Puppy Care Information
When you get a puppy, your head is filled with ideas of adorable puppy kisses and playing fetch at the park, but the reality can often be quite stressful! It's like adding a new baby to the household, with countless hours of toilet training, loss of sleep and feeling confused about healthcare and feeding routines. 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.
We routinely vaccinate against parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, and canine cough (bordetella and parainfluenza). These diseases are serious and can be fatal, so vaccination is vital.
1st C3 (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus) at 6-8 weeks of age
2nd C5 (As above + Canine Cough) at 10 weeks of age
3rd C4 (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza) at 12 weeks of age
A YEARLY BOOSTER is essential to continue protecting your dog against disease.
Your puppy is covered after the final vaccination if this course is completed correctly. It is important to start socialising your puppy then.
Please remember your puppy will not be fully protected by vaccinations until after their final puppy vaccination. It is important to restrict contact with other dogs and public places during this time.
Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted as larvae in blood to dogs by mosquitoes and then moves to the chambers of the dog’s heart, growing to adult worms and eventually causing death by heart failure. It is a common parasite in Brisbane and all pups should start prevention at 10-12 weeks of age with consistent prevention for life.
Various products are available including annual injections or monthly tablets. We recommend PROHEART injections for the prevention of heartworm disease. Puppies should have their first injection at 12 weeks of age followed by a booster at 6 months (often at the time of desexing) and then annually with vaccination for life. With the injection you can rest assured that your pet has the very best cover possible. This can be combined with their annual vaccination booster.
Monthly tablets available that prevent heartworm include Heartgard, Milpro, Nexgard Spectra, Interceptor, Sentinel and Comfortis Plus.
What should your puppy be wormed against?
Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm and Whipworm.
Worms can kill puppies, and some are transmissible to humans, especially children so it is very important to prevent infestation.
Puppy worming schedule
We recommend worming every 2 weeks up to 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age, then every 3 months for the rest of your dog’s life. It is important to dose your puppy according to their weight and we recommend to use an allwormer such as Drontal or Milpro to kill all intestinal worms including tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm.
If your puppy is on Comfortis Plus or Nexgard Spectra it only needs a tapewormer tablet as these heartworm and flea drugs also treat the other intestinal worms
Flea control is very important for small puppies. A large flea burden can cause anaemia, intense itching and secondary skin infections. We recommend all pets are on year-round flea control. In Brisbane’s warm humid climate it can be very difficult to eradicate a flea burden in your house and yard – it is much better to keep them away in the first place. All animals in the household must be treated for control to be effective (ALL dogs and cats).
Paralysis 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. Note that no product is guaranteed 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 poisoning. Signs of tick paralysis include wobbly back legs, change in voice, retching or vomiting. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog is showing any of these signs. The earlier we catch the problem, the better chance we have of saving your pet.
We recommend Bravecto or Nexgard which provide prevention against both ticks and fleas in one easy, chewable tablet.
Tick and flea products available at our clinic include:
Nexgard/Nexgard Spectra - This is a monthly chewable tablet which is safe to start from 8 weeks of age to treat fleas and ticks. Nexgard Spectra also treats Heartworm and most intestinal worms.
Bravecto - Available as a monthly chewable tablet or a Spot On. It is safe to start from 8 weeks of age and is given every 3 months for the tablet or every 6 months for the Spot On. It covers fleas and ticks.
This is usually done at 5-6 months of age and involves a day hospital stay. Desexing prevents unplanned litters and can help control problems such as roaming, aggression, and mammary, prostate and testicular tumours. Your council registration will also be much lower. There is no advantage for your female dog to have a season or a litter first before desexing. In fact, getting her desexed before her first heat (which usually occurs between 6-12 months of age) drastically reduces the chances of her getting mammary tumours later in life.
Feed 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 breeds, 18 months of age in medium and large breeds and up to 2 years in giant breeds.
Up to 3 months old………. 3 meals/day
From 3-6 months old…….. 2 meals/day
Over 6 months old……….. 1-2 meals/day
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. Simply put, this means more of it passes right through and is deposited on the lawn. 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.
We recommend the premium quality foods Hills Science Diet and Royal Canin.
Puppies less than 6 months old should be fed 2 meals/day. Once over 6 months meals can be 1-2 times/day. Generally we recommend feeding adult dogs twice daily. For many dogs, food time is one of the highlights of the day and they will enjoy having two meals. Some dogs are inclined to eat only once a day. Regardless of the frequency of feeding it is important to monitor your dog’s body condition and tailor the amount of food accordingly. Very often this will be less than the recommended amount on the side of the bag of dog food!
Obesity is a major health concern for many dogs. 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.
For healthy teeth and gums, Oravet chews can be given daily, although teeth brushing really in the gold standard of teeth care. NEVER feed cooked bones or those with sharp edges eg T-bones and chop bones.
One aspect of responsible dog ownership is the identification of your pet. Legislation in Queensland requires that all puppies be microchipped between 8 and 12 weeks of age and any dog which changes ownership under any circumstances must be microchipped before transfer. Regardless of legislative requirements microchipping your dog is an important thing to do. If your dog ever strays you’ll be glad you did. A microchip means lifetime identification – provided your contact details are kept up to date. 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.
We recommend pet insurance for all pets to help cover the cost of vet care in the case of an emergency or serious illness. There are a large number of providers out there and it can be hard to pick the right provider for your pet’s situation.
For your convenience, we are now able to lodge insurance claims for most companies (excluding Pet Plan and RACQ) directly from our computer system. Just make sure that you bring your pets policy number and which company they are insured with into the clinic.
We also have the ability to process GapOnly™ claims at the time of your appointment or before you pick your pet up from their procedure. Once the claim is lodged it is assessed within 10 minutes.
If you would like any further information about how pet insurance can help your pet, please call the clinic on 3849 4912.
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.
Ask about our PUPPY PRESCHOOL (click for details).
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.
If you have any problems with this, then insert your hand and fingers in the pup’s mouth often whilst patting and stroking to familiarise them to this action. Putting honey on your fingers can be a big help!
We have a professional grooming salon on site to ensure your dogs coat stays healthy and tangle free. Our lovely groomers do special puppy grooms so that pups can get used to the process and reduce the stress for when they are ready for a full groom. Book by calling us on 07 3849 4912, or talking with our receptionists.
Our staff are also more than happy to discuss any issues or worries you may have about your new pet.
If you have any questions or problems with your new puppy, please do not hesitate to give us a call!