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Puppy Care

Advice on taking care of your new puppy

Important things to consider when getting a new puppy

  • Vaccinations
  • Kennel Cough
  • Health Assessments
  • Identichip
  • Neutering
  • De-worming
  • Flea Treatment and Control
  • Basic Obedience and Toilet Training
  • Familiarity with Handling
  • Nutrition
  • Insurance
  • Health Plan
  • Vaccinations 1st vaccination from 8 weeks old, with the 2nd vaccination 2-4 weeks. No outside walks until one week after 2nd vaccination. It is most important that all dogs are given a yearly booster for continued protection against disease. We vaccinate dogs against the following: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis and Parvovirus.
  • Kennel cough It is also recommended that dogs be given a kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) vaccination, which needs to be given at least 5 days before going into kennels. We also recommend the kennel cough vaccination for dogs which come in to contact with lots of other dogs (e.g. Training classes, agility, busy walks)
  • Health Assessments Because pets age seven years for every one of humans, having a physical examination every six months for a pet is like a human having an exam every three and a half years. Pets are unable to tell us how they feel, so they are on a faster path toward illness than humans. Many pets mask their illness from us, so only an experienced vet can perform a proper exam to determine the state of wellness.
  • Identichip A small, rice-grain size microchip is implanted under the skin giving permanent, irrefutable proof of identity. If your dog goes missing, scanners held by animal welfare organisations (e.g. RSPCA, Dogs trust), dog wardens, veterinary practices etc will identify your dog’s unique microchip number and help re-unite you and your pet.
  • Neutering This is the removal of your pet’s reproductive glands to stop it from breeding. We recommend neutering for all pets not explicitly used for breeding purposes. Neutered pets have fewer diseases, fight less, have cancer less, and live longer. Neutering DOES NOT alter the personality of your pet! Neutering in males is called castration and in females, spaying. The common time for neutering in males and females is between 6 and 12 months of age.
  • Deworming Regular deworming is necessary for the health of your pet and to protect the family from particular worms called toxocara. Puppies should be wormed every month until 6 months old. Adults (older than 6 months) should be wormed every 3 months. However, if your pet is a hunter, roams, or is fed raw meat, more frequent worming, in accordance with the worm life cycle, may be necessary. Please discuss this with us . NOTE: Evidence of intestinal parasites may not necessarily be visible to the naked eye. Recommended wormers: Milbemax tablets for dogs treat all types of worms. These tablets can be mixed with food or swallowed whole.  
  • Flea Treatment and control Most, if not all animals, will encounter fleas at some time in their life. Signs of infestation include the presence of actual fleas, bites on the skin which look like small pimples, black, gritty material on the coat (flea dirt/faeces) and allergic skin reactions (dermatitis). Flea control is possible only if both the pet and its environment are treated. Recommended Products include Practic, which treats both the pet and the environment by breaking the flea life cycle, preventing them from breeding in the home. A single dose is applied behind the neck every 4 weeks. It is best applied last thing at night. Separate from other pets who might lick the product off. No cuddles for at least 8-10 hours after applying a spot-on. Do not apply within 2 days of the vaccination. This allows us to identify the cause of adverse reactions when they occur. If your puppy is vaccinated, dewormed and “deflea-ed” all on the same day and the puppy then becomes unwell, it can be difficult to determine the likely cause. 
  • Basic obedience and toilet training Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques, for example, reward the good (or desired behaviour) and ignore the bad. Take your puppy out to the designated toilet area as often as practical: after feeding/sleeping/playing/etc and when they toilet in the right place at the right time then they must be rewarded IMMEDIATELY (treat, cuddle, praise). Repeat until the behaviour is learned – this may take weeks to months. Ignore unwanted behaviour (mistakes) – avoid reprimanding and even eye contact; even if your puppy gives you that “guilty look” Set the house rules now. If your puppy won’t be allowed into the bedroom in the future then it must not be allowed there now.
  • Nutrition There are three things that affect the longevity of your puppy. The first is genetics, which we have no control of, the second is environment, which only you have control of, and the third is nutrition. We recommend Hill’s Science Plan foods because we know they will enhance the quality and quantity of your pet’s life. We recommend dry foods: better for teeth, easily digestible, better quality faeces, easy to feed and cheaper than wet food alternatives.
  • Insurance We strongly recommend pet insurance at this practice. Although it is a cost many caring owners willingly pay, bills are often unexpected and can run into hundreds of pounds and increasingly cost thousands of pounds. Visit our Insurance pages for more information. 
  • Familiarity with handling If your puppy becomes accustomed to having their feet, mouth and ears handled/examined early on, then they are less likely to resent it when they are older. 
  • Health Plan Our health plan help you provide essential routine care for your pet (Vaccinations, flea and worm control). It saves you money on the costs of these treatments and spreads the cost by convenient direct debit. Find out more about our Pet Health Plan.
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