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Puppy Toilet Training Tips

Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also bring some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is toilet training. Puppies have small bladders and need to go frequently, which means accidents are bound to happen, however, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can teach your puppy to use a designated toileting area in no time.

Choose a designated toileting area
The first step in toilet training your puppy is to choose a designated toileting area. This area should be easily accessible and grassy, secluded, and away from your living areas. Taking your puppy to the same spot every time they need to go will help them understand that this is where they should be going to the toilet.

Use positive reinforcement
Puppies respond well to positive reinforcement. Whenever your puppy goes to the designated toileting area, verbally praise and encourage them. This positive reinforcement will encourage your puppy to repeat the behavior and use the designated area consistently.

Avoid punishment
Never punish your puppy for toileting in the wrong spot, this can cause fear and anxiety, which will hinder the training process. Instead, if you catch your puppy toileting in the wrong spot, calmly pick them up and take them to the designated toileting area. When they go in the right spot, offer them plenty of praise.

Be consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to toilet training your puppy. Take your puppy to the designated toileting area frequently, especially after eating, sleeping, or playing. By being consistent, you’ll help your puppy understand where they should be going to the toilet.

Be patient
Toilet training takes time, and accidents are bound to happen. It’s essential to be patient and not get frustrated when your puppy has an accident. Remember, your puppy is still learning, and mistakes are part of the learning process.

Clean up accidents properly
If your puppy has an accident inside the house, it’s crucial to clean it up properly. Use a specially designed cleaner that’s formulated to eliminate the odor completely. Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, as they can encourage your puppy to go in the same spot again.

Toilet training your puppy can be a challenging experience, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can succeed. Choose a designated toileting area, use positive reinforcement, avoid punishment, be consistent, be patient, and clean up accidents properly. With time and effort, your puppy will learn to use the designated area consistently, making toilet training a breeze for both you and your furry friend.

Dog Rehab


Dog Rehabilitation

Dogs are very resilient creatures, but sometimes they need help recovering from an injury, illness or a bit of extra support for our senior arthritic friends. This is where canine rehabilitation comes in.

What is canine rehabilitation?

Canine rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that focuses on restoring a dog’s mobility, strength, function and can give relief from pain and discomfort. 
Rehab can help dogs recover faster and more completely than if they were left to heal on their own.
It can also help prevent future injuries by strengthening muscles and improving their range of motion. Dogs of all ages can benefit from rehabilitation, from puppies with developmental issues to senior dogs with arthritis.

What does rehabilitation involve?

Rehabilitation involves a specifically trained vet nurse working with the dog to complete a combination of therapeutic exercises and techniques to help regain their mobility, strength, and function.
The rehab nurse will create and implement a rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your dog’s specific needs, they will monitor the dog’s progress and make adjustments to the plan as needed. They can also provide owners with guidance on how to continue rehabilitation exercises at home.

What exercises and techniques does my dog complete?

Depending on the requirements and plan for your dog’s rehabilitation, there are a number of options for exercises and techniques that will be personally tailored to fit your dogs needs. 

We also have the option to measure and fit your dog for a custom made brace to support their recovery.

Brace wearing – A brace is a specialised device designed to provide support and aid in the rehabilitation of dogs with injuries or conditions affecting their limbs. Such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament tears. These braces are often used to support the joint or limb affected by the injury or condition, reducing pain and inflammation, and promoting healing and recovery. In addition to providing support and facilitating healing, they can also help prevent further injury by stabilising the affected limb or joint during physical activity

Range of motion exercises – ROM exercises aim to maintain or improve the motion and flexibility of their joints. The ROM can be assessed by gently manipulating each joint in a dog’s body through its natural flow of movement.

Strengthening exercises – These exercises help build a dog’s strength and muscle mass to improve their balance and coordination, and enhance their overall physical fitness.

Balance and coordination exercises  These may involve standing on a balance board or performing other activities that challenge a dog’s stability to help improve their physical fitness and coordination. 

Hydrotherapy – Hydrotherapy involves using water’s resistance to help dogs recover from injuries. It can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and increase range of motion, while exercising in a low impact environment. 

Massage therapy – Massage therapy can help reduce pain and stiffness in dogs. It can also help improve circulation and promote relaxation.

If your dog is in need of rehabilitation, having someone to offer encouragement and guidance can make all the difference. 
Talk to us about how our rehab nurse can help get you and your furry friend off on the right paw. 


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Your Pet’s Oral Health

It is important for our pet’s to maintain good oral health to prevent gum disease and problems with their teeth. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.

There are 2 simple ways to maintain your pet’s oral health, the first is using Oral Wipes there are many options available to purchase and that we sell in the clinic. They are easy to use, a quick wipe over the teeth at regular intervals removes and reduces plaque build up. Our nurses can you show the process and advise you on how regularly to use.

Another great way is to introduce teeth brushing, although this may sound odd it, with some simple training your dog may find brushing their teeth a positive experience.
Start the training by choosing either a dog toothbrush and toothpaste kit or just use a kids soft bristled toothbrush and water. Show your dog their toothbrush and then give it a treat, do this every day for the first week. By the time you reach week 2, most dogs will see the toothbrush and it will trigger an understanding that a treat is coming.  The toothbrush now means “treat”!
Once your dog is excited by seeing the toothbrush, touch it to your dog’s lips followed by a treat. Now your dog should be tolerating the touching of the toothbrush to the lips. If you are using dog toothpaste, you may like to let your dog have a sniff and taste of the paste. See if your dog will tolerate a gentle rub of the front teeth with the toothbrush followed immediately by a treat. By week four your dog should be tolerating the brush entering his mouth and allowing you to gently brush some teeth.  

