All of us hope that the Border Terriers in our care will live happy, fulfilled and healthy lives, whether as companion dogs, working dogs or show dogs. Given good general health, Borders live into their teens and are active almost to the end. Their sense of fun, natural curiosity about life and gregarious nature mean that they are never far away from us, giving us unconditional love and friendship.
Dogs are also good for our own health. They encourage us to exercise; playing with them, doing agility, tracking and obedience. Stroking and caring for dogs is known to lower stress levels and blood pressure, so in reality we have much to thank them for.
But what do we need do for them? Worm them regularly, usually at least every three months. Monthly flea treatments. Vaccinations and booster injections. Take care of their teeth, claws and coats. General maintenance is essential, but there may be hidden problems within our wonderful breed which we may fail to recognize, or may discover too late.
The Kennel Club is working very hard to ensure that our breed, along with every other pedigree breed, is ‘Fit for Function’. To do this, it is asking every owner to complete and return a health survey devised by itself and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, with the aim of addressing and eradicating any inherited diseases presented by pedigree dogs.