Pet care

The following information is general advice intended to help you understand the needs of your pet.  You should seek further advice and assistance from your vet.

Roscrea SPCA can not accept any responsibility for acts or omissions based on the following advice.

 Read our advice on vaccination HERE.


Read our advice on vaccinations here.Dogs and PuppiesTo ensure that your dog or puppy has a long, happy, and healthy life you must protect your dog from diseases by vaccinating him/her. Your initial vaccination requires two separate injections two weeks apart. It is imperative that the pup/dog receives both injections within the specified time frame for the animal to be fully covered. When your pet is vaccinated you should receive a vaccination record from your vet which shows when the boosters are due. Your dog should have a booster every year. It will be covered for the following diseases: Parvovirus, Coronavirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, and Parainfluenza. Parvovirus is very prevalent and highly contagious and can kill an animal in a very short space of time if not treated quickly. If your pet seems unwell, i.e. vomiting, diarrohea, etc, you should seek veterinary care immediately.Your pet should also be treated against parasites such as worms and fleas on a regular basis. This should start as a puppy and continue throughout his/her lifetime.Your vet will be able to advise you on all aspects of your dog’s health, and help you develop a preventative health care programme for your pet. Regular health examinations, at least annually, will ensure that problems are detected as early as possible and treatment started.All animals re-homed by Roscra SPCA have been neutered, vaccinated, wormed, and flea treated. However, it is extremely important that these treatments are continued and kept up-to-date. You will receive a vaccination cert from us when you adopt your new pet, which will advice you when the next vaccination/booster is due.Remember you can now have your pet microchipped, click HERE to find out more about microchipping. Click HERE for information on our Subsidised Neutering Scheme.House Training Dog’s and Puppie’s.

The key to successful house training is supervision. Watch your dog constantly. Your first duty is to identify what your dog does right before it eliminates. Does your dog sniff? Circle? Hold his ears in a certain position? Some dogs provide signals that are easy to spot, while others are more difficult. Watch carefully.

When you see the signs of an impending puddle, react! Quickly -before he has the chance to squat- ask him in an excited voice, “Do you have to go OUTSIDE?” Lead the way, continuing to praise all the way. Once outside, stay with him until you witness the desired results and praise him as he goes. “Good, go potty outside!” Make him feel that he is the most special dog in the whole world.

By confining him to a small place, like an airline kennel, you will teach him to wait to be let out. He will be more reluctant to soil his crate, because if he does he will be forced to sit and look at it and smell it until you return. When you do let him out, take him directly to his assigned toilet area and praise for quick results.

Take him out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and many times in between. Feed and exercise on a regular schedule. Remember, what goes in regularly, will come out regularly. How soon after he eats does he need to go out? Keep track. Free-choice feeding may hamper your house training efforts – what trickles in will trickle out unpredictably! Your dog will probably need to go out soon after eating, after napping, and after exercising. If you can anticipate when he needs to go and hustle him to the appropriate spot at the first sign, you’ll avoid accidents.

If you don’t stay, you’ll miss the chance to praise and you’ll also miss the chance to name the behaviour. “Outside” is where he needs to go, “Go potty”, “Find a tree”, or, “Do your business” (call it what you like) is what he needs to do when he gets there. If you stay with him, you’ll also know for a fact that both duties were accomplished before he comes back in. (You’ll also be glad that your dog is comfortable eliminating in your presence when you’re standing in the rain at that rest stop while vacationing with your pet!)

If you leave him out alone, you won’t know if he completed his assigned tasks or was distracted by a butterfly. Many young puppies are distraught about being separated from their owners. They may spend the entire time while outside just sitting on the porch. It’s unlikely that your pup will want to ask to go outside if it is a negative experience to be separated from the security of its human family. “He was out for two hours and came in immediately made a mess.” He may have spent most of the past two hours napping, awoke to the sound of the door and came running. Now he’s finally back inside – is he apt to want to ask to be left out again?

If he has an accident, swat yourself with the rolled up newspaper, not the dog. It was your fault for not watching him closely enough! Rubbing his nose in it (yuck!), scolding or hitting will only teach him to avoid you when he feels the need, rather than come find you. Correcting before the dog learns how to ask only teaches the dog to sneak off down the hall where you won’t see him.

If you have been a good cheerleader, your dog has probably made the association between the feeling of a full bladder and your excitement at the prospect of going outside. You may notice that he circles and then looks to you like, “Well? I’m feeling it – are you going to get excited?” Now is the time to start playing “stupid”. “What? What do you want? Show me!” The more stupid you appear, the more explicit he will be when trying to communicate his needs. Before you know it, he will be asking.

Upsets in schedule, changes in food, or illness may contribute to temporary lapses in housetraining. See your veterinarian if it persists. Outside stresses, changes in weather, a new pet or baby in the family, may also upset your dog’s toilet habits. Punishing long after the fact will only add to his stress. Back up, give him more structure; confine & supervise. Help him be good.-

Going on holiday or away for the weekend?

It is important to make sure your pet is taken care of and safe when you are going on holiday, regardless of whether he/she is going with you. 

Kennels and catteries

Your vet will be able to recommend a reputable kennel or cattery. You should visit the kennel or cattery well in advance of your trip to ensure you are happy with the environment your pet will be in when you are away.

Reputable kennels and catteries will ask you to produce an up-to-date certificate of inoculation. This is a good sign that your pet will be cohabiting with animals in good health during their stay. Make sure that you book a space well in advance or you could be disappointed.  You should also make sure that you or the kennel or cattery has an insurance scheme in case your pet needs emergency care.  Make sure you give the kennel or cattery your vet’s name and telephone number and a number where you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Taking your pet with you

You may be staying at your own or a family/friends holiday home within the country, if not you can check with a local Tourist Board that might list holiday accommodation where you and your pet can feel at home. You should get your pet used to the car before setting off on a long journey.  Some dogs and cats can become sick and distressed during long journeys; you can ask your vet for advice on tranquillisers.  

You will need to make sure your pet will be secure and comfortable during any journey.  Your dog will need regular stops for exercise and water and should have a secure either in a proper travelling box or by a dog-belt which clips into the seatbelt fastener of your car, these can be purchased form most pet shops and vets, you should make sure that your dog can not reach the driver of the car.  Cats should be kept in a proper travelling box and not allowed to roam in strange locations.  No animal should not be left in cars on warm or sunny days.  


Your pet should already have an identity tag with you home address and contact number, remember that you should also place an identity tag to their collar with your holiday address and the tel number of the holiday address or your mobile number.  Remember you can now have your pet microchipped.

Friendly care

Your family or friends may offer to take care of your pet while you are away, you should make sure they understand what is involved.  It is a good idea for the person to spend some time with you and your pet together so they can get used to each other with you present.  If your pet will be staying in that persons home, you should visit their home with the pet and make sure your pet meets all the members of the family, including any family pets. Your pet might be more comfortable staying in their own home, if the person taking care of your pet is not also staying in your home, they will need to visit at least twice a day to feed and water your pet.  Always make sure you leave your vet’s number and any insurance details with your family/friend. 


Common plants can pose major threats to your pet’s health.Click here to read about the ten most common poisonous plants.