  • Don’t rush
  • Don’t try to brush the entire mouth
  • Follow every session with a treat

Your dog will begin to understand that this is part of the daily routine and always leads to a desired food reward. Over time you may find you can give the whole mouth a good brush.

Initially focus on the incisors (small front teeth) and canines (large pointy teeth).  The molars at the back of the mouth do get a workout with chewing.  You can include the molars when the dog will allow.

If you can manage to brush your dog’s teeth THREE times per week it will reduce plaque by 75% and this will reduce tartar and subsequent periodontal disease.

Dog Care

Dog Care

Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. They offer companionship, loyalty, and affection that is unmatched by any other animal. However, owning a dog is not just about having a cute pet to play with – it comes with a great deal of responsibility.

Before you decide to adopt a dog, it is important to do your research and choose a breed that best suits your lifestyle. Different breeds have different temperaments, energy levels, and health concerns, and it is crucial to find a dog that fits your living situation and activity level.

Once you have brought your new furry friend home, there are several important aspects of their care to consider. Firstly, we strongly recommend that you look into pet insurance for your new dog, this can help you cover unexpected veterinary bills and provide peace of mind.
It is essential to keep your dog in a secure area such as a dog-proof yard or indoor space, your dog should never be left unsupervised when tethered. We have a checklist of what you will need for your new pet here.

All dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation, including socialisation with people and other dogs, to avoid behavioural and health problems. It is also important to ensure that your dog receives regular veterinary care, including routine health checks and vaccinations, desexing, and flea & worm control.

Regular grooming and brushing keeps your dog looking and feeling good, it also promotes good health. Helping to remove dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, preventing tangles, skin irritation, matting, and other coat problems.
Nutrition is important for your dog’s overall wellbeing. A healthy and balanced diet is essential, providing protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. If you are unsure what to feed your dog, make an appointment with us to discuss the best options for your particular breed.
Dental care is a crucial aspect of your dog’s overall health and well-being. Tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth can lead to more serious dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. To prevent these issues, it’s important to establish a regular dental care routine for your furry friend, you can read about how to brush your dog’s teeth here. In addition to regular brushing, other ways to promote good dental health for your dog is through chew toys, antlers and dental treats. It is important to choose the right products for your dog’s size, age, and dental health.

Our team are always happy to discuss your current or future pets health care. We can provide advice on everything from nutrition and behavior to vaccinations and grooming.

Nutritional Advice


Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful nutrition is the best way you can contribute to your pet’s prolonged good health. 

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs:

  • Water is the most essential nutrient in any diet. Your pet’s body is made up of approximately 70% water and will quickly perish without it. Ensure your pet can access fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Carbohydrates supply energy and come from sugars, starch, and fibre from plant sources. Carbohydrates help energize the brain and muscles, making your pet bright and active.
  • Fats also supply energy and in the right amounts help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. Too much fat however, can lead to such obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
  • Proteins are required for a healthy coat, skin, and nails. Your pet’s body uses the amino acids in proteins to make enzymes and hormones in the blood stream and to maintain a healthy immune system. Proteins can come from plant and meat sources, but cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein.
  • Vitamins and minerals help regulate many body systems. For example, your pet needs the minerals calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C help boost your pet’s immune system during times of stress.

How do you make sure your pet’s diet is healthy?

We strongly recommend that you: 

  • Feed premium pet foods. Premium foods offer high-quality ingredients, are made by companies specialising in nutritional research, and show a solid track record of quality and palatability. Feeding generic pet foods may lead to obesity, irregular bowel movements, or excess intestinal gas.
  • Make sure the food is fresh. When you purchase pet food, check for freshness and purchase only the amount necessary for your pet. Store pet food in a cool, dry place and keep it tightly closed. Discard uneaten food and always place fresh food in a clean bowl. In general, hard food (or “kibble”) is preferred for maintaining dental health and minimizing tartar build-up. Soft, canned food tends to be more palatable and can be stored for longer.
  • Feed the right amount. Ask us or check the label for how much to feed according to your pet’s ideal weight (not necessarily the same as their current weight). Avoid feeding pets as much as they want or feeding a large amount at one time. Doing so can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal upset, or even bloat, a life threatening condition.
  • Maintain a daily routine. A regular schedule will help your pet keep normal bowel movements and avoid indoor accidents. Younger pets need to be fed more frequently, as they are usually more energetic and burn more calories.
  • Avoid “people” food. Your pet’s digestive system is simpler than yours and can be easily upset by changes. Feeding table scraps will result in an unbalanced diet, can cause stomach upsets or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

Life Cycle Feeding 

Your pet’s nutritional requirements will change as they age. Puppies need puppy food because it is higher in energy, calcium and protein, but feeding it to an adult dog can lead to obesity. Likewise, older pets need diets restricted in fat and supplemented with fibre for their optimum health. Many premium senior diets also contain additives to assist in the management of arthritis and can make your pet more comfortable.

Please give us a call to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs. We will tailor a diet specifically for your pet that will give them the optimum quality and length of life. 

Remember, you are what you eat, and so is your pet!


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Dental SPA


A Dental SPA Day at Newtown Vet Clinic involves a Scale & Polish and Assessment of your pets teeth.

Once the Vet has assesed the health of your pets teeth, we are able to book your pet in for a SPA. Under general anaesthetic we do a full mouth of radiographs and scale and polish the teeth. We chart the mouth and make a plan for any future oral surgery/extractions that may be required.

