General health

Looking after your dog starts with love and affection… and lots of it. A happy dog is much more likely to be a healthy dog. Of course, there are also a few practical things you can do to keep your canine companion in top form.

Just like with your own health cover it’s important to also think about your dog’s health cover too. Having pet insurance is like a trust fund for your dog – so you can afford trips to the vet when you need them most so you can focus on your pet’s recovery without worrying about the cost.

Advances in veterinary medicine mean more can be done for your dog’s health than ever before. Dogs can now receive ultrasound and x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, arthritis treatment, major surgery, and even cancer treatment – just like people.

Taking out pet insurance provides you with peace of mind for when the unexpected happens and can help provide a degree of control into the world of pets that is almost entirely unpredictable.

Finding the right vet

Choosing your veterinarian is an important decision. Take your time to find the right one – look up your local veterinary clinic or animal hospital online and ask friends and family for recommendations. If they don’t seem like the right vet the first time round, keep searching.


On your first visit to the vet ask about your dog’s vaccination requirements and request a general check-up to highlight any current or potential health concerns.

De-sexing your dog

De-sexing your dog will prevent unwanted pregnancies in females and can help control aggression problems for males. Talk to your vet about this procedure.

Look after their teeth

Dogs develop plaque and tartar build up just like humans do, and if left unchecked this can lead to serious health problems. A well balanced diet including raw bones (or specifically formulated dental bones), regular dental check-ups and brushing (with specially formulated dog toothpaste available from your vet or specialty pet store) will help keep your dog’s teeth in top condition

Most vets would recommend using a regular preventative heartworm treatment for your dog, and treating them for intestinal worms regularly (typically monthly). Check with your vet for what treatment they recommend for your dog.

Heartworm & intestinal worming

Most vets would recommend using a regular preventative heartworm treatment for your dog, and treating them for intestinal worms regularly (typically monthly). Check with your vet for what treatment they recommend for your dog.

Fleas & ticks

All dogs like to scratch, but if they’re scratching more than normal it may be a sign they have fleas. You can buy a range of flea treatments from your vet clinic or local pet specialty store. Both should carry a wide range of treatments including all-in-one treatments for fleas and worming. Your local supermarket may also carry a range of medications. Check with your vet about which product would be most suitable for your dog.

Ticks can be potentially life threatening to dogs so it’s important take care where you walk your dog and ensure your check your pet regularly for ticks – ask your vet to show you how to do this.

Ticks are often found in areas of natural bushland which harbour native animals. To help keep your dog safe, discuss with your vet the precautions and treatments best suited for your dog and where you live. Avoid allowing your dog to wander in the native bushland or in long grass, especially during Spring and Summer and regularly use tick insecticides available from your vet, pet specialty store or supermarket if your dog goes outside. Because signs/symptoms of tick paralysis don’t always occur quickly (it can take hours or even days before symptoms of poisoning become apparent) if you suspect your dog has a tick, always take them directly to your vet immediately.

Microchipping and registration

Your dog should be registered with the local council after they turn three months of age. Some councils offer discounted registration for de-sexed animals. A dog tag is supplied by the local council for their collar but a more permanent form of identification (such as microchipping) is recommended. Check with your local council for full details.

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification in the form of a tiny chip, which is implanted under your pet’s skin. A key benefit of microchipping your dog is the ability to locate/identify your dog if they get lost. Most people have their dog microchipped at the time of de-sexing, ie whilst under anesthetic as a small tattoo is placed in the dog’s right ear to identify them as being microchipped.

Keeping a routine

One of the best ways to ensure your dog’s happiness is to stick to a routine. Knowing what to expect makes them feel safe. Keep feeding and bed times as regular as possible and try to come home from work at a similar time each evening.

Things you should know

The information provided is general information only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Medibank Private does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information, representations or advice contained. To the extent permitted by law, Medibank Private accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by readers of this website as a result of or in connection with the information contained on this website (whether by way of negligence or otherwise).

Pet Insurance

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time prior to 30 August 2023 and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representative (AR) Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259, AR 286089 (Medibank).

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time on or after 30 August 2023, and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by PetSure and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s AR, Medibank.

Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing, or choosing to continue with the product. PDS and Target Market Determination available at