Dog Care


Congratulations on your decision to adopt a rescue animal. You have made a great choice and you will be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion. Please take a few minutes to read through the following information – you will find plenty of hints, tips and advice on settling your new dog in and helping him to become a part of your family.


Your dog or puppy may have been desexed and the stitches removed before you even take him home, or he may still have stitches in – the stitches stay in for 7 days and you will have been told the day they are due out at time of adoption, during this time you should keep your dog dry, if you are unsure about when the stitches are due out, or you have concerns that they are not healing properly please contact YAPS immediately. You may bring the dog back to YAPS and a staff member will be happy to remove them, alternately you may wish to use your own veterinarian. If you puppy is not yet desexed an appointment will have made for a future date when you did your adoption, the date is written on your Bill Of Sale, you must keep this appointment. If you need to reschedule your appointment please contact YAPS and the vet you nominated at the time of adoption. As the sterilisation procedure requires fasting, do not feed your puppy after 7pm the evening before, or any food in the morning. At this appointment a microchip will also be inserted with your contact details recorded.

MANGE – Some dogs and puppies can have a skin problem called Mange, if at the time of adoption you are advised that your new dog has mange, please remember to bring your dog back for its mange treatment, you will be advised of the date and frequency when you adopted. We treat with a product called Dectomax and this will be done at no charge to you until it has completely cleared up. It is important that you keep coming until advised by a member of staff that they are now free of Mange. Should you not keep your appointments and the mange returns YAPS will no longer treat the dog free of charge. If you are unsure of your appointment date please contact YAPS.

6 to 12 weeks Feed your puppy 3-4 times a day. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Choose a puppy food that provides the appropriate balance of nutrients your puppy needs. Be sure it is getting the right amount of protein and calcium, and the proper amount of calories. Check the label to determine if you are feeding your puppy a balanced diet. A specified meat should be the first ingredient on the label.
3 to 6 months Your puppy will be teething. He may become a finnicky eater or lose his appetite. Keep feeding him nutritious food twice a day. If he has an upset stomach for more than one or two days, take him to the veterinarian.
6 months to 1 year Your puppy may look all grown up but he is still a puppy. He should still be fed a high quality food for the added nutrition. Note, in some very high quality foods the company does not make a separate food for puppies because the food is of such a high quality that it provides for both puppy and adult equally. For example, a real human grade chicken is what it is for all ages. If you are feeding a puppy food ask your veterinarian when you should switch to adult food. Make sure the adult food you switch to is still a balanced high quality diet with the first ingredient being a specified meat that is not a by-product.
8 to 9 months Feeding should be twice a day.
1 year 1 to 2 times a day depending on the dog

• Choose human-grade raw meat and raw meaty bones because some pet meat /pet mince/pet rolls /pet meat and bone products can contain preservatives that can be detrimental to the puppy’s health (e.g. sulphite preservative induced thiamine deficiency which can be fatal). However avoid human-grade sausages, sausage meat and cooked manufactured meats as these may contain sulphites.

• Bones must be raw

• Between four to six months of age puppies cut their permanent teeth and grow rapidly:
o Introducing fresh raw meaty bones at around 12 weeks of age ensures they are chewing actively around the time their permanent teeth are erupting.
o This chewing is important to alleviate “teething” issues and also provides several important health benefits including keeping teeth and gums healthy
o Raw bones should be introduced gradually. The bone must be large enough so that the puppy cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth or swallow the bone whole
o Some examples include raw lamb ribs (not lamb chops though), raw lamb flaps, raw chicken wings
o Too many raw bones can cause constipation. One raw bone per week is generally well-tolerated
o ‘Meaty’ bones are better
o Always supervise your puppy when eating raw bones
o Dogs ‘like’ bones very much and sometimes become protective. Do take care and discourage young children from approaching dogs that are eating
o Avoid large marrow bones, T-bones, ‘chop’ bones e.g. lamb cutlets, large knuckle bones or bones sawn lengthwise as dogs may crack their teeth on these
o Never feed cooked bones as these can splinter and cause internal damage or become an intestinal obstruction
o Please check with your vet that raw bones are suitable for your particular puppy (eg. some puppies may have misshapen jaws and may have difficulty chewing on raw bones)

