Looking after a pet is a big responsibility and there’s lots to remember.

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Check with your vet what age is best to get your dog desexed. Neutering is good for both male and female dogs. It helps prevent fighting, wandering and unwanted pregnancies.

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Registration and microchipping

All dogs over 3 months old are required to be registered and microchipped at your local council. If your dog is ever lost or stolen there’s a higher chance that they will be returned to you.

Register your dog on the NZ Companion Animal Register and with your vet.
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Vaccinations against disease are critical throughout your dog’s life. Puppies need vaccinations at around 8, 12 and 16 weeks and then every 1-3 years. The vaccination schedule will depend on the protocol used by your vet, contact them for more information.

Good to know: Southern Cross Pet Insurance day-to-day care extra cover option on our PetCare policies cover up to $75 per vaccination or vet check ups.
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Flea control

Fleas can have negative effects on your dog’s health causing skin conditions so it’s best to be proactive about flea control all year round. Regularly use a flea treatment on your dog, and other pets in your home.

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Puppies commonly pick up a variety of worms from their mother or environment so they need to be given a broad spectrum wormer every 2 weeks until they are 3 months old, monthly until they are 6 months old, then every 3 months after that (monthly for pregnant dogs).

Dogs need worm treatment every 3 months.
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Dogs need regular grooming to stay clean and healthy, including regular brushing, bathing, and cutting nails. It is also a great way to regularly check your dog’s physical health and condition.

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The right nutrition for your dog depends on their size, age and lifestyle. Maintain their recommended body weight with good nutrition and regular exercise.

Your dog should always have access to clean drinking water.
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Dental care

Your dog’s ‘baby’ teeth will fall out at around 4 months of age and by 7 months all permanent ‘adult’ teeth will be in place. Keep your dog’s teeth clean by regular brushing and giving your dog dental food and/or chews.

Never feed dogs cooked bones, they can splinter and cause internal damage.

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