Puppy Care Information
Bringing your new puppy home is a very exciting time. When you get a puppy there are many things on the list to tick off, from vaccinations, worming, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and training, just to name a few! We hope this simplified guide will help you keep track of all of the essential facts you need to know to take care of your new family member.
What should your dog be vaccinated against?
Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough (both Bordatella and Parainfluenza).
Puppies require 3 vaccinations in order to maximize immunity against the diseases listed above. The vaccination protocol starts at 6-8 weeks and continues every 2-4 weeks until completed. We currently recommend puppies be vaccinated at 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 12 weeks respectively, our protocols are based on the vaccination companies guidelines. For more detailed information on this please feel free to discuss this with your vet at your initial visit.
A modified vaccination program may be recommended depending on your puppy’s age and vaccination status. Your puppy should not go into public places (including dog parks, out on the footpath) until fully vaccinated. Diseases such as parvovirus can be contracted from contaminated ground and do not require dog to dog contact.
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, so prevention is necessary even if your dog doesn’t mix with other dogs. We recommend Proheart SR12 – an annual
heartworm preventative injection given yearly with vaccination. Puppies should
have their first injection at 12 weeks of age followed by a booster at 6 months
(at the time of desexing) and then annually with vaccination for life.
There are also monthly alternatives available for prevention if you feel this might be more suited to your lifestyle, please ask our nurses for available products.
Puppies are small and can be significantly affected by even a few worms. These worms can also spread to people, especially children so it is very important to prevent infestation. There are four types of worms that we look to protect your puppy from. Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm (including hydatids) and Whipworm.
How often you worm your dog changes with age.
Worm every fortnight from 2 to 12 weeks of age, then monthly up to 6 months of age, then every three months for life. We recommend Drontal or Milpro as an all-worming option. Drontal gives you the option of a tasty chew or a tablet, while Milpro comes in a tablet form with a tasty liver coating for high palatability.
FLEAS & TICKS
Flea control is very important for small puppies. A large flea burden can cause anaemia and potential skin concerns. We recommend all pets are on year-round flea control. In Brisbane’s warm humid climate it can be very difficult to eradicate an established flea burden in your house and yard – it is much better to keep them away in the first place. Ticks can be a life-threatening problem all year round but particularly in the warmer months and especially after rain. If you are in a known paralysis tick area or your dog is likely to come into contact with ticks (check with the clinic) use a suitable prevention program.
Nexgard – small tasty chews given monthly.
Bravecto – option of a 3-monthly chew or a 6-monthly pipette applied to the back of the neck
Please note, all animals in the household must be treated for control to be
effective! (ALL dogs & ALL cats)
NB: No product is 100% effective. Nothing beats checking your dog over by hand each day – remove any ticks straight away and monitor your dog closely for signs of tick envenomation. SYMPTOMS of tick paralysis include wobbly back legs, change in voice, retching or vomiting, coughing, depression, disinterest and collapse. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog is showing any of these signs!
ALL IN ONE
Nexgard Spectra is an all in one product, covering your pet from fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm. This chew must be given monthly, especially for the continued protection from heartworm
We recommend desexing at six months of age, although it can be done at any age.
It involves a day visit with us and then recheck and stitches out after 10 days. They will have an Elizabethan collar on to stop them getting to the wound during these 10 days. Desexing will help control problems such as roaming, aggression, inappropriate mounting and mammary, testicular and prostate cancer. Your council registration will also be considerably lower.
New research in this field is ongoing- feel free to ask your vet about the pro's and cons of desexing timing, specifically relating to your puppy.
We recommend a commercially prepared puppy diet as these are balanced in all the vitamins, minerals and dietary requirements your growing pup needs. Puppy foods should be fed until your dog is physically mature – until 12 months of age in small, medium and large breeds and up to 18 months in giant breeds.
When it comes to dog food it certainly is true that you get what you pay for. Cheaper foods contain poorer quality and less digestible ingredients. The better the quality of food the less of it you need to feed. Typically, cheaper foods will result in larger and softer stools and higher quality foods will produce smaller, firmer stools.
Please see us in clinic for premium puppy food options. We stock
Royal canin and Hills puppy ranges.
We recommend feeding adult dogs twice daily to maintain their metabolism. Regardless of the frequency of feeding it is important to monitor your dog’s body condition and tailor the amount of food accordingly. Obesity is a major health concern for many dogs and – just as it is for people – it is the balance between calories consumed and calories burned that determines whether we and our pets maintain a healthy weight.
As of May 2017 the Queensland Government requires all puppies are micro-chipped by 12 weeks of age. This responsibility falls to the breeder or rescue center handling them. A microchip implant means lifetime identification. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades by a simple injection. The one-off fee includes the microchip and lifetime registration on a national database. Remember a collar and tag can be easily lost, but a microchip is there for life. Remember to keep your contact details up to date on your pet’s microchip – this can be done online or over the phone.
Your pets are precious and you want to protect them from harm and look after them the best way possible. No matter how much love and care we provide, accidents and illness are beyond our control. Pet Insurance can take the worry out of paying pet health care bills when the unexpected happens. With some procedures and illnesses now costing in the thousands for specialist treatment, this can certainly lead to substantial savings.
We would recommend that you organise pet insurance when your pet is as young as possible, most policies can be taken out from 8 weeks of age. Any condition which is already present prior to taking out the insurance policy will not be covered. There are also exclusions on taking out policies on older animals. Don’t wait until it is too late.
PUPPY SOCIALISATION – ASK ABOUT OUR PUPPY PRE-SCHOOL!
Our pups must be well adjusted in many different environments from a very young age – expose your pup to people and other animals (only vaccinated dogs). Good puppy and juvenile training lays the foundation for a well behaved adult dog.
Puppy Preschool classes make learning an enjoyable experience for you and your pup. We run puppy school all year around. Ask one of our nurses for more information.
ADVICE ON TABLET GIVING
Train your pup to take tablets. You can do this by:
Starting tablets (for worming) rather than liquids at a young age.
Get your pup used to being touched around the gums and inside the mouth. Pretend to give them tablets and follow this up with praise and a treat. They will soon get used to having their mouth examined and will be much easier to tablet (and easier for the vet to check their teeth too!)
It is also important to get your pup used to having their nails clipped and feet handled at a young age. Do this frequently with your young dog so you both become comfortable and confident with this essential part of doggy grooming.
If you have any questions or problems with your new puppy, please do not hesitate to give us a call!