At Newtown Veterinary Clinic, we like to provide options to our clients. Dental disease can often be hidden beneath the gum line, making it difficult to assess its extent without radiographs. These X-rays allow us to accurately evaluate your pet’s oral health and determine the necessary treatments.

When we usually book your pet’s dental procedure, we send through an estimate of the costs as prices for oral surgery can vary. Your pet may require no extractions or multiple extractions, resulting in a wide range of potential costs. We understand that the uncertainty around costs can be concerning for many pet owners.
A Dental SPA means your pet has their scale, polish and assessment including radiographs first, this allows us to see if extractions are required, and we can schedule this next procedure for a few weeks time.
This saves you money as the radiographs and scale and polish are not repeated, the extractions are planned and a definitive dental cost provided for the procedure.

We will always call you during the procedure, to inform you of any teeth that need to be extracted and the associated costs. You will be able to make the decision if you would like to continue with the extractions at this time or schedule for a later date. This cost is in addition to the Dental Spa fee and priced based on oral surgery time.
Note-: we do not like to continue dental procedures beyond 2 hours. If the required oral surgery is extensive, then we will sometimes stage the procedure to ensure safety for our patients under anaesthetic.

Checklist for welcoming a new pet

Checklist for welcoming a new pet

Before bringing you new pet home, there are a few items you will need in order to welcome your new puppy or kitten into your home and your family, we are happy to discuss the best option for your new pet

  • A cosy bed and bedding
  • Appropriate food – it is best to transition from your pets existing food over a week
  • Toys to play with and chew on
  • Treats to reinforce good behaviour
  • Pet Shampoo and towels
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush and pet toothpaste
  • A safe collar and lead or harness
  • Travel crate for cats
  • Car harness for dogs
  • Kitty litter and tray
  • A designated toilet area for your puppy – Keep cleaning products on hand for any accidents
  • Flea and worming protection. We have products that are safe for young animals

Have you booked

  • A health check
  • Vaccinations
  • Desexing
  • Puppy classes
  • Desexing date

Give us a call about how to make your new pet as welcome as possible.  As vets we have been specially trained to provide the best care for your pet at every stage of their life and we can’t wait to have a pat and a cuddle with them!

Puppy Preventive Healthcare

Puppy Vaccination & Safe Socialisation Guidelines

Newtown Veterinary Clinic offers a preventative healthcare program tailored to the unique needs of your pet. This program is based on current research and recommendations from global vaccination guidelines and information from vaccine and preventative care medication manufacturers.

The guidelines are continually evolving, and recommendations may vary depending on disease prevalence, environmental conditions and your puppy’s lifestyle and risk of disease exposure. Our vets work collaboratively with pet owners to create the best preventative healthcare plan.

There are 4 main infectious diseases that we routinely vaccinate for:

  • Canine Parvovirus (aka. Parvo)
  • Canine Infectious Hepatitis (aka Adenovirus)
  • Canine Distemper Virus (aka Distemper)
  • Canine Cough (aka Kennel cough)
    • Bordetella Bronchisepta 
    • Parainfluenza Virus

We vaccinate for Parvo, Distemper and Adenovirus because they have the propensity to become very severe, even fatal, in dogs and even more so in puppies. Through routine vaccination, we can minimise the likelihood of your pet contracting these diseases.

Kennel Cough is caused by two main viral factors (some bacteria are also involved; however, we cannot vaccinate against bacteria). It is a disease that is spread rapidly through large congregations of dogs (such as those in a boarding kennel or at a dog park). It causes clinical signs of coughing with lots of mucous production. Through vaccination, these clinical signs can be minimised, and the effects disease lessened.

Vaccinations for puppies require a total of 3 boosters.
The timeline for these is as follows:

  • 1st vaccination: 6-8 weeks of age
  • 2nd vaccination: 10-12 weeks of age
  • 3rd vaccination: 16 weeks of age
  • Adult vaccinations: occur yearly after the completion of the 3rd puppy vaccine 

The chart at the end of this document displays how this coincides with other preventative healthcare measures.

Parasites (Internal and External)
There are 4 main parasites that we prevent for:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks / mites
  • Intestinal worms
  • Heartworm

Current recommendations suggest that puppies should receive a worming product once every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then once a month until they are 6 months old, and finally at regular intervals for life. Some products require monthly application, others require once every 3 months. Your vet/nurses will discuss with you which option may be best for your family.

Fleas and Ticks/Mites
These parasites attach to the animal on the skin. These ectoparasites are easily prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

Intestinal Worms
Dogs can be affected by a few different kinds of worms, namely roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm. All of these find homes in the intestines of our pets and can cause varying signs of disease (some cause diarrhoea, others cause intestinal bleeding). These intestinal parasites can be prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

As is suggested by the name, heartworm is a worm that lives in the heart. This worm can go undetected, and some animals can live with this parasite and never show clinical signs. However, for those that do show clinical signs, treatment options are limited. It is for this reason that we strongly suggest finding a parasite prevention product which covers heartworm in addition to the intestinal worms and ectoparasites.

All puppies require a diet that is rich in nutrients and suited to the needs of growing. As such, we recommend a diet that is specifically for puppies. Your vet can assist you in choosing a pet food suited for your family.

Desexing is not recommended before 6 months of age. When to desex your dog does depend on various factors including breed, size and health. We will discuss the ideal time to desex your dog to ensure the best outcome.

