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The 4 best dog food brands, according to veterinarians

As pet parents, we understand the importance of feeding our dogs a high-quality diet. Although buying high-quality food can be expensive it pays off in the long run of your dog’s life with a reduced risk of health issues that are a result of improper nutrition. 

However, with a myriad of dog foods on the market these days, how are we to know which are the best? What brand of dog food to choose to ensure your fur baby receives the benefit of the right nutritional combination?  

The veterinarian team here at Your PetPA understand your dogs’ nutritional needs at each stage of their life, so to help you navigate the options, we’ve listed our Top 4 Dog Food Brands with respect to premium ingredients for health and happiness (all of which can be found on our online Shop!) 

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1. Black Hawk

Black Hawk uses real meat and real veggies with all their products manufactured in rural NSW, with ingredients sourced in Australia. They support local farmers and regional communities through the ingredients that they buy and local community programs. 

The original Black Hawk recipe was developed when a passionate breeder applied this thinking to their dogs’ diet. They relentlessly searched for ingredients that had nutritional benefits. 

Black Hawk’s team of pet nutritionists and veterinarians has developed a range of recipes designed to support your dog’s health and vitality at every stage of their life.   

2. Delicate Care

The Delicate Care range is scientifically formulated to bring out their best, no matter what your dog’s life stage, allergies or condition. They have a range specifically formulated for Dental Care, Skin or Stomach, Mobility Support, and Weight Management. These formulations provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs while at the same time promoting well-being for different concerns regarding your dog.  

3. Hill's

Hill's is focused on combining nutrient-rich ingredients with smart science to develop the tastes, aromas, and textures your dog loves.  Hills offers a wide range of products focused on different life stages and health concerns your dog may experience. Hills combine exceptional health benefits with excellent value and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that your pet will love the taste.  

4. Royal Canin

Royal Canin focuses their efforts on understanding the unique needs of domestic cats and dogs. Everything Royal Canin does is designed to create precise nutritional formulas to help dogs and cats have a long and healthy life. Royal Canin’s products are researched and developed not by trends in human nutrition or preferences of the pet owner, but through innovative nutritional science and observation.  

Royal Canin have studied the unique health needs of cats and dogs since 1968. Over that time, we have learned that the smallest nutritional difference can make a huge change to your pet’s life and health. 

The individual health of every cat and dog is unique which is why there are not only many different brands but different types of food for your pets' individual requirements.  

Vet Care Plans 

If you need further support around what to feed your dog or changing their diet, book an appointment to speak with a Your PetPA veterinarian or nurse via our website or App. Personalised nutrition advice is especially recommended if your dog has a health condition or special dietary needs. 

Shop at Your PetPA online store for these vets' recommended pet food brands and treats. Thriving Pets+ members receive a 10% discount on all purchases. 

 

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more information about pet care from our expert veterinary team. 

 


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What to look for in a pet sitter

No one looks after your pet quite like you do, however there are occasions when you need (or choose) to go away and it’s not feasible for your pet to join… You’ve decided to use a pet sitter so your pet can stay in the comfort of their own home. Next step… Choosing a sitter that will provide your pet comfort and affection, allowing you piece of mind to enjoy this time away!

A great pet sitter does not have to have formal qualifications however, recommendations or references and a genuine caring nature towards your pet on their first meeting is a must. We’ve put together a quick checklist of the top qualities to look for when it comes to choosing your pet sitter.

dog_pet_sitterReliable

This is critical – if your pet sitter doesn’t show, your whole trip could be off. Or you could come home to a pet that has been left alone for extended periods. Reliability also extends to knowing that if there is an emergency, your sitter can be counted on to follow your instructions.

Trustworthy

This person will be looking after your most important assets – your fur baby, your home and belongings – so you want to know you can trust them. References and recommendations come in to play but don’t underestimate trusting your initial instincts upon meeting someone either.

Great with animals

You want your pet sitter to have a genuine love of animals; not someone simply wanting a house-sitting gig. Listen to how they speak about their own animals, other pets they’ve cared for and how they speak to your fur baby.

cat_pet_sitterExperienced

If you have a high maintenance or pet in need of special care, it might be worth considering a sitter who has experience with similar scenarios. Knowing your hyperactive dog is being walked safely or your cat is getting the right food to medicine ratio, is something that is often best managed by a pet sitter who has had similar experience.

Caring

You may have a pet who initially sits by the front door pining for you, but knowing you have a sitter who will be dishing out attention, providing companionship and care whilst maintaining your pets’ routine, means you don’t have to worry about that happening for long!

Once you find a great pet sitter, they are worth their weight in gold. Just put in the time needed now to ensure you have the right person and you and your fur baby can both reap the benefits of this relationship for years to come.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more information about pet care from our expert veterinary team.


