WHEN it comes to their pets most owners will do anything they can to ensure they are happy and healthy.
However, there's a lot more to being a responsible pet owner than just picking up after you dog and making sure they're fed and walked each day.
Desexing, vaccinations, correct feeding, training and socialisation are all extremely important.
Did you know that desexing doesn't only prevent unwanted kittens and puppies it also prevents a range of health issues from occurring later in the dog's life?
Rose Mckean has been a vet for the past four years and has seen the impact not desexing a pet can have.
"They can have a number of issues over their lifetime if they're not desexed," she said. "It's good for your pet's health down the track."
Male dogs can develop prostate problems while female dogs can get urinary tract infections and cancer in mammary glands. Plus, desexed pets generally live longer.
National Desexing Month is an initiative of the National Desexing Network which sees vets across Australia offer discounted desexing during the month of July. However, this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the month has been moved to September, so you have time to plan ahead.
Find a vet near you taking part in the promotion by going to the National Desexing Network website where a list of vets taking part will be published. Dr Mckean's practice has taken part in National Desexing Month for years.
"It's a good initiative," she said. "We provide a discount to people on Government benefits to help them afford to desex their pets.
"It's very important we don't end up with unwanted litters of kittens or puppies. It also reduces fighting in cats so it reduces the cost of vet bills as they don't get injured - they're also a lot nicer to have around the house."
Annual vaccinations ensure your pet will remain disease free but more importantly the actual trip to the vet to have them administered can be just as important.
During your pet's annual vaccinations the vet will give them a check over from nose to tail and will discuss any issues and identify any problems, aiming to keep them healthy and happy for longer.
"Pets tend to be a bit broader around the middle now which comes from being too kind and subsequently overfeeding," Dr Mckean said. "Healthy weight is a huge part of being a responsible owner."
They can have a number of issues over their lifetime if they're not desexed.Veterinarian Dr Mckean