We advocate for the early socialisation of puppies between 6 and 16 weeks of age, which is the essential learning stage for behavioural development.
For all puppy social experiences before vaccinations are complete, owners should maintain vigilance by following these steps:

  • Avoid areas frequently visited by dogs with unknown vaccination or disease status
  • Early socialisation is best achieved if you know and can organise socialisation with other puppies or dogs that are known to be healthy and vaccinated

NVC’s Puppy Preschool classes are conducted in a safe and clean environment, each puppy that attends must be up to date with vaccinations. This is the best way to ensure we don’t exposure you puppy to any potential illnesses and diseases. 

All dogs are required to be microchipped. Most often, the microchip is implanted when the puppies are still with the breeder. It is the new owner’s responsibility to ensure that the details are updated. This requires a “change of ownership” form to be completed. Once this form is completed, it must be submitted to council, where it will be processed and updated on the registry. 
Our team can assist you in checking that your details are up-to-date.

Bird Care

In Australia, there are many types of birds that can be kept as pets. Each breed has unique characteristics, colours, sizes, temperament and special needs, so it’s important that you learn and gather as much information as possible. This will help you choose the right bird for you and also allow you to cater adequately for the bird’s needs.

It is important to learn as much as you can about the type of bird you are interested in. Equipped with knowledge and understanding, you will have a better idea of what to expect. While all birds are enjoyable to watch and listen to, some birds like to be handled, while others don’t. Some birds can learn to talk with consistent training, some have beautiful songs, and some have fun behaviors.

When deciding on a pet bird, it is important to consider the following:

  • Who will be caring for the bird
  • Which bird would best suit your living situation
  • Are there certain behaviours you are looking for
  • Is there different behaviours for a male or female
  • Train your bird to be handled and checked for signs of illness
  • Buying a bird is a serious commitment for at least five years but some birds can even live as long as you!

To care for a pet bird, it is important to provide a well-designed and appropriate aviary or cage that is easy to clean and scrub out, with perches for resting on and enough room for movement and flight.
It is important to feed a balanced diet and water should be easily accessible and kept clean. Toys and activities can provide entertainment which is stimulation for your bird, but make sure you don’t overcrowd the cage and remember to cover the cage at night and keep it out of direct sunlight.

Gastro and Gut Upsets

Diarrhoea and Vomiting in Pets: Guidelines for Care

Diarrhoea is defined as the frequent evacuation of soft or watery stools.
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.

Vomiting and diarrhoea are symptoms commonly linked to various issues collectively known as gastroenteritis. The severity can vary significantly, with some cases being quite serious, such as poisoning, and others being relatively minor, like dietary indiscretion. If a fever is present, an infection may be the underlying cause. Many infections that result in diarrhoea and vomiting are contagious, so if you have a multi-pet household, it is crucial to isolate other pets immediately to prevent the spread of potential infection.

You should assess your pet for signs of dehydration, such as skin tenting or tacky gums. Contact your vet, especially if the pet is young or appears unusually lethargic, as diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration.

Avoid giving over-the-counter or prescription medications without veterinary approval.
Veterinary staff will be able to provide general advice over the phone, but please keep in mind that phone advice can only ever be general. A specific care plan requires a physical examination.
If vomiting persists for more than 24 hours or your pet is lethargic, not eating/drinking or the vomit has blood in it, bring your pet straight into the clinic.

If your pet’s diarrhoea lasts for more than 48 hours, or your pet is acting sick, such as being lethargic or loss of appetite, seek immediate veterinary care.
For an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it is essential to have a consultation with a veterinarian.
A vet will assess your pet and if necessary determine the underlying cause and develop a tailored treatment plan.

Ignoring these symptoms or attempting to treat them without veterinary guidance can lead to complications, so seeking expert advice is crucial to ensure your pet’s health and recovery.

Cat Care

Cats make wonderful companions and can be great pets, but they require careful consideration before you bring one home. With an average lifespan of 15-20 years, owning a cat is a long-term commitment, and their needs should be taken into account.

It is important to check your local council’s regulations regarding things like night curfews, compulsory containment within a property, desexing, and microchipping before bringing your cat or kitten home.

A cat’s housing needs are relatively simple, and they will usually find a place where they feel safe and protected indoors or outdoors. Indoor cats generally live longer and lead healthier lives, it is worthwhile considering a cat enclosure for outdoor cats, this will keep them safe from other animals and protect local wildlife.

If you are bringing home an older cat or already have cats in your household, using Feliway and Feliway Friends sprays and diffusers can help reinforce cat confidence and reduce the need to mark areas and new objects as safe and secure.

Provide a scratching post for your cat to keep their claws in good condition for climbing and defending themselves. This will also reduce the chances of your furniture being scratched.

Cats like to be clean at all times, so they can easily be toilet trained with a litter tray filled with dry earth, sand, or cat litter. The litter tray should be cleaned daily to remove faeces, and the litter itself changed frequently. Ensure the litter tray is placed in a quiet and private location, and consider having multiple trays if you have more than one pet cat.

All cats need exercise, and providing climbing opportunities and perching locations can help keep them active and engaged. Indoor cats will benefit from having a scratch pole or indoor cat gym to provide an effective alternative to furniture.

Grooming is important for cats to remove excess hair and reduce the chances of furballs/hairballs and matted/tangled fur. Short-haired cats are typically able to groom themselves adequately, but long-haired cats require daily grooming by their owners. During the moulting season, daily brushing is essential, and food designed specifically to assist with the reduction of hairballs can help your cat process shed hair.

Feeding small amounts often is recommended, as most cats are grazers. They require a high protein and fat diet, and there are many formulations of cat food available. Discussing your cat’s individual nutritional needs with your veterinarian can help you choose the most suitable formula.

