Dogs need a considerable amount of ongoing care and companionship to stay happy and healthy. Some of the basic needs that are common to most dog breeds are:

Daily exercise

A steady flow of mental and physical stimulation is essential to a dog’s wellbeing. If they don’t get it through regular play, walks and exercise, they may vent their frustration through bad behaviour.

Some breeds need much more exercise than others, which is why research is so important. Making an informed choice can set you and your newest family member up for a happy and rewarding life together.

Find an off-leash dog park

As a dog owner, dog parks offer a great chance to socialise and meet other dog owners, and to get some exercise with your best mate.

Off-leash dog parks allow your dog the freedom to run, play, sniff and chase without restraint. Regular visits are great exercise for your dog, and can also help to reduce behavioural problems.

To find your nearest dog parks, you should contact your local council, or check if your area is listed below.
City of Gold Coast dog parks: 

While you’re at work

With Queensland’s hot and unpredictable weather, you need to have certain protections in place for your pet. Access to cool, clean water and plenty of shade is an absolute must throughout the year.

If you’re leaving your dog outside, make sure your fencing is secure and high enough so they can’t get out of your yard. You might also want to consider a doggy door so they can let themselves in and out of your house when you’re not there.

If your dog is digging or chewing things around the house, boredom is the likely cause. Toys and raw bones are a great way to help keep your dog occupied and also helps maintain their dental health.


Dogs need a balanced diet of age-appropriate food to stay healthy and happy. We recommend you ask your vet for advice on what to feed your dog as different breeds can have different needs.

Dogs tend to respond well to routine. Try to keep their meal times consistent and avoid giving them regular snacks, especially human food. If you do feed them your food, you may find they never leave you alone when you’re eating!


It’s important to research the needs of your pet as some breeds need extensive grooming, while others need very little. Some general guidelines are:

  • Nails. Dogs’ nails may require regular trimming, depending on how much outdoor activity they’re getting. Your vet can help you with this, or show you how to cut their nails yourself. Do not attempt to cut your dog’s nails without instruction as you can cause them pain or cause an infection.
  • Coat. Most dogs (particular those with longer hair) will need regular brushing, and it’s usually recommended to give your dog a bath around once a month. Shampooing too often can strip natural oils out of their coat.
  • Teeth. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean can help prevent expensive dental work. You can use a canine toothbrush/toothpaste to brush their teeth yourself, or give them raw meaty bones which help clean their teeth naturally.

Worming, fleas and ticks

Queensland’s tropical environment is perfect for fleas and ticks, so it’s essential that you check your dog regularly if they are outside. Ticks are especially prevalent in spring (September-November).

Tick collars and some liquid medications can help defend your dog against ticks. You can also help prevent fleas and/or ticks from making a home in your yard by keeping it free from excessive bushes and long grass.

Learn how to identify ticks and call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has a paralysis tick. Find out more about Ticks.

Vet checks

Taking your dog to the vet once a year (or more regularly for senior dogs) helps to keep your dog's vaccinations up to date and identify any potential, developing issues.

If you suspect something might be wrong with your dog, visiting the vet early could help prevent a much bigger issue later. 

To help keep vet costs down, consider insurance for your dog.

Harmful foods for dogs

  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolate, coffee or caffeine products
  • Bread dough
  • Avocado
  • Grapes, raisins, sultanas or currants
  • Nuts
  • Fruit stones (pits)
  • Green unripe tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Fish constantly
  • Cooked bones or small pieces of raw bone
  • Fatty trimmings
  • Xylotol (sugar substitute often found in sweets and chewing gum)

Source: RSPCA

Take me camping

Before taking your dog to a national park or forest, make sure they are permitted. Dogs are permitted on leash in a number of Queensland National Parks.

Find a park or forest

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