Baldivis Vet Hospital FAQs
Where smart pets bring their people.
If you find a pet without a collar, contact our staff to see if it has been reported lost. Further enquiries should be directed to the local council and/or the RSPCA.
We ask that you please make an appointment prior to seeing us so that we can ensure your waiting time is minimised. Of course, if you have an emergency you can bring your pet straight in.
You can book an appointment via phone, email or through our new online bookings feature.
How Much Should I feed My Dog?
Making the right diet choices is tough. Often we get people asking
us what the best dog foods are, we get asked the dry vs. canned
food question, as well as portion size and how frequently dogs
should be fed.
The simple answer is that there is no simple rule when it comes to
how much you should feed your dog—each animal is unique and
diet should be tackled on a case-by-case basis.
What we can tell you outright is that overfeeding your dog,
feeding them too much too often or showering them with treats is
Getting it wrong—the worst case scenario.
Obesity in dogs is a real problem in Australia these days and an
overweight dog is far more prone to things like arthritis, diabetes,
hypothyroidism and even cancer.
We’ve put together a handy guide, simple enough to digest so that
you’ll be able to make the tough decisions about what and how much
to feed your dog.
The best foods for dogs explained.
If you’ve had much experience owning dogs you’ll attest to the fact that dogs, given the chance, will
eat just about anything.
While there are plenty of things you shouldn’t allow your dog to eat, there are plenty of good things
(sometimes unexpected) that are great for a dog’s diet. Some great introductions to your dog’s diet
The great dry vs. canned debate explained.
Many have arguments either for or against both types of dog food and the simple answer is that one
type isn’t exactly better or worse than the other.
The best thing you can do for your dog is buy a reputable brand, one that your vet advises for your
specific animal, and even mix up the two on occasion. Dogs love a bit of variety—it’s a part of their
curious scavenger nature.
Things to know about canned food.
• It’s usually packed with more high-quality protein.
• Usually has fewer preservatives.
• Can be expensive
• May bring about more tartar build-up over time.
• Can bring about weight gain if overfed.
Things to know about dry food.
• Often just as nutritionally balanced as canned foods.
• Easier to store and keep for longer.
• A cheaper alternative to canned dog foods.
• Dry food is great for cleaning teeth.
• Can be harder on older dogs’ fragile gums
The good, the bad and the worst habits.
When it comes to how you feed your dog, getting into good habits is a must. Feeding your dog a
number of times throughout the day, with smaller portions and a bit of variety, is the best way to get
them into healthy habits.
Try to put out a portion of food in the morning before you start the day and again when you’re
preparing dinner of an evening. Feeding your dog once a day with one big portion isn’t a great idea—
it can also bring about nasty and quite serious conditions like stomach bloat.
Your dog’s size, weight and how much food they’ll need.
It’s a common idea that food portions rely solely on the size and weight of your dog. While this is
often a factor, it’s not the whole story.
If your dog is more active, such as working dogs, show dogs or just family dogs who like to join in
with the kids on their adventures, they will naturally burn more energy and need a bit more food to
In this case, try to feed them more often, and introduce from time to time some interesting surprises
into their diet. Fish and rice are protein powerhouses and are great for an energetic pup.
Older dogs and diet change.
Older dogs, on the other hand, will be slowing down and are far more susceptible to weight gain. Get
into the habit of feeding them less than usual over time, closely keeping an eye on their weight.
A balanced diet is very important for an older dog and, even though they may not show the same
enthusiasm for exercise, this doesn’t mean that they should ever stop being active.
Each dog is different, however, so for a comprehensive understanding of how to best feed your dog,
ask your vet for some advice.
Diet plans, toxic foods and bonus information.
Feeding your dog a consistent amount twice a day is a great
plan. Get yourself a measuring cup or scoop and use it
whenever it’s dinner time.
Macadamia nuts, grapes and a few other surprising foods are
big no-no for our dogs—check out our foods to never feed your
pet guide for more.
If your dog is already a bit on the pudgy side, it’s never too late
to help them lose weight. As we mentioned above, an
overweight or obese dog is far more susceptible to a number of
serious illnesses. To help them on their way to better health,
take a look at our helpful guide for weight loss.
The amount of activity your dog needs, depends on their age, breed, activity level and whether they have any other health problems. Most dogs would benefit from daily exercise, however with many of us having busy lifestyles this is not always possible.
Try to walk your dog at least three to four times a week. For fit, active breeds such as border collies, cattle dogs and kelpies daily walking is a must if they don’t have a large yard to run around in.
