• General information
  • Dental
  • Behaviour
  • Spaying/neutering
  • Vaccination
  • Nutrition
  • Worms/parasites

General information

A dog can be a fun companion for you and your family. When choosing a dog, think carefully. Do you want a puppy that you first have to raise and housebreak, or do you prefer a slightly older (rehomed) dog whose character is already clear? The breed and size of the dog are also an important choice. In addition to looks, this mainly involves things like: how much exercise and challenge do I want to give my dog, should it be easy to transport, how much time/money is needed for coat care with this breed/type of coat.

If you want a purebred dog, it is wise to find out about the character of this breed (is it a good family dog? How much exercise/challenge does it need) and possible health problems that are genetic and common in a breed.

When choosing a breeder, it is important to realise that a pedigree dog from a recognised breeder is more expensive than a dog from a so-called 'bread breeder'. Dogs are also offered in the Netherlands with unclear origins, often identified by a foreign passport or sometimes a Dutch passport with a stamp from a Belgian vet, for example. So always ask for the passport. A dog offered too cheaply is suspect! A puppy born in the Netherlands must also be microchipped at six weeks of age at the latest.

If you have a new dog, it needs to get used to its new home. If you have been given food by the fokker/former owner, give it in the initial period, so that the transition goes smoothly. When changing to different food, always spread it out over a number of days, giving a little less of the old food and a little more of the new food every day, until you have switched completely. For the choice of food, see our page on food.

During the year, there are a number of things you need to take care of to prevent infection with worms/parasites. On our page you will find detailed information regarding fleas, ticks and intestinal worms. Your dog should be vaccinated, with a puppy generally receiving three consecutive vaccinations, in order to gain sufficient immunity against a number of canine diseases. From the age of 1, it is necessary to vaccinate once a year to maintain adequate defences against all diseases.

In addition to walking, feeding and possibly brushing, daily grooming also includes brushing the teeth. This prevents/delays dental problems in dogs.

We also recommend having your bitch spayed (actually castrated, because the ovaries are removed) if you do not want to breed with her. You will thus reduce the risk of mammary gland tumours and uterine infections later in life. You also no longer have to worry about spontaneous mating and therefore unplanned puppies.

In principle, a male dog does not need to be neutered for medical reasons. Most males that are castrated show very macho/pressure behaviour, or the owner does not want them to be able to accidentally mate a bitch. To try out the effects of a physical castration, there is the possibility of an implant that temporarily castrates the dog.

Can't find the information you are looking for on our website? If so, please feel free to contact us by phone.



At an early age, our pets start with milk teeth. Around 6 months, this should be completely erased. Occasionally, the milk teeth remain in place, preventing the adult teeth from erupting properly. It is therefore advisable to visit your pet around 6 months of age to see if the milk teeth have erupted properly. If not, it is important to remove the remaining milk elements, as they can cause the adult teeth/ molars to take an abnormal position/position otherwise.

Dental problems

Dental problems often start with an accumulation of dental plaque. This is a yellowish/brownish layer that forms around the transition between tooth/teeth and gums. If left untreated, the plaque can harden and form tartar. The plaque and tartar are causes of gingivitis, which is very painful. The animals then often start smelling out of their mouths and have bad breath. If nothing is done about it, paradental disease (the gums recede and the roots become exposed) can even develop, causing tooth loss. In addition, bacteria get trapped under the plaque and tartar, aggravating inflammation. They can also enter the bloodstream, causing all kinds of heart and/or kidney problems.

Dental treatment

Animals with inflamed gums almost never stop eating, so despite good appetite, your pet may really need dental treatment. They will also not readily indicate pain if it is gum inflammation. To make dental treatment as effective as possible, it is done under anaesthesia. Under anaesthesia, the complete set of teeth can be properly inspected and cleaned. Importantly, all plaque and tartar are removed, allowing us to properly clean and polish all elements. Elements that are loose or very damaged should be removed, as they can be very painful. The gums may also have receded to the extent that the element needs to be removed.

