Veterinarians are charged with looking after our pet's health and they see our pets day after day.

So it is no surprise they are the experts on how to look after your pet’s overall health and wellbeing to ensure they have a long and happy life. We sat down with one of our expert vets to find out their top tips on how to look after your best friend.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR DOG OWNERS

  1. Dogs are social animals. Some dogs may not copy well or fret if left alone for extended periods of time or ‘live’ outside alone. Consider a dog walker, play-date or doggy day-care if you can.
  2. Dogs should be fed a complete and balanced diet that is suitable for their life stage and lifestyle.
  3. Meals can be made more exciting for your dog by mixing a tasty topper through their dry food.
  4. Feed your dog in a snuffle mat or treat ball to provide some mental stimulation during mealtimes.
  5. Dogs need exercise every day. This can be several short walks, a long walk, a run in the park, swimming, and if it’s raining, you can even play games or make obstacle courses indoors.
  6. Brush your dog every day to help keep their skin and coat shiny and free from loose hairs and debris.
  7. Brush their teeth several times a week (ideally daily) with a soft toothbrush and water. There are also dog toothpastes available.
  8. To train your dog - reward the correct behaviour and ignore the incorrect behaviour. Training sessions only need to be 5-10 mins at a time, ideally 2-3 times a day.
  9. Old dogs can learn new tricks – continue training activities and obedience sessions with your senior dog to enrich their brains.
  10. Clean up pee and poop accidents in the house using a pet specific ‘neutralising’ cleaning product to prevent your dog making a habit of it.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR CAT OWNERS

  1. Enrichment is important to keep your cat mentally active and engaged. Keep cats busy with television, music, playful cat toys and climbing areas.
  2. Build a cat enclosure outside if you can.
  3. Use shallow bowls for food and water.
  4. Feed your cat a complete and balanced diet for their life stage.
  5. Make dry food more exciting by mixing it with some wet food or chilled food.
  6. Warm food for fussy eaters. Cats aren't big fans of cold food and prefer food at room temperature.
  7. Brush your cat every day to help keep their skin and coat shiny and free from loose hairs and debris.
  8. Use a special finger brush to keep their teeth clean if your cat tolerates it.
  9. Each cat in the household should have 1 litter tray and 1 spare – keep the litter trays clean as many cats won’t toilet in a ‘used’ litter tray. Clean up pee and poop accidents in the house using a pet specific ‘neutralising’ cleaning product to prevent your cat making a habit of it.
  10. Ensure your cat always has a ‘safe’ place in the house where they can escape if they need to flee from another pet, child or new person in the household.

And to ensure you are staying proactive with your pet’s health needs, make sure you keep up to date with your pet’s annual health assessment and vaccinations with your vet.