Keeping Records on your Toy or Mini Aussie
Keeping Records on your Toy or Miniature Australian Shepherd(s)
Record keeping is one of those chores we all hate to do. However, when you need to know when it is time for vaccinations or if your dog is lost do you know its micro chip number or tag number? What if something happened to you? Would anyone else know what they need to know to care for your dogs?
There are several ways to keep good records on your dogs that are not hard to do. If you have several dogs you might want to get one of the plastic file boxes that hold hanging file folders. If you only have two or three it might be easier to keep your records in a 3-ring binder. If you use a binder be sure to use the dividers so that each dog has his/hers own section. Be sure to mark the file box or binder plainly so that anyone that might need to care for your dogs could find it easily.
Things we keep in each dog’s records or files...
Identification - On this page, a COMPLETE written description of the dog and several clear photographs of the dog, update the description and photos as the dog grows up. Several breeds change drastically as they mature. Include the dog's registered name; call name; include all registration numbers; date of birth; breed; sex; alteration status (spayed or neutered with date it was done); breeder's name, address and phone number, or the place where you acquired the dog if not from a breeder.
Emergency Instructions – This should include an evacuation plan for your dogs. What if there is a fire or natural disaster and you are not home, or perhaps over come and can’t tell people what to do with your dogs? This sheet should include a list of people who know your dogs and would be willing to take your dogs.
Legal Documents - If you have a written instruction for the care of your dogs in the event of your death be sure this is included in your dog’s file. This could save your dogs being placed in a shelter or being euthanized. Sample Pet(s) Living Will - "Here is a sample, which you can use in your will to provide your executor, with guidance in arranging for your pet's care:"
Health records - Include all vet visits, both routine and emergency. We use the printed receipts we get from the vet and put them in the folder with the newest one first. This would give the dates of any vaccinations and the spay/neuter certificate. Keeping records at home of vital signs and weights is also helpful. An example of the sheet we use is provided on the Health Record Keeping page.
Allergies - Include any allergies that affect your dog: food, grass, fleas or medication. List the heat cycle dates for un-spayed females.
Registration forms and pedigree - Place all papers relating to your dog's ancestry and registration in a document protector. This is so that you don’t have to punch holes in them.
Training records – Include what classes have been attended and where, along with the instructor's name and phone number. This can be helpful should something happen to you. Your instructor could be a huge help should someone else need to handle your dogs.
Conformation show records - If your dog competes in conformation shows or if you do dog sports, keep records of show dates, judges, comments on the judging, number of dogs competing and points or titles earned.
If you are a breeder –
If you are a licensed breeder it is a good idea to keep a copy of your license in the binder or folder.
Brood bitch/stud dog records - keep track of all breeding, even if there is no resulting litter. Include the dog's sire, dam, dates of mating. OFA and/or eye certifications, date litter whelped, dogs/bitches, litter registration number, and names and addresses of new owners. Pictures of the puppies are also a good idea.
Take your binder or file with you when your dog must go to the Veterinarian or boarding kennel. I don’t know about others but I can’t remember the dates of vaccinations or reactions to drugs for each of our dogs. If you have your records in hand your Vet will appreciate it.
In case of an emergency or evacuation you only have to look in one place to find your dog records.
If you travel with your dog(s) it is a good idea to take your files with you. Things can happen away from home such as a dog becoming ill or biting someone and you need to prove your vaccinations are up to date. In the event of car accident that your dog escapes your car someone looking for your dogs will have what they need to put out a pet alert and have a picture of the missing dogs. If your dog is lost or stolen - you will have all the records you need to claim your dog.