Often, animals are already a bit older when they undergo dental treatment. It is then best to do a blood test before anaesthesia to see if the kidneys, liver, protein and sugar levels are good. It is possible with us to have such a pre-anaesthetic blood test done. Gas anaesthesia with cardiac monitoring is also available, of course, allowing us to apply the safest possible anaesthesia.


To prevent dental problems, or at least postpone them for a longer period, it is best to brush your pet's teeth several times a week and to adjust their diet if necessary. There are special long toothbrushes and special toothpaste for dogs and cats, which you can get from us. If you start brushing teeth already with young animals, you will see that your pet will eventually tolerate it well.

 Tartar formation is more likely with soft foods. This is because the softer food sticks well to teeth/teeth. Therefore, our advice is to mainly give kibble to your pet. There are also special large/hard chunks that only break down when they reach the transition from tooth to gum and thus scrape the teeth clean. This thus reduces tartar formation and "massages" the gums, as they have to chew more.

Finally, you can add a special liquid through your pet's drinking water. This inhibits tartar formation and gives fresh breath.

For detailed advice on your dog's dental care, please contact one of our veterinary nurses.



Dog language is not always easy or what it seems.

For example, dogschool/behavioural therapist Dog Talk:s: "In the past, dogs were mainly used for work, nowadays the dog is part of the family and is more than often seen as a full-fledged family member. We strive to build a good relationship with our dog, as it provides companionship, fun, distraction and in some cases makes us feel safe. How much we expect a lot from our dog, everywhere and in every situation we want it to behave in a socially desirable way and not cause a nuisance. This is not so easy, good communication between dog and owner is necessary, but sometimes difficult as we both speak a different language. This sometimes causes friction and/or nuisance."

For questions about dog behaviour, parenting and problem behaviour, you can contact a dog school and/or a recognised dog behaviour therapist. They can guide you in the best way for your dog.




Laparoscopic spaying of your bitch

Tumors of the mammary glands are seen more often in the unspayed bitch and in bitches spayed later in life than in bitches spayed at an early age. Also, the unsterilized bitch is more likely to develop a uterine infection and hormonal diabetes. Our advice is therefore to have your dog spayed.

At our practice, we sterilize females by means of keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). In this form of sterilization, under full anaesthesia, only three small incisions of barely 1 cm are made in the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated slightly and a camera and working instruments are inserted through these openings. Using the camera, the ovaries are then searched and removed from the dog using a special cutting and burning instrument. The small skin wounds are closed with a suture and after a week we can check them at our clinic. Due to the small size of the wounds, the dog's freedom of movement after surgery is much greater and scarring is minimal. The procedure also goes a lot faster, which means your animal will be under anaesthesia for less time. Overall, your dog will recover much faster. If you are interested in having your animal sterilized through this procedure, please contact our clinic and we will be happy to tell you more about it.

After the procedure, the patient is given painkillers combined with an anti-inflammatory to take home for a few days so that they do not suffer so much from the wound(s). After 7-10 days, we will check the wound(s) at our clinic and remove any remaining stitches.

There are different ideas about whether to spay before the first heat. The advantage of spaying around six months is that blood flow to the uterus is less and they are less likely to get fat. A disadvantage is a slightly higher risk of incontinence in mainly the large dog breeds. The risk of getting mammary gland tumors is almost the same before and after the first heat, after this the risk increases rapidly. With laparoscopic spaying, spaying can take place about 8 weeks after heat.

Some people prefer not to have their dog spayed because the dog will become fat and lethargic. However, this is not necessary. Dogs often get fatter after sterilization if the diet is not adjusted. A spayed bitch needs less nutrition due to the hormonal changes. If they still get the same amount of nutrition, they will get fatter. A fatter dog will become less active and this is how it perpetuates itself. There is special food on the market for sterilized bitches. This contains fewer calories but more fiber for a good feeling of satiety. This way, your dog will not gain weight and will also stay active. More information on food can be found under the heading nutrition.