Ensure a fresh water bowl is accessible at all times, especially if your cat has a dry food diet. While many cats love to drink cow’s milk, it’s not recommended as they can be lactose intolerant and experience stomach upsets.

Cats require a minimum of one health check per year, including routine vaccinations, worming, and flea control. Regular visits can help diagnose, treat, or prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Your veterinarian can also provide additional guidance on nutrition, behavior, training, and life-stage treatments available to help keep your cat in optimum mental and physical health.

Rabbit Care

Rabbits are fantastic pets with plenty of character and sociability. They enjoy the company of humans and make great pets for introducing children to animal ownership. They are quiet, clean, and easy to train, making them an ideal pet for those who work or are often away from home.

To ensure your rabbit’s safety, it’s essential to provide a predator-proof enclosure. A suitable hutch should be divided into two compartments, one with wire mesh for natural light and fresh air and the other enclosed for protection from weather and as a secure sleeping place. The hutch floor should be covered with newspaper and bedding material like straw or hay to provide warmth, comfort and prevent pressure sores.

It’s crucial to choose a location for the hutch that considers extreme weather conditions and ventilation. In Australia, rabbits are particularly sensitive to hot summer temperatures and may die from heat stroke if the hutch isn’t in a cool, shady area.

Your rabbit should have at least two hours of exercise outside of the hutch each day. Regular handling and brushing to remove dead hairs and tangles are beneficial to keep your bunny tame and healthy. It’s also important to check for grass seeds stuck in their eyes, ears, and nose daily and ensure their rear end is clean and dry to prevent fly strike.

Feeding and nutrition are vital to maintaining your rabbit’s health. Many commercial rabbit foods lack enough fiber and contain too much fat and sugar. Rabbits are herbivores and need a diet consisting mainly of vegetables. Grass or hay is an essential component of their diet and helps wear down their continuously growing teeth while preventing boredom. Ideally, your bunny should be fed 85% hay and 15% vegetables such as Asian greens or endive (lettuce and cabbage can cause diarrhoea). Treats such as fruits, root veggies(carrots), capsicum and pellets should only be offered in small amounts (1 – 2 tablespoons per day per rabbit). Fresh water should always be available using both a drip feed bottle and an open container.

Regular veterinary care is crucial for rabbits. They should have routine check-ups, including vaccinations against calicivirus and desexing to prevent reproductive cancers in females. Calicivirus has been used to control and reduce the feral rabbit population in Australia since 1996, and healthy rabbits should be vaccinated every six months to help protect them.

If you’re considering getting a rabbit, it’s important to understand the responsibility that comes with their care. Providing a safe and comfortable home, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and veterinary care will ensure your furry friend lives a happy and healthy life. If you have any questions about rabbit care or need further advice, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us to discuss how to keep your rabbit in optimal health.

If you would like to discuss how to keep your rabbit in optimal health, give us call

Welcoming a new Puppy or Kitten

The first 2 months in the new home

Congratulations! Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know about puppies and kittens!  There are a few things that you need to know, in order to give your puppy the best start to life in your home. You can have a read over our essentials list here too!

Medical Essentials

Health Checks

We recommend that you book your puppy or kitten in for a vet check within 3 days of acquisition, to ensure that your new pet is fit and well. Responsible breeders will often insist on a vet check within a few days of rehoming as a part of their “health guarantee”. Your puppy or kitten will receive a full health check by a veterinarian when they are presented for the initial vet check, and also at each vaccination.
We recommend vaccinating at the following ages
6-8 weeks old (this is often given whilst in the care of the breeder or rescue organisation).
11-12 weeks old
16 weeks old
When you visit the vet clinic keep your pet in your arms or in a carrier until you enter the consult room.
*Do not allow your pet into public places until your veterinarian advises that it is safe to do so.

Parasite Prevention

Worms and fleas can cause significant illness in puppies and kittens, large infestations have been known to kill young animals. As such, we recommend that you routinely treat the following parasites:

  • Intestinal worms: every 2 weeks, and then switch to monthly treatments when your pet is over 12 weeks old
  • Fleas: monthly, ensuring the product is appropriate for the puppy or kittens age
  • Heartworm (for dogs only): monthly, or via a long-acting treatment eg Proheart

It is extremely important that you weigh your pet prior to every treatment, and give a dose that is appropriate for their current weight.

If you have any questions about what to use… when and how, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly nursing staff will happily provide advice over the phone, over the counter, or you can request a complimentary nurse health check for more detailed discussion, weight check and assistance with the administration of any products purchased on the day.

Health issues

Please do not hesitate to seek veterinary attention for your puppy or kitten if they are acting flat or unwell in any way. Young animals can deteriorate quickly.
Click here for more information on what to do in an emergency.

Physical and mental growth


In the first week at home, feed your new pet the same diet it was fed by the breeder or rescue organisation. This should reduce the chance of a stomach upset from a drastic diet change. Once your puppy or kitten has settled into the new environment, consider changing the diet, and do so via a slow transition over a week or so.

Growing animals, need a food with increased amounts of energy, protein and balanced nutrients compared to adults. We recommend that you feed a balanced diet, specially formulated for puppies or kittens to ensure they grow to their full potential and avoid any diet-related health issues.
In Australia, all pet foods must clearly state if they are a complete diet for pets, or a supplement, there are alot of different brands and types of food on the market, and it can get overwhelming. We can help you choose the best option ensure proper bone and muscle growth and a complete diet.