DO NOT feed the following (note this is not an exhaustive list): onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee or caffeine products, bread dough, avocado, grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants, nuts including macadamia nuts, fruit stones (pits) e.g. mango seeds, apricot stones, avocado stones; fruit seeds, corncobs; green unripe tomatoes, mushrooms; fish constantly, cooked bones; small pieces of raw bone, fatty trimmings, Xylitol (a sugar substitute found in some products such as some types of sugar-free chewing gum, lollies, baking goods, toothpaste).
Do not feed puppies cow’s milk, you can give them puppy milk as a treat from time to time but it is not necessary and does not form part of their balanced diet.


There are a number of excellent puppy/dog obedience schools in the Cairns area and we strongly recommend that you enrol your puppy into a dog obedience school immediately. This will provide the training and socialization that they need to become a well behaved and welcome addition to your family (remember they are like children they do not know what is expected of them until they are shown). We would recommend Mooroobool Dog Obedience school, however there are others that you may wish to try.


We know moving is stressful — and your new dog feels the same way! Give him time to acclimate to your home and family before introducing him to strangers. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming him.
Once home, take him to his toileting area immediately and spend a good amount of time with him so he will get used to the area and relieve himself. Even if your dog does relieve himself during this time, be prepared for accidents. Coming into a new home with new people, new smells and new sounds will throw even the most housetrained dog off-track, so be ready just in case, never reprimand your dog for having an accident inside, but give him lots and lots of praise when they go outside. As a guide take your dog outside after feeding, when they wake up and every hour or 2 in between depending on their age.
From there, start your schedule of feeding, toileting and play/exercise. From Day One, your dog will need family time and brief periods of solitary confinement. Don’t give in and comfort him if he whines when left alone. Instead, give him attention for good behaviour, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly.

For the first few days, remain calm and quiet around your dog, limiting too much excitement (such as the dog park or neighbourhood children). Not only will this allow your dog to settle in easier, it will give you more one-on-one time to get to know him and his likes/dislikes. Remember your dog may not yet be fully vaccinated and should not be going on walks or mixing with other dogs that you don’t know are fully vaccinated.
If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect. Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.
People often say they don’t see their dog’s true personality until several weeks after adoption. Your dog will be a bit uneasy at first as he gets to know you. Be patient and understanding while also keeping to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. This schedule will show your dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.
To have a long and happy life together with your dog, stick to the original schedule you created, ensuring your dog always has the food, time and attention he needs. You’ll be bonded in no time!
If you encounter behavioural issues you are unfamiliar with, ask your veterinarian or contact YAPS for a trainer recommendation. Select a trainer who uses positive-reinforcement techniques to help you and your dog overcome these behaviour obstacles.
Congratulations! If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to having a well-adjusted canine family member.


Vaccines protect animals from severe life-threatening diseases that have global distribution. Vaccines for dogs are those that protect from canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV) and canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2).
• Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhoea containing blood are some of the symptoms. Death can occur very quickly.
• Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.
• Hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and bleeding.
• Bordatella (kennel cough) – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease can be devastating. The Kennel cough vaccines does not cover every strain of Kennel Copugh and they may still come down with cough though the duration and severity of the cough will be less than if they were not vaccinated at all.
• Leptospirosis – seen more commonly in dogs which have access to wet areas, cattle, pigs, wildlife, rats and mice. It is always difficult to treat and often fatal.
• Coronavirus – a virus similar to parvovirus.
• Tetanus – Working dogs and hunting dogs are at the most risk. Signs of the illness can take up to three weeks to develop after exposure. Death can follow due to respiratory arrest, and only occurs in those cases that go undiagnosed.



Worms can have a serious health effect on puppies, so intestinal worming should never be overlooked. Dogs should be regularly wormed against roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. You will have been advised when you adopted your dog the date his next worm treatment is due, if you are unsure please refer to your Bill Of Sale.
Puppies need to be wormed at with an all-wormer at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age and then every 3 months for life. Check with your vet to start heartworm prevention treatment (this can be started from 8 weeks of age).


