This information has been designed to give you a rough guide of what’s required when owning a puppy.
Unless you are concerned about your new puppy we would recommend letting him/her settle in their new home for at least 5 – 7 days before bringing them in for their primary vaccinations and or health check. This gives them time to adjust to their new surroundings and lifestyle before subjecting them to another new and slightly daunting experience of coming to the veterinary surgery.
Getting your puppy into a routine is vital and start as you mean to go on…. For example it may be advisable to crate your puppy at night downstairs, this should be started and stuck to. Having them upstairs on the bed with you for the first few weeks can get the puppy in an unwanted routine! Unfortunately your puppy may whine at night and it can make you feel responsible but remember they have just been taken from a safe and calming environment, they have left their littermates and most importantly their mother. Try giving them a teddy or a warm hot-water bottle (wrapped in a towel) for comfort. You can also use an ‘Adaptil’ collar to help when first settling your puppy in. This collar releases a copy of the calming pheromones released by a lactating bitch. It can be very useful when socialising your puppy and introducing them to new things, as well as helping them settle at night. Ask a member of staff for more details.
Your puppy should be vaccinated against Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Distemper, Parainfluenza, Canine Infectious Hepatitis. Ideally, the first vaccination should be at 8 weeks old followed by the second at 10 weeks of age. The course can be started later than this if need be, still keeping the vaccinations 2 weeks apart. To keep your dog’s level of immunity at the optimum level, a yearly booster vaccination is required. This is just one injection, and your dog will then be protected for another year.
A third Parvovirus injection may be offered at 16 weeks of age.
We strongly recommend insuring your puppy, the earlier you take out a policy the better, to give you a chance to choose the right policy we offer 4 weeks free insurance through Petplan.
Worms and fleas:
Treating your puppy for worms and fleas is essential. Sometimes they have been treated by the breeder before you collect them but you should always check this and if possible, have evidence of this in their paperwork given to you. Recommendations for treating for worms in your new puppy is generally every two weeks until they are twelve weeks of age, every months until six months of age and then every 3 months throughout their rest of their lives. Treating for fleas should be done routinely throughout their lives; we recommend Advocate© spot-on which is administered every month.
Puppies should be fed little and often so their small stomachs don’t become overloaded. As a guide it is advised to feed 4 meals daily up to 4 months of age, 3 meals daily up to 6 months, 2 meals daily from 6 months old. Always make sure that any change in diet is made gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks.
Monitoring their growth is vital, as if your puppy grows and puts on too much weight too quickly it puts stress on their immature bone structure causing problems for them.
It can be very confusing and a little bewildering to make a choice. Essentially premium diets contain better quality ingredients and tend to be better for your puppy as a rule. They usually require a smaller portion size compared to the cheaper alternatives due to the higher quality ingredients being used. In actual fact the cost doesn’t differ too much at all.
Wet food can spoil quickly and attracts flies particularly in the warmer months whereas dry food is more hygienic can be purchased in bulk and stored easily. Many dry foods are specially formulated for age, breed and size of your dog. The kibble size and shape is tailored to individual needs.
It shouldn’t be necessary to supplement your puppy’s diet at all when feeding with a complete diet. Neither is it essential to give milk as your puppy will receive enough calcium in their food; you can of course feed a specific puppy milk if you wish.
Giving treats as incentives are good for training purposes but should never be more than 15% of their dietary intake. Chews are good for puppies especially during teething as well as for oral hygiene purposes throughout their lives but do not exceed the recommended feeding guide. Some dental chews can be high in fat so be aware of this.
Puppy Training Classes
Many behavioural problems seen in older dogs could have been prevented if the dog had been given the opportunity to learn social skills, manners and communication by the age of 16 weeks.
Taking your puppy to training classes will allow them to meet other puppies and people of all shapes, ages and sizes in a fun and rewarding environment (for both you and your puppy!). Training with your puppy will also help you build an incredibly strong relationship with them.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions
Microchipping is the best way to identify your dog. A tiny microchip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. This chip has a unique number which shows up when scanned. The number is registered along with your details on a national database. If your dog goes wandering and is taken to a vets or a rescue centre they will be scanned and your contact details can then be retrieved.
Microchipping can be done at the same time as vaccinations or neutering. Please click here for more information about microchipping.