found your lost pet, you remove the online ads, fliers, and notify the places you rang.

By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These help topics are from a series regularly posted on email and Twitter. The information provided here is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet. If your pet has has a problem, please seek veterinary attention.

Have something to add? Comments are welcome below and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.

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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