General health care


  • Daily walk (twice-daily for some breeds is needed)
  • Length of walk depends upon the breed, health and age of the dog
  • Providing exercise improves your dog’s health and prevents household destruction
  • Play games like ‘fetch’ if you are unable to take your dog for a long walk


  • Some breeds need regular grooming – especially long-haired dogs
  • Brush long-haired dogs 2–3 times per week
  • Start grooming when a puppy
  • Clipping may be required for dogs that don’t shed their coat
  • Use a professional dog groomer


  • An untrained dog can cause trouble, leading to surrender
  • Teach your dog basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘drop’
  • Begin early if you have a puppy
  • Use food rewards
  • Enrol your puppy in puppy school once fully vaccinated
  • Enrol your dog in obedience training

Dental health

  • Dogs are born without teeth and get all twenty-eight teeth by eight weeks of age
  • At three months they begin to lose those their baby teeth and start to gain adult teeth
  • Adult dogs have forty-two teeth – twenty-two on the lower jaw and twenty on the upper jaw
  • To keep your dog’s teeth clean use a raw marrow bone, dental rusks, dental foods or a specially formulated toothpaste and brush
  • The amount you need to give your dog depends upon the size of the dog and the condition of the teeth


  • There is a vast variety of dog foods available. Provide your dog with one that is completely balanced and contains all the right amounts of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals required for good health*
  • Use the recommendations on the product label as a guideline
  • The amount you feed may vary from the guidelines due to the health, weight, activity level and age of the dog
  • Puppies less than three months need three to four meals daily
  • Senior dogs may need multiple small daily feeds
  • Lactating dogs may also require more feeds
  • Some dogs are prone to obesity and care should be taken with their food intake and diet
  • Dry or canned food can both be fed provided they are nutritionally balanced
  • It is recommended that dogs be fed a combination of dry and wet food
  • When choosing a dog food, look at the ingredients listing. A premium dog food, although more expensive, offers the benefits of a fixed ingredient profile (which means it is more balanced) and generally lasts longer than a cheaper brand
  • Always provide fresh water
  • Never offer cooked bones, only raw. Avoid sharp bones, which can be dangerous
  • Avoid table scraps as they can be high in fat and cause obesity or pancreatitis
  • Other food items to avoid are chocolate, onions, raisins and nuts

*Lort Smith recommends and sells Hill’s Pet Nutrition.


Dogs adopted from us have been vaccinated with a C5 vaccine. This is made up of a C3 (which protects against distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus) and a kennel cough vaccine (which also protects against parainfluenza and bordatella bronchiseptica).

  • For adult dogs we use a triennial C3 vaccine which protects against these core canine diseases for three years. This means that adult dogs having their annual check-up will not always require the full C5 vaccine at each visit. However, they will still require a yearly vaccination for kennel cough.
  • Our recommended regime for adult dogs is: C5 for year one, kennel cough each year for years two and three, then another C5 at year four, repeating through your dog’s life.

If vaccinations lapse or if the vaccination history is unknown, the animal will require complete revaccination.


  • Heartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart and is transferred from dog to dog by mosquitoes
  • Heartworm can be fatal
  • All dogs over six months are tested for heartworm before leaving the shelter

For further information on any of these problems or recommendations please speak with our staff.

Lort Smith