For a healthy and happy new puppy, follow our expert guide
First things first – vaccinations
Veterinary Healthcare Professionals in the UK recommend all dogs are vaccinated against:
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis
- Canine Parvovirus (normally known as Parvo)
- Infectious Bronchitis (formerly known as Kennel Cough)
Your puppy can be vaccinated from six weeks old, with a second dose administered two to four weeks later – afterwards, they’ll finally be able to go out for their first ‘walkies’.
A separate vaccine is available to protect against Rabies, which is only necessary if your pet will be travelling abroad. For more information about pet passports go here. For more information about our Puppy Vaccine Packages, tailored to their future lifestyle, go here. We also have bespoke pre-sale puppy vaccine packages for breeders – see here.
From then on, annual boosters or mini-booster check-ups will be needed to keep their immunity high. During these appointments, your veterinary surgeon will also perform a thorough health check.
Other treatments your puppy will need:
Most puppies are born with internal worms, so it is necessary to worm them right away.
From then on, regular worming is important to help prevent both disease in the puppy itself and health risks to children via the puppy’s/dog’s faeces. We recommend worming monthly with young children present, worming of adult dogs should be done monthly. Otherwise, adult dogs should be wormed every three months.
A new parasite recently found in Sussex, Angiostrongylus vasorum infects dogs and foxes, and is transmitted via slugs and snails. It can cause internal bleeding as well as heart and lung damage, and is capable of being fatal.
We recommend monthly preventative treatments with a Spot-On that specifically protects against Angiostrongylus vasorum, and either treating or testing all dogs for this disease before any surgery involving an incision. Please note that not all dog Spot-On anti-parasite products are protective against Angiostrongylus vasorum. We recommend sourcing your products from the Clinic to avoid a potentially fatal error.
Tapeworms are not generally a risk to puppies unless they have fleas (in which case we’ll advise you further), and can’t be transmitted to humans via their pets.
We recommend most adults dogs are treated for this problem every six months, using tablets, but more often if they eat any raw meat or catch their own food.
Fleas are external parasites which can feed on your puppy, but they live and breed in soft furnishings in your home. Not only a nuisance to pets, they can also cause skin disease and transmit tapeworms (internal worm parasites).
During your first check-up, we’ll advise you on the best course of preventative treatment for your young puppy.
Getting the right diet
Adult dog food is not suitable for your new puppy, as it won’t provide them with the correct levels of protein, vitamins or minerals they need for healthy growth and development.
Puppy foods should be used until 10 months for small breeds to 24 months for giant breeds. Some brands provide puppy nutrition for the first six months, then swap to ‘junior’ nutrition until 12 months of age.
We recommend a majority proportion of dry food in your dog’s diet, to provide the best possible protection for their teeth, keeping them clean and reducing tartar formation.
Why we recommend neutering
Neutering prevents the animal from breeding, but it also has several other advantages:
- In bitches (females), it removes the inconvenience of seasons
- Neutering before the animal has her first season lowers the risk of mammary cancer and removes the risk of life-threatening uterine infection (pyometra)
- In dogs (males), it removes the risk of testicular cancer in later life
- It also reduces the chance of prostate problems, including prostate cancer
- Neutered male dogs are also less likely to wander (looking for a bitch) or fight
We’ll only neuter puppies that are aged six months or older, but your vet will give you further information on timing this procedure when we first meet your new pet.
Don’t forget about a microchip
Microchips are implanted just under the skin of your puppy. They encode a unique identification number that’s read by the scanner. This number is linked on a computer database to your name and address so that your puppy can be identified and returned to you if lost.
This isn’t just a recommendation either – from April 2016 it became law for all UK dog owners to have their dog microchipped.
Ultimately, getting your new puppy used to being examined at the vets is a great idea – it’ll make future treatments and visits much less stressful for you both. So get them booked in for their first check-up and we’ll make sure they’re given the best start in life.
We look forward to meeting your new puppy – call 01444 456886 for an appointment