Castration of your male dog

Uncastrated male dogs are more likely to have prostate problems. The prostate can be enlarged due to sexual behaviour and this can cause bloody urine and difficult defecation. The male dog may also develop inflammation of the prostate. In addition to antibiotics, castration should then be considered as therapy.

Finally, tumors of the prostate are sometimes seen. In some older uncastrated males, a tumorous degeneration, of usually one testicle, may develop. These are often benign tumors but can reach a considerable size that will still require castration. Uncastrated males also regularly have foreskin infections. You can see this when the dog loses drops of pus from the foreskin. After castration, this condition usually disappears. For a male dog with behavioural problems, the advice is often to have it castrated. This will usually be in consultation with a behavioural therapist and us. Unfortunately, this does not always mean that the behaviour will change positively after this.

Also with castration of the male dog, the diet usually needs to be adjusted after surgery to prevent the dog from becoming too fat. We can advise you on this.


An alternative to surgical castration has entered the market in the Netherlands. This alternative consists of an implant that, like an identification chip, can be inserted under the skin with an injection. It is a small rod-shaped implant and continuously releases a low dose of hormones that influences the male dog's production of sex hormones (testosterone). The implant inhibits testosterone production, resulting in temporary infertility. The sex drive (libido) is also suppressed, making your dog less interested in the female sex. Some dogs become calmer and less dominant when testosterone is decreased. However, this is not necessarily always the case.

After the implant is inserted, the male dog may become a little busier and show typical male behaviour for the first 1-2 days. Infertility is achieved 6-8 weeks after insertion of the implant and will persist for at least 6 months (often a little longer in smaller dogs). The testicles will also shrink about 30% on average. The dogs will become fertile again and the testicles will return to normal size once the implant has dissolved and worn off.



Vaccinate: why and against what?

Vaccinating your dog is important to protect him against a number of diseases. This starts with the puppy. Puppies receive antibodies (through the milk) from their mother against these diseases, if the mother has been properly vaccinated. These antibodies are broken down, so the pup is no longer protected. It is therefore important to vaccinate the pup as early as 6 weeks of age. It may be that the pup still has some antibodies then, so it does not make enough new antibodies after the vaccination. Therefore it is important to also vaccinate the puppy at 9 and 12 weeks. At 1 year of age, the dog should be vaccinated and then every year thereafter.

A lot of research has already been done that makes it unnecessary to always vaccinate the dog with the "cocktail". However, the dog should be vaccinated against Weil's disease every year. This means that it is important to vaccinate your dog every year. With us, the vaccination is always combined with an extensive examination of your dog, making it possible to detect certain disorders early on. In addition, your animal should only be vaccinated if it is healthy.

The common diseases in dogs

Firstly, dogs can contract Parvo. This is a disease that many dogs die from if they have it. Often the dogs then suffer from vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Vaccinations against Parvo are given at 6, 9 and 12 weeks, at age 1 and then every three years.

Weil's disease (leptospirosis) is a disease caused by a parasite (leptospirosis). It is transmitted through rat urine. It is mainly spread through (swimming) water. It is a zoonosis, meaning we can also get the disease. It affects the kidneys and can cause so much damage that the dog can die. The vaccination against it is given at 9 and 12 weeks, at age 1 and every year thereafter.

Canine distemper is now thankfully rare in the Netherlands due to proper vaccination. However, the disease is occasionally seen in some European countries. It is a viral disease that causes problems, especially in puppies. They can develop all kinds of symptoms including nervous system damage. The animals are often sick and can die from this disease. They receive the vaccination at 6 and 12 weeks and at 1 year of age. Then every three years.

Canine cough is a disease that can involve parainfluenza (virus), Bordetella (bacteria) and stress factors. It is a disease transmitted by contact with an infected animal and through airborne particles. So this can just happen in the park, on the street, at the boarding house and at shows. The dog has a dry, persistent cough, often combined with gagging. This cough can last for up to several weeks. It is therefore important that your animal is always properly vaccinated.