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How To Be A Pawsitive Pet Parent… Tips for First Time Dog Parents!

Being a pooch parent is a privilege and brings immense joy but like any parenting journey, it can be an adjustment and as the proverb goes… It takes a village! Researching a trusted breeder or shelter, finding a veterinarian with expert knowledge and warmth, arming yourself with information from reliable resources, these are all critical components in ensuring you have the right ‘village’ allowing you and your puppy a pawsitive experience.

Here are our top tips if you are considering becoming a first time dog parent.

research_dog_breedsResearch the breed

Many dogs make wonderful family pets, however with hundreds of breeds to choose from, finding and picking the perfect one to fit your lifestyle and household can often feel overwhelming. Considerations need to be made with respect to temperament, exercise and grooming requirements, and of course size. Matching a dog’s natural predisposition to your lifestyle is the best way to ensure that you find the perfect match!

Create a safe space

When you bring your fur baby home for the first time, it’s important that you have already set up a safe space. Whether you have decided to crate train or not, your dog will need a calming comfortable place that it is able to retreat to as well as defined areas for eating and toilet time.

Get to know your local vets

Chances are you will have options, but it’s recommended to visit each Veterinarian Clinic to see exactly what services they offer. That first year is when you will really establish a relationship with your vet given considerations around vaccines, preventatives and desexing. Plus there will be evolving questions regarding nutrition, dental health and behaviours over a dog's lifetime. Some clinics also offer puppy training and socialisation.

Here at Your PetPA we want to take the stress out of pet parenting! If joining an interactive community, all experiencing the same joys and challenges in welcoming a dog in to your life, whilst being guided and supported by an expert team of veterinarians sounds like it could be the village you need… check out our Pawsitive Pet Parenting course.

More than just another online course, the Pawsitive Pet Parenting course and membership is designed to give puppy and dog parents everything they need to be a happy fur family.


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How To Train Your Puppy - Basic Cues

We understand how crucial the formative years are to a child’s development. Well, the same can be said for the first few months of your puppy’s life. What they learn in this period can set them up with the foundation for lifelong behaviours, emotional response and bonds.

Teaching your puppy basic training cues is fun, rewarding and an important part of learning puppy manners. There are many different cues you can teach your puppy. The following ‘How To’ basics are great for general puppy manners and are the basis for more advanced cues or tricks!

Before you get started though, don’t forget, puppies learn by association, repetition and reward. And always keep things short and positive to create a love of learning.

puppy-training-sit“SIT”

Show your puppy your have some of their food or treats. Wait for them to sit, when their bottom hits the floor, immediately say “yes” and promptly give them a treat. Step backwards or sideways to encourage them to stand and wait for them to sit again. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” at the moment they begin to sit.

“DOWN” (LAY DOWN)

Hold a treat in your hand to your puppy’s nose and slowly lure down to the floor. Give the treat when the puppy’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, their elbows will relax and they should lie down. Give the treat as soon as their chest meets the floor. When they can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.

“WAIT” (PUPPY MANNERS FOR STAY)

Stand with your puppy in front of you and simply ask them to go into the easiest position (sit, stand or down). Wait a second or two and give a treat. Extend the time that your puppy is in the position before you give a reward, up to 5 seconds. A release cue is important so your puppy knows when the ‘wait’ is finished.

“MAT” or “BED”

Lure your puppy onto the mat with a treat. Once they have all four paws on the mat, say ‘yes’ and immediately give them a treat. The main thing you want your puppy to learn is that placing their paws on the mat = treats!

puppy-school-training“COME” (RECALL)

Start your training in a slow, low-distraction environment. Show your puppy a toy or a treat, praise them as they are coming to you, and then give them the treat or toy. After a few repetitions, whenever your puppy looks at you and starts to move towards you, say ‘come!’ Make sure to only say ‘come’ when you are confident your puppy is moving towards you.

Whilst you can teach the basics (and have a lot of fun in doing so!), to ensure that your puppy gets the best start possible, attending Puppy School is recommended. Here at Your PetPA, our online Puppy School offers expert advice and unwavering support all from the comfort of your own home. Each live session will guide you and your family to ensure you are creating a safe, secure and stimulating environment for your puppy to grow plus allow you to ask any questions you may have in real time.

Click here for further information about our 4-week online course.


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Pet parenting checklist and how an annual plan can help

Between family, work, friends and everything in between… life is busy. There’s almost a sense of gratitude our loyal companions simply take up their loving position at home, not adding to the chaos of ‘who has to be where and when.

But as a pet owner, there are yearly housekeeping reminders that must be remembered to maintain the basic health, safety and wellbeing of your fur baby.

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Parenting checklist

1. Yearly Vaccination

Annual vaccination is a must for pets to ensure they remain healthy and protected from deadly viruses in the environment. If not carried out on time, your pet is at risk of contracting the diseases from other unprotected or contagious animals and potentially becoming very unwell.

