Cairns Dogs

Cairns Dog Care Advice

Keeping a pet dog involves a lot of responsibilities.  Read below the important preventative care you should cover for your dog.  Also check out Tropical Problems for issues unique todogs in Cairns or read more articles about dog health.


Cairns Dog Vaccination Guidelines

All Cairns dogs should be vaccinated against Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Kennel Cough (P5 Vaccine) we recommend vaccination at 6 weeks and a booster at 12 weeks. Keep your dog out of public areas until the second vaccine has been given.

Leptospirosis and Tetanus are deadly diseases which are very difficult to treat. We recommend vaccination of at-risk dogs at 12 weeks and a booster at 16 weeks.  Leptospirosis vaccination is recommended if your dog lives, plays or hunts near cane, bush, creeks or comes into contact contact with wildlife, rats or their urine. Tetanus vaccination is recommended if your dog lives, plays or hunts on farms, bush or around horses.

A yearly booster is required to maintain their immunity and includes a general health check.

Read more about vaccinations.

Heartworm prevention, testing and treatment for dogs in Cairns

Of all the worms your dog can contract, heartworm poses the biggest threat to it’s health and well being as it can cause a slow and distressing death. Although the disease can be effectively treated prevention is easier, better and cheaper. Prevention should be started at 6 weeks of age and is life long . Choices of prevention include a monthly tablet; a liquid applied to the back of the neck; or a yearly injection called Proheart which is available for dogs over 9 months of age. Sentinel & Interceptor ( a tablet) and Advocate ( a liquid) also include intestinal worming and flea control.

Intestinal worms in dogs

Dogs can be infected with many intestinal worms, including Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm, all of which can cause severe damage to the digestive system. In young pups they can be fatal.  Hookworm is a major cause of disease in Cairns Dogs.  They also can be a threat to you and your children. Common sense hygiene and regular worming can prevent this problem.

Worm pups fortnightly at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks. Then monthly till 6 months old.

Worm adults every 3 months in the dry season or every 2 months from December to May. We recommend Drontal or alternatively Sentinel/Interceptor or Advocate+Droncit. Read more about dog worms.

Ticks affecting dogs in Cairns

Two distinct species of tick are common in dogs in Cairns and Coastal Far North Queensland. The most common is the dog tick which apart from sucking blood is usually not harmful. The second species is commonly known as the Scrub tick, Shellback or Paralysis tick. This tick injects a nerve toxin and can cause paralysis and death. Tick paralysis is a common and serious problem facing Cairns pets. The season for paralysis ticks runs from July to December though they do occur throughout the year. They are carried by Bandicoots and other wildlife and therefore are most commonly picked up in bushy areas.

There are NO products on the market that offer 100% protection.  Cairns dogs and cats which go outdoors should be searched for ticks daily. 

We recommend Advantix topspot every 2 weeks or Kiltix Tick collar.


Fleas in dogs

Fleas are a year long problem for Cairns dogs. When controlling fleas it is essential to treat both the adult fleas on the animal as well as the juvenile stages in the environment.  Failure to do this results in repeated infestations.

We recommend Comfortis monthly tablets, or topspot products (especially Advocate, Advantix or Advantage) used monthly as these products will affect several stages of the flea life cycle. Alternatively the flea control can be combined with heartworm prevention and Intestinal worming in Advocate or Sentinel.

Learn more about dogs and fleas.

Feeding your dog

A nutritional well balanced diet is important to develop healthy muscles, bones and organs in the pup. Many of us don’t have the time or skill to prepare balanced home made diets. It is difficult to get adequate vitamins and minerals especially Calcium in the correct levels for growing pups.

Most commercial foods are completely balanced and made of good quality products. However you get what you pay for.

We recommend premium pet foods, such as Hills Science Diet. As they are made of top quality ingredients and based on the latest nutritional research. They are better utilised by dogs, so you feed only a small amount, and get less waste in your backyard. These diets include the latest scientific advances to control plaque and tartar on teeth and keep the coat in tip top condition. Best of all your dog will love it!

The pup should be fed four times daily till 12 weeks then twice daily till 6 months. The adult dog only needs to be fed once daily. There should always be plenty of clean water available. Raw bones are a necessity to keep the teeth clean and the dog happy!

Microchipping is essential for Cairns dogs and cats

Microchipping is the best way to help your pet be found when they are lost. to keep For permanent identification we can implant a small microchip under your dog’s skin. This works in a similar way to a bar code and can be scanned by the council, vets or the RSPCA so your pet can be traced back to you. This can be done at any age.  This is required by law for dogs and cats born after September 2010, and at the time of transfer of ownership of older pets.

Dog obedience and puppy reschool

As a pet owner you are responsible for your pet’s behaviour. Obedience training should be started early and puppies can be socialised after their second vaccination. Our puppy preschool is a great way to acheive this.

Cairns Dog Council Registration

Cairns Regional Council asks owners to register their dogs at 12 weeks of age. They offer a discount for desexed dogs and level 3 obedience trained dogs. The Council also has a list of designated dog walking areas that can be found on their website.

Pet Health Insurance

We recommend Pet Insurance. A small monthly charge will enable you to give your pet the best treatment with no financial worries. Most policies also offer a cover that will pay for part of your routine pet care. We can organise a month’s free pet insurance trial for dogs and cats under 1 year of age. Learn how to choose the best pet insurance.

Desexing your dog

Without a doubt a desexed pet is a better pet!  Neutered dogs lose their urge to stray, fight and bark and are easier to manage and train. They are also at less risk to certain diseases.

We recommend desexing by six months of age.  Waiting until your dog has had a heat or a litter is an old wives tale and offers no benefit.  It actually increases the risk of mammary cancer by 10-20 times, and risks unwanted puppies (while many thousands of dogs are euthanased because they cannot find a home annually – if you are considering a new dog consider adopting a pet from a shelter).

Desexing a male dog is called castration. Desexing a female dog is called speying.

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