A new puppy in your household can become a very special friend and companion. They may be a member of your family for 10-15 years so it is important that they get a good start to life. The following recommendations will help you give the best care to your new puppy.
Puppy vaccination helps to protect against parvovirus, distemper, infectious hepatitis and kennel cough. Vaccination programmes involve 2-3 vaccinations 1 month apart and begin at 8 weeks of age. Your veterinarian will discuss with you which vaccination protocol is best for your puppy.
All non-working dogs are now required to be microchipped by 3 months of age. It also allows your puppy to be identified if it goes wandering. This is generally done at the time of the puppy vaccination.
Young puppies are very prone to intestinal worms, so it is very important that puppies are wormed regularly. These worms can potentially be passed on to humans, particularly children. We recommend the following worming programme:
- Worm every two weeks until 12 weeks of age with a puppy wormer (e.g. Cancare) then:
- Worm every month until 6 months of age with a broad spectrum wormer (e.g. Drontal) then:
- Adult dogs over 6 months of age should ideally be wormed every 3 months with a broad spectrum wormer (e.g. Drontal)
Spot-on flea treatments (e.g. Revolution, Frontline, Advocate) are far superior to flea collars and should always be the treatment of choice for fleas. Treatment frequency depends on the product used.
A high quality puppy food is essential to optimise growth. They contain tightly regulated amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorous, energy and other essential nutrients allowing puppies to grow at the correct rate. Discuss with your veterinarian or veterinary nurse which food would best suit the needs of your puppy.
Speying and neutering puppies is recommended for a number of reasons including preventing unwanted pregnancies, decreased roaming, decreased aggression and decreased risk of certain diseases (mammary tumours, uterine infection, testicular tumours, prostate disease). Desexing ideally occurs at around 6 months of age.