2. Yearly preventative care

Preventative care, just like vaccinations, is an ongoing requirement for your pet to maintain health and wellbeing. As a minimum, your pet will need regular doses of flea and tick treatment, intestinal worming tablets and in some geographical locations, heartworm prevention too.

3. Microchipping details

Have you moved houses recently or changed mobile numbers? If you have then it is likely you have forgotten that there is a chip inside your pet that contains all of your old information. It is important that if ownership of the animal or contact details has recently
changed, that this information is updated through the state microchipping platform as soon as possible.

4. Yearly pet registration

If you choose to own a pet, then you must abide by local council laws and registration for animals. If registration is not performed yearly, you risk a hefty fine by the Animal Management Council. Registration also helps reunite lost pets with their owners.

5. ID Tags

ID tags are the best way to prevent your pet from ending up at the veterinary clinic or local pound. Sometimes tags can get scratched, fade or break off and your pet can no longer be identified. To ensure you can be contacted if required, ensure your pet's tag is still easy to read and updated with any changes.

There’s nothing worse than reoccurring guilt when you can’t recall the last time you gave your fur baby their flea treatment or worming tablet, and was it September or December that they needed their yearly vaccine? Even more, confronting though is when you suddenly notice that your once active puppy or kitten, has now reached its’ senior years.

Your PetPA allows you to keep on top of these things year after year! Our goal is to ensure that every pet is living its best and healthiest life for its life stage and to provide you with all your pet care needs at the tip of your fingers.

We offer Vet Care Plans designed by our qualified and experienced veterinary staff and individually tailored to your pet's age, breed and lifestyle.

Vet Care Plan

At Your PetPA, we understand that even if animals are of the same species, breed and age, each pet is unique and to maintain their optimum health, requires a customized vet care plan suitable for its health care needs and life stage. Our annual vet care plan provides you with yearly wellness advice tailored specifically to your pet.

By arranging an annual vet care plan, our experienced staff can remind you of all the recommended veterinary advice for your pet including preventative care, life stage recommendations and diet suitability. With a detailed individualised vet care plan sent to you directly, you will always be conscious of your pet's needs to maintain a long healthy life.

Thriving Pets+

We take pride in knowing that our Pet Wellness Plan – Thriving Pets+ offer all the necessary care in one simple plan, taking the stress out of owning a pet and providing peace of mind knowing veterinary care is available for you anywhere you need it!

What's included?

  • Unlimited consultations - Wherever you go no matter where you are, your consultation fee is covered and guarantees you unlimited consults for when your pet needs them.
  • Unlimited Vet Chats – Available from your phone or computer, you can speak to a member of our veterinary team anytime. Simply book online.
  • Annual Vaccination – The cost of your pets’ annual vaccination is included!
  • Dental Allowance – Dental prophylaxis is one of the most important preventative procedures you can provide your pet. We offer discounts on the procedure to help cover the costs.
  • Wellness Screen Allowance – Annual blood tests are the only way to fully understand just how healthy your pet is. Some illnesses are only determined with blood results and so performing annual blood tests is beneficial for all pets no matter the age.
  • Option for Add-On Annual Preventatives Package – Posted directly to you, we deliver your pet's preventive care straight to your front door.

~ Dr Lachlan Campbell


When is the best time to start Puppy School?

When is the best time to start Puppy School?

Congratulations on your new addition to the family… Who knew this little bundle of energy could take up so much space in your heart so soon?! And like the whirlwind of activity that happens when a puppy joins a household, your puppy’s development also comes at a frenetic pace.

puppy-school

Puppies develop vital communication and socialisation skills in their first few months of life.  A ‘sensitive period’ between 3 – 17 weeks of age is a crucial period of learning and development (with a critical period around 12 weeks), where the experiences your puppy has, can influence and shape their behaviors’ both as a puppy and into adulthood.

Generally, puppy school is for puppies between the ages of 8 – 16 weeks however the earlier you start puppy school, the more time you will have to understand this sensitive period enabling you to provide your puppy with positive experiences.

Sometimes questions may arise around ensuring your puppy is vaccinated prior to attending a puppy school or socializing which can push out the start date of your puppy joining.  On the same token, a face to face puppy school should have a controlled, safe environment where the space can be cleaned effectively to reduce the risk prior to your puppy being fully vaccinated.

Your PetPA offers an online puppy school so there is no need to worry about your puppy’s vaccination status.  You can join as soon as your puppy comes home, giving you more time to learn about your puppy, develop a strong relationship and create positive experiences!  Our online puppy school program has been created to guide you and your family on building a strong lifelong relationship with your puppy and with both live and ‘on-demand’ sessions, this can be done at a time that suits you. Join now or find out more about our online puppy school.