The intensity and duration of exercise will also vary. Exercise limitations may apply for dogs in the following categories:
- Smaller dogs
- Brachycephalic breeds
- Orthopaedic disease
- Other health problems
If you are not normally a client of Baldivis Vet Hospital a full report will be sent to your regular vet the following day to allow for continuity when you go back to your vet.
If your pet was admitted to hospital with us you may be required to transport your animal back to your regular vet for ongoing treatment if it is safe to be transported, unless alternative arrangements have been made with your vet.
We routinely desex dogs and cats between five and six months of age. The RSPCA desexes animals at much younger ages to exclude any chance of any more unwanted litters. While desexing at a younger age is possible, it is associated with a greater anaesthetic risk.
Desexing is recommended not only to prevent unwanted litters but also to protect your pet’s health.
- Female dogs are at a high risk of developing breast cancer, and uterine disease, the most severe of which is life threatening pyometra.
- Male dogs have increased risk of prostate disease, perineal hernias and tumours around their backside.
In addition to this, desexing can result in positive behavioural changes in your pet.
They are less likely to:
- Wander, run away or get into fights. This reduces injuries such as abscesses, car injuries and infected wounds;
- Suffer from anti-social behaviour and aggression;
- Spray and mark its territory.
In each of these cases desexing at a younger age will reduce each risk.
Female dogs for instance, have a one in four chance of developing breast cancer if they are desexed later than two and a half years of age or left entire. If they are desexed before their first season at around six months of age, then the risk of developing breast cancer is negligible (less than half a percent), however even after just one season, their risk jumps to an astounding 8%! About half of breast cancers in dogs are malignant. It is hard to justify letting your dog have one season or one litter with these risks unless you are a registered breeder of dogs.
Female cats are also commonly affected by breast cancer with desexing offering a similar protective effect. Unfortunately, breast in cats has a much higher chance of being malignant.
Pyometra is an important condition of both female dogs and cats. It is a result of a massive life threatening infection in the uterus. Nearly one quarter of entire female dogs will be affected by pyometra by 10 years of age. Desexing will prevent your pet getting this disease.
For male dogs, castration dramatically reduces the risk of developing, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatic cysts, prostatic abscesses and prostatitis. Many of these conditions are present at the same time in an affected patient and they can be difficult to accurately diagnose and treat. It is far better to prevent these conditions by castrating dogs at a young age.
Perineal hernias are an unusual condition which is most commonly seen in entire male dogs. It is one of the most difficult types of hernia to fix and if left untreated can result in unrelenting constipation and bladder prolapse. Once again, this condition is far better to prevent by castrating early.
Yes of cause! You are welcome to visit us with or without a referral.
We do however, recommend calling us or making an online booking prior to your visit.
We do not offer ‘routine’ veterinary services like vaccinations and desexing outside of regular daytime hours.
If you are concerned that your pet may need urgent veterinary care please call us on 9524 1466 or 0499 150 404 or come straight down – no appointments are needed for out of hours emergencies.
Please see how our section above on ‘Possible Pet Emergencies’.
When you arrive at the clinic the front door may be locked for security reasons: lift the phone handset which will let a buzzer sound in the clinic. One of our staff will let you in.
Alternatively, if time allows, phone ahead to let us know that you are coming to allow us to prepare for your arrival.
If you have lost your pet, check the council pound in your area and phone our staff to report the details of your lost pet. In many cases, a pet with a collar, name tag and/or microchip will be happily reunited with its owners.
Providing rewards and treats to our pets is an important part of any training program, and let’s face it, sometimes we just want to spoil them. Like all things good, they are best given in moderation. Too many treats, or the wrong type of treat will just make you pet gain weight.
- You pet should only get treats for good behavior. Never use food as a form of bribery to stop your pet doing an undesirable behavior. You are effectively rewarding this behavior and your pet will associate this bad behavior as good behavior.
- Once your pet is showing progress with their training, rewards don’t necessarily have to be food. A toy, or giving affection such as patting should occasionally be used instead of food.
- What ever treat you give should be a low calorie treat. Table scraps, bacon rind, fat you’ve trimmed of some steak and human biscuits are far from ideal. Liver treats and beef jerky or often marketed as pet treats. These are fine, but remember they are a ‘sometimes food’. If you are giving a large number of treats during the day, these have to be included in their total calorie intake. This will generally mean they have to forego some of they normal meal.