The virus parainfluenza is found in all sorts of places, in the park, in the kennel, at the dog school, everywhere. Therefore, we vaccinate dogs against this virus at 6 and 12 weeks of age, then at 1 year of age and this is repeated every three years.

Vaccination against Bordetella bacteria is done at the time when your animal is at increased risk of infection. This is the case when your animal goes to a shelter or goes with a walking service, for example. Feel free to ask us for advice if you are unsure whether the additional nose drop vaccination (Bordetella) is important for your animal.

Liver disease is an inflammation of the liver caused by an adenovirus. Liver disease occurs at all ages, but fortunately is not commonly seen in the Netherlands. It is vaccinated against at 6 and 12 weeks, at 1 year of age and then every three years.



Balanced Nutrition

The food your pet eats plays a significant role in his or her overall health and well-being. Good, balanced nutrition is an important part of an active and healthy life.

Nutrients versus ingredients

Like humans, an animal needs nutrients such as proteins, fats and fiber to function. Ingredients are simply the transport that delivers this mix of nutrients to the body. When choosing ingredients for pet food, the total balance of nutrients of the ingredient is important. A nutrient is a component of the diet that is useful for metabolism, it can be essential or non-essential.

Some nutrients provide energy. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates provide fuel for the body just like petrol for a car. Different nutrients are needed in certain amounts each day. For example, both humans and animals need gallons of water daily but only micrograms of certain vitamins. Nutrients are divided into six basic categories, all of which play a significant role in your pet's health:


The most essential nutrient for survival.


Are energy sources that contribute to the efficient functioning of cells and muscles.


Are large, complex molecules that form the basic elements of body tissues such as muscles, blood, skin, organs, hair and nails.


Fats provide absorption, storage and transport of certain fat-soluble vitamins, they provide energy and ensure healthy skin and fur.


Are needed for healthy skin and coat, proper bone development and healthy teeth.


Help ensure that the animal maintains a healthy metabolism.

In a balanced diet, everything is adjusted in a certain proportion for your pet's needs. For example, a young animal needs more protein for growth, while kidney patients need little protein. There is also special food for spayed and neutered dogs. It is lower in calories and is to support muscles, teeth, coat, digestion, kidneys and bladder.

Diet food

With certain physical conditions and diseases, it is important to start feeding an appropriate diet. Dietary foods can be prescribed for a few days, such as after surgery or for diarrhea. However, for certain conditions, it is important to give a diet for life, such as bladder problems.

A diet food is a balanced diet containing all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs. There is a separate diet for each condition, which is adapted in such a way that your pet still gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals and supports the condition.

Conditions/diseases for which a diet is available:

  • Obesity
  • Dental disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (gastrointestinal complaints)
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • Kidney disorders
  • Bladder stones/grit
  • Lower urinary tract disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Recovery period after prolonged illness or surgery
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes)
  • Tumor or cancer
  • Brain ageing
  • Combinations of disorders or diseases

We do stock most diet foods, but we may also have to order certain diet foods for you.

For tailor-made dietary advice, please contact our nutritionist and para-veterinarians.



Worms (ESCCAP)

Internal parasites (worms) are a frequent problem in dogs. Almost all puppies are already infected with roundworm while still in the womb or contract the infection immediately after birth through the mother's milk (roundworm, hookworm). Moreover, dogs of all ages are constantly exposed to potentially harmful parasites through soil in the (back) garden and parks contaminated with infectious worm eggs or larvae or through mosquito bites, which can transmit heartworm infection (not in the Netherlands). Although some of these parasites are extremely dangerous, they can be easily controlled which can prevent disease.

Why worms are a problem

Heartworms are life-threatening and are one of the most dangerous parasites, but hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms can also seriously affect a dog's health and well-being. Some worms can also be a public health hazard.

How can you examine your pet?

It is best to have your pet examined for worms. This can be done with a fecal examination. Almost all puppies have parasites. Therefore, it is essential to deworm every puppy and ensure constant prevention throughout its life.