The disease is spread by mosquitoes. They infect the healthy pet with heartworm larvae. The larvae migrate through the pet’s tissues and circulatory system, eventually reaching the heart and lungs where adult worms grow and reproduce. It is potentially fatal.
Puppies should be started on heartworm medication on their first or second vaccination. Any dog older than 8 months must have a blood test to make sure they don’t have heartworm before starting any heartworm prevention.
There are many heartworm preventatives on the market, discuss with your veterinarian which treatment will best suit your dog and your lifestyle


Teeth cleaning and gum massage are very important and best achieved by supplying your puppy with appropriate things to chew on. Be careful when choosing toys as puppies can break off and swallow pieces of plastic and rubber toys which could make them seriously ill. You can also give your puppy rawhide chews which are great for the teeth and gums, and will keep him/her entertained for hours.


Paralysis ticks live on the east coast from North Queensland to Northern Victoria. In northern parts of Australia ticks can be found all year round, and are most prevalent from July to September. In the cooler southern areas, tick season is generally from Spring through to late Autumn.
Signs of tick poisoning in dogs include:
• Weakness of paralysis in the back legs, progressing to the front legs
• Wobbling and lack of co-ordination
• Coughing or gagging
• Change in tone of bark
• A grunt on breathing
• Difficulty swallowing
• Regurgitating or vomiting
• Drooling
• Inability to stand
• Facial paralysis
Even after a tick has been removed, signs can develop for up to a week.

Only the female paralysis tick causes paralysis. It is blue/grey in colour and all the legs are bunched up at the front of the body. The middle two pairs of legs are lighter in colour, they have a long mouth part which is called the ‘snout’ and they attach firmly, unlike other ticks.

• Daily Check
In tick-prone areas, it is essential that your pets are searched daily for ticks. If this is done routinely, you can then eliminate tick paralysis because the tick usually has to be on the animal’s body for more than two days to cause paralysis.
Don’t try to look for ticks, try to feel for them instead. Ticks are a lot easier to find if you rub your fingertips through your pet’s coat rather than looking. In 70% of cases ticks are found in the head and neck region but it is important to search the entire dog (including inside ears, around eyes, under the collar, under lips, between toes, under the tail, chest, belly etc.)

• Tick wash
Dogs may be washed every week with a product such as Permoxin. Permoxin also kills and repels fleas and mosquitoes.
Fido’s Flea-Itch Rinse Concentrate is also effective for ticks and fleas if used every three days. Fido’s is useful when your pet has been in a tick area and you want to bathe it to kill and hitchhiking ticks.

• Tick Collars
Tick collars can be used in addition to some dips. Bayer makes one called the Kiltix Tick and Flea Collar for Dogs and Virbac makes another under the name of the Preventic 2 Month Tick Collar for dogs. Check with your vet as to which can be used together.

• Spot-on Products
Advantix for dogs is a product that repels and kills paralysis ticks when used every 2 weeks, and is applied to the back of the neck. It is also effective against brown dog ticks, bush ticks, fleas, lice, mosquitoes and sandflies.
Frontline Plus Top Spot is effective for ticks on dogs if used every two weeks. Frontline Spray is effective for ticks on dogs and cats if used every three weeks at the rate of 6ml per kg of weight.


At the first sign of any of the above symptoms:
• Contact your vet
• Remove the tick:
Using tweezers or a tick remover (you can purchase these at a minimal cost from your veterinarian) firmly grasp the tick’s head, as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Be extremely careful not to squeeze the body of the tick as this will inject more poison and pathogens into the dog’s system. If it’s hard to remove you can put some tick prevention product or insect spray on the tick with a cotton bud.
• Treatment – Your veterinarian will commence treatment as soon as your dog arrives at their practice. Once back home you must follow all the instructions given to you by your vet for your pet to have a good chance of full recovery.

NOTE – NO TICK TREATMENT IS 100% EFFECTIVE, please check your dog daily for ticks.