Foods to avoid:

  • bones (raw and cooked)
  • raw meats, particularly chicken.
  • home cooked diets, unless the diet was formulated by a veterinary nutritionist.
  • hard chews & treats


The breeder or rescue organisation should provide you with a microchip certificate and a partially completed transfer of ownership form. It is important that you complete your sections of the form and return it to the relevant microchip database as soon as possible. It can take weeks for the form to be processed!
Please contact our clinic if you have any questions about microchips and the transfer process.
In addition to the microchip, your puppy should wear some sort of external, waterproof identification that clearly displays your phone number.

Other things to organise early on!

Puppy Preschool Classes

It is extremely important that you give your puppy a range of positive, and varied, social experiences before they are over 4 months old, which is the approximate time that their “socialisation period” ends. Puppy Preschool Classes at Newtown Veterinary Clinic are held regularly, and we can only offer a limited number of places in each class, so we recommend that you book early, call us as soon as possible to secure your puppy a spot.

Pet Insurance

We strongly recommend that you consider pet insurance and encourage you to do your own research on which policy is best for your pet and financial situation. Standard inclusions vary from policy to policy, and prices vary depending on the pet’s breed and age. Some insurance companies will allow you to sign up online, or over the phone. Most require a health check, performed by a veterinarian, prior to providing comprehensive cover.


Our pets need vaccinations to protect them from diseases, some preventable diseases are fatal so vaccinations are important! We recommend vaccinating at the following ages
6-8 weeks old (this is often given whilst in the care of the breeder or rescue organisation).
11-12 weeks old
16 weeks old
First adult vaccination is due 1 year after completion of the puppy vaccination course.


Desexing a pet is a common surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. The most common age to desex your pet is between 4 and 6 months, our vets are always happy to discuss the best time and option with you.


Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is a relatively common degenerative condition affecting the joints, it is a widespread issue among dogs and cats. Arthritis leads to stiffness, reduced mobility and discomfort, while traditional treatments often focus on pain relief, recent breakthroughs in the Veterinary industry have paved the way for new and advanced arthritis management and treatment options.
Supplements such as Antinol Rapid and new monoclonal antibody injections are proven to suppress inflammation and significantly reduce pain, enhancing the well-being of our furry companions.

The Role of Supplements

Supplements including Antinol Rapid have gained popularity in recent times for their potential to support joint health. Packed with essential nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and some packing anti-inflammatory ingredients like green-lipped mussel and epitalis, supplements aim to promote cartilage repair and reduce inflammation.
Many pet owners have reported improved mobility and increased comfort in their dogs after incorporating recommended supplements into their daily routine.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

A recent and very exciting Veterinary Science breakthrough is Monoclonal Antibody (MoAb) therapies, these injections have shown great promise in managing canine and feline arthritis.
The MoAb injection works in a more direct way than traditional treatments, specifically targeting the inflammatory pathways. The treatment neutralises and blocks the nerve growth factor, resulting in :

  • Reduction in nerve sensitivity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Alleviation of joint pain
  • Slowing of further joint damage
  • Minimising of side effects while maximising efficacy
  • Potential reduction in the progression of Arthritus

Combining Approaches for Comprehensive Care

Incorporating traditional supplements like Antinol with innovative Monoclonal Antibody therapies provides a holistic approach to managing arthritis in pets. The combination of these methods present a multifaceted approach to tackling inflammation, supporting joint health and enhancing overall well-being in arthritic canines & felines.

As veterinary medicine continues to evolve, the options available for managing pet arthritis will continue to expand. Innovations such as new and enhanced supplements, traditional medications and new Monoclonal Antibody therapies present groundbreaking approaches that hold the potential to revolutionise how we care for our furry companions. Consultation with a veterinarian remains crucial to tailor treatment plans based on individual pets’ needs, ensuring a personalised and effective approach to arthritis management.

Dental Disease

Dental Disease

Just like humans, our pets are vulnerable to gum disease and problems with their teeth. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.
When there is a build-up of bacteria, food particles and saliva on the teeth plaque is formed. Plaque sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line, it appears as a yellow-brown on the teeth, if not removed plaque will calcify into tartar (also known as calculus).
Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur, these can include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums, bad breath and loosening of teeth. This same bacterial infection is also a source of infection for the rest of the body (such as the kidney, liver and heart) and can make your pet seriously ill.
Ultimately, dental disease results in many pets unnecessarily suffering tooth loss, gum infection and pain. It also has the potential to shorten your pet’s lifespan.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

Our vets can examine your pet’s teeth on a regular basis and discuss options with you, if necessary we can make a follow-up appointment for a professional dental clean.
The professional dental teeth clean is completed while your pet is anaesthetised, this allows our experts to carry out a thorough dental examination, and clean all teeth without distressing your pet.
A complete dental examination involves charting all present teeth and evaluating their condition, including the degree of tartar, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and any pockets in the gums around the teeth. Our veterinarians will then remove the tartar above the gumline using a special ultrasonic scaler, just like a dentist uses for our teeth. The teeth are then polished using a dental polisher and specialised fine-grade paste.
If the dental disease is not severe the procedure will end here, however, if certain teeth are so severely affected they cannot be saved, extractions will be necessary.
Once all dental work is complete, your pet may be given an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory injection, pets are generally able to go home on the same day.
Following a professional dental clean, a plan needs to be implemented to minimise build up of tartar again, and will depend on the severity of your pet’s dental disease.  This may involve regular tooth brushing, feeding raw meaty bones and/or a special diet. It is recommended that all pets be examined 6 months after dental cleaning to determine the effectiveness of your dental care routine.

How can I minimise ongoing dental disease?

Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular home care. The best way to begin this is to acclimatise your pet from a young age. Dental home care may include:

  • Pet Oral wipes to wipe over and clean your pets teeth daily
  • Brushing teeth daily using specialised pet toothbrush and toothpaste. DO NOT use human toothpaste as these may be toxic to your pet!
  • Feed specially formulated dental food
  • Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits
  • Regular and frequent attention to your pet’s teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet’s overall health. 

Read about our Dental SPA option here

End of Life Care

Euthanasia is a difficult choice for every pet owner. We are here to support you through this period to help guide you and support you in your decision.
We wish our pets would live forever, but we know that they do not. In most cases the decision to euthanize a loved pet is made to end or prevent suffering at the end of life. Euthanasia is a kindness that we can offer our pets that is often not afforded to our human loved ones.

We know the decision is difficult and the loss of a beloved pet is heartbreaking. We pride ourselves on providing compassionate and caring end of life services.
From our dedicated euthanasia “lounge-room” to allow for a longer and private goodbye when requested. We use relaxant and sedative medications to ensure that your pet is calm and relaxed during the entire process.
We welcome family members to be present to help support you alongside our team.
The euthanasia process is tailored to each individual family and pet. Some families do not want to be present, others want to stay until the end.
The separate euthanasia space means you can take the time that you need before and after the euthanasia.
We use the services of Eden Hills Cremation to take care of your beloved pet’s body. With communal or private cremation available.
Individual urns, wooden boxes or jewelry can all be chosen to store the ash of your beloved pet.
If you or your family members need further support following the loss of your pet, we are again available to advise and guide you to help you in your grief recovery.
Our aim is to provide a relaxed and dignified end for your beloved pet, whilst ensuring your emotional wellbeing is supported.

If you would like to discuss end of life care with one of our compassionate team members, please give us a call.

Mast Cell Tumor Treatment

Mast Cell Tumor Treatment

Newtown Veterinary Clinic was involved in the early trial work for a now registered Mast Cell Tumor treatment drug. The Veterinary registered drug is injected directly into the tumor mass.  Treatment is performed under sedation and generally only requires only a half day of hospitalization. As a result of these trials, the team at NVC has treated over 200 animals.

During the treatment process, we support you with regular follow-up checks during the tumor breakdown period and are available on the phone 6 days per week.  Virbac also provides access to a technical veterinarian should help be required when we are not available.

If you would like to discuss the potential use of this treatment in your dog, then please call the clinic and schedule an appointment.


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Common Household Toxins


There are lots of things around the house that can be toxic to your cat or dog, it is important to know what they are so you can keep them out of reach. If you suspect or know that your dog has ingested something toxic, call us for advice. We can assess your pet and induce vomiting to get the toxins out of your pet’s system, we can also hospitalise your pet if they require further support.

Chocolate is the first one that comes to mind when you think about food that is poisonous to dogs, but there are a number of other human foods and products that are also toxic to dogs

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and grapes products such as sultanas
  • Fruit stones inc apple seeds, cherry pips, peach, apricot and plum stones
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Xylitol (sugar-free sweetener)
  • Alcohol
  • Potato peelings, green potatoes and rhubarb leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts including macadamia nuts
  • Tobacco
  • Corn cobs
  • Spoiled or mouldy food

Besides foods, there are other items found around the house that are toxic to pets

  • Detergents and cleaning products
  • Human drugs and medication eg vitamins, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Ventolin
  • Some plants and flowers like lilies, tulips and daffodils to name a few
  • Batteries
  • Baits like rat and snail bait

If your pet is displaying signs they have eaten something toxic, like vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking, seizures or trouble breathing call us so we can assess your pet. If it is outside of our business hours call Geelong Animal Emergency.

Call Now – 03 5221 5333

Related Knowledge

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Parasite Protection

You can sign up to the Parasite Prevention Program, which sends you out monthly parasite control so you never forget an application!

Intestinal Worms

When it comes to intestinal worms in your pet, such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworm and tapeworm, prevention is much better than cure.
Intestinal worms are parasites, if your pet is not protected they can easily become infected resulting in serious illness. Some intestinal worms are also transmittable to humans, simply by patting your infected pet the parasites can infect you.

The worms affect your dog or cat’s digestive system, and only take a couple of weeks to mature from larvae to adult worms. Once the larvae have matured the cycle begins, the worms lay eggs which mature into adult worms etc.
It can be difficult to see symptoms of an intestinal parasite until the late stages, which is why it is important to have regular worm treatment in place.

Signs your pet could have worms include:

  • You may see worms in faeces or vomit
  • Your pet starts losing weight
  • A change in fur, becoming dry and coarse
  • Increased appetite, weakness and diarrhoea

If you notice any of these symptoms make an appointment for a consult, we will assess your pet and ensure the appropriate treatment is provided.
There are so many different worming and parasite protection products on the market, you can make an appointment to discuss the best option for your dog or cat with one of our nursing team.


Fleas are external parasites that live on the coat and skin of animals and survive by feeding on the blood of their host. What can start as 1 or 2 fleas can quickly turn into an infestation, and breaking the life cycle of the fleas can take months as the flea eggs can lay dormant for up to 6 months.
Initially, the fleas will cause small irritations from biting your pet, if not quickly treated this can lead to severe itchiness, secondary skin infections and even anaemia!

As with all parasites, prevention is the key. It is very important to discuss the best preventative treatment for your pet with us, there is a huge amount of options on the market. Some products are not cat friendly, others can vary in frequency of application, depend on the weight of your pet, and have options of spot-on or tablet treatments. We can recommend the best product to suit your lifestyle and send you reminders when your animal is due for their next treatment, ensuring you stay on top of the medication.


Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The life cycle of the heartworm is complex and involves several stages. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up microfilariae, which are immature heartworms, along with its blood meal. The microfilariae develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito and are then transmitted to a new host when the mosquito bites again.

Once inside the new host, the larvae migrate to the heart and lungs, where they grow into adult worms. As the worms mature in the heart they can cause physical blockages and thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels, leading to a range of symptoms including coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, heartworm infection can result in heart failure and death.

Fortunately, there are very effective preventative treatment options available including tablets, chews, spot-on’s and even an annual injection for dogs administered by one of our vets. If your pet has not been on heartworm prevention we strongly recommend a heartworm test prior to starting a prevention program, followed by a repeat test 6 months after commencing.

Regular heartworm testing is also recommended for dogs and cats, even if they are already on a preventative regimen. Testing can detect the presence of heartworms before clinical signs appear, allowing for early treatment and better outcomes.

Please call us to discuss the best parasite prevention for your pet

Traveling With Pets

Taking a road trip with your pet in Australia can be a great way to explore the country and create lasting memories with your furry friend. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared and have everything you need to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your pet.

Here are some tips for road tripping with your pet in Australia:

  • Plan your route and accommodation in advance
    Before hitting the road, plan out your route and make sure you know where you’ll be staying along the way. Look for pet-friendly accommodations, such as hotels or campgrounds, and make sure you book in advance to ensure availability. Remember pets are not allowed into National Parks.
  • Pack for your pet’s needs
    Make sure you pack all the essentials your pet will need for the trip, such as food, water, bowls, toys, and bedding. It’s also important to bring any necessary medication and a first aid kit for emergencies. We can help with a first aid kit.
  • Ensure your pet is comfortable during the drive
    Make sure your pet is comfortable during the drive by providing them with a comfortable spot to rest and plenty of ventilation. If your pet gets anxious during car rides, consider using a calming spray like Adaptil or bringing along their favorite toy or blanket to help them feel more secure.
  • Take breaks and give your pet exercise
    It’s important to take breaks every few hours to give your pet a chance to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Look for rest stops or dog parks along your route where your pet can get some exercise and play.
  • Follow the local laws and regulations

It’s important to be aware of the potential risks of certain diseases that your pet may encounter. One of the most common and dangerous diseases is tick paralysis. The ixodes holocyclus tick is located on the eastern seaboard of Victoria, this causes an ascending paralysis that is fatal if not treated. Bravecto and Nexgard spectra are two effective flea/tick preventatives we recommend to help reduce the chance of a tick bite.
Heartworm, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes is another potentially fatal disease. Heartworm can cause serious damage to your pet’s heart, lungs, and other organs, and can even be fatal if left untreated. To protect your pet from heartworm, make sure they are up-to-date on their preventative medication, this is available in various forms, including pills, topical treatments, and injections. Speak with us about the best option for your pet and make sure to administer it as directed.

In addition to heartworm disease and paralysis tick, there is a new emerging disease in Australia called Ehrlichliosis. This disease is transmitted by the bite of the brown dog tick and causes potentially fatal disease including organ shutdown, Bravecto and Nextgard are recommended for dogs traveling into the northern parts of Australia.

Whilst we have no treatments to prevent encounters with cane toads, they also pose a threat to our domestic pets. The toxin they excrete on the backs is dangerous when ingested. If a dog was to mouth or bite a cane toad they will likely be exposed. So keep your pets on leash and be aware of toads, snakes, spiders, crocodiles and other deadly creatures found in Australia.

Overall, traveling with your pet can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep them safe and healthy. By staying informed and prepared, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry friend.
It is so important for you to see us before you travel so our team can ensure you have all the information you need for a safe adventure!

Insuring your Pet

Pets are part of our families, they bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love. However, as much as we love them, they can also become a financial burden if they require unexpected medical attention. This is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance can help you cover unexpected veterinary bills and provide peace of mind in knowing that your pet will receive the best possible care without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet Insurance provides financial protection, like humans, pets can fall ill or get injured unexpectedly. In some cases, these illnesses or injuries can require expensive medical attention, such as surgeries or hospitalisations. Pet insurance can help you cover these costs, ensuring that your pet receives the necessary care without breaking the bank. It can also:

  • Prevent difficult decisions: When faced with a sick or injured pet, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for their care. Without pet insurance, you may be forced to make difficult decisions about your pet’s treatment or even consider euthanasia if the cost of treatment is too high. Pet insurance can prevent these difficult decisions by providing the financial support you need to provide your pet with the best possible care.
  • Cover a variety of treatments: Pet insurance can cover a wide range of treatments, including surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, and potentially even alternative therapies like acupuncture or hydrotherapy. This means that no matter what your pet needs, you can rest assured that you will be able to provide it without worrying about the cost.
  • Save money in the long run: While pet insurance does require a monthly premium, it can save you money in the long run by reducing the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. By paying a small amount each month, you can avoid large bills down the road, which can be especially important if your pet requires ongoing medical care.
  • Provide peace of mind: Perhaps most importantly, pet insurance provides peace of mind. You never know when your pet may require unexpected medical attention, and having pet insurance can provide comfort in knowing that you will be able to provide them with the care they need without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet insurance is an important investment for pet owners. It can provide financial protection, prevent difficult decisions, cover a wide range of treatments, save money in the long run, and provide peace of mind. So, if you haven’t already, consider investing in pet insurance for your furry friend, have a chat with us today.