Treating and preventing worms

Since almost all puppies are already infected at birth or become so immediately after birth, and they are constantly re-infected through mother's milk or by the environment, it is important to start worm-killing treatment in the very first weeks of life and to treat them often thereafter as well.

It is best to deworm bi-weekly from the time you take your puppy into your home until the puppy is 2 months old (i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks of age). Then deworm monthly until the puppy is 6 months. For the rest of its life, the recommendation is then to continue deworming every 3 months. It has been shown with research that more than 25% of parks and 60% of sandpits in a large city are infested with roundworms.

If you have a litter of puppies at home, it is important to treat the females at the same time. This will prevent puppies from developing the disease and excreting worm eggs through their faeces, thus preventing the environment from becoming infected.

Because of the wide spread of worms and the ease of infection, adult dogs should also be treated regularly (at least four times a year). Many drugs are available to treat and control worms. Some of them work against all common dog worms and thus provide complete protection for your pet.

Make sure you give your pet the drug that best meets his and your needs in terms of ease of use, effectiveness and safety (especially when treating young puppies).


Roundworms, also known as ascarids, are most common in dogs and cats. The adult worms are found in the intestines where they live off intestinal contents. In appearance, they resemble spaghetti: they are 2-3 mm thick and up to 20 cm long.

The life cycle of the roundworm

Adult roundworms live in the small intestine of dogs, where they lay up to 80,000 eggs a day. These eggs get into the environment via the dog's faeces, and within a few weeks an infectious larva develops in them.

When a dog swallows the infectious eggs, they hatch in its stomach. The larvae then penetrate the stomach wall and start migrating to various organs, before returning to the intestinal system and developing into adult worms that lay eggs. Some larvae do not return to the intestines: they remain encapsulated in the various organs until a stimulus, such as pregnancy, reactivates them and causes them to migrate again and develop into adult worms in the intestines.


Roundworms are especially harmful to puppies where the migrating larvae can cause liver, lung and brain damage. The presence of adult worms in the intestines leads to intestinal inflammation, which in turn has all kinds of effects on digestion, development and growth.


Heartworms are the most life-threatening dog worms, as they settle in the dog's heart and pulmonary arteries where they cause failure of heart function and eventually death. Adult worms are 10 to 30 cm long and about 1 mm in diameter.

Transmission and life cycle

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, it transmits the worm's larvae, which then migrate through the body until they reach their final destination (heart and pulmonary arteries) in about 3-4 months; there, they grow into adult worms (microfilariae) within another 3 months and start producing larvae (microfilariae) that can survive in the bloodstream for about 2 years When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it picks up these larvae and can thus pass on the infection to other dogs.


Over time, the presence of adult worms in the heart and pulmonary arteries causes inflammation and thickening of the wall of the veins, leading to an increase in blood pressure and greater effort by the heart to pump blood through them. As a result, the dog's heart function may begin to fail, eventually leading to death. The dog usually does not show clinical signs until the disease has reached a very severe stage (usually 3 to 5 years after infection). Initial signs consist of occasional coughing and fatigue; later, the cough becomes chronic and this is accompanied by labored breathing - especially during and after exercise -, mild anaemia and lethargy. In advanced cases, the dog may even collapse after only mild physical exercise. Most dogs eventually develop congestive heart failure.

Treating heartworm infection

Treating a heartworm infection is a long and risky process. Both dying heartworms and their larvae can lead to shock and embolism. During treatment, dogs should be strictly monitored for side effects and their activity restricted for a few weeks. Moreover - in advanced cases - their health does not recover, even after effective treatment. For all these reasons, it will now be clear why prevention is so important.

Heartworm prevention

Unlike treatment, heartworm prevention is safe, easy and effective. Preventive agents are usually administered monthly, starting within one month of the start of the mosquito season (or exposure to a possible infection, for example when travelling to countries with heartworm) until one month after the end of the exposure. You can also choose to tackle any infestation with proper deworming if you enter an area with heartworm with your dog. You can collect deworming tablets for this from us.

Back to Animals