Puppy Care Information
Bringing your new puppy home is a very exciting time! When you get a puppy there are many things on the list to tick off, from vaccinations, worming, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and training, just to name a few! 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 C3 (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus) at 12 weeks of age
A YEARLY BOOSTER is essential to continue protecting your dog against disease.
Please remember your puppy will not be fully protected by vaccinations until 2 weeks 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 6-12 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, Milbemax, Nexgard Spectra, Interceptor, Sentinel and Comfortis Plus.
Intestinal worms can cause serious problems, and puppies are especially at risk. When worm burdens become high we can see diarrhoea, vomiting, pot-belly, weight loss, anaemia, scooting, severe intestinal complications and even death.
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.
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 Milbemax 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
FLEAS & TICKS
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).
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 - safe from 8 weeks of age, for fleas & ticks, given monthly
Bravecto - safe from 8 weeks, for fleas & ticks, given quarterly
Frontline Spray - safe from 2 days, for fleas & ticks, given monthly
Frontline Top Spot - safe from 8 weeks, for fleas, given monthly
Advantage Spot On - safe for any age, for fleas, given monthly
Comfortis - safe from 14 weeks, for fleas, given monthly
– Kiltix – 5 months flea control, 6 weeks paralysis tick control
– Scalibor – no flea control, 3 month tick control
– Seresto – 8 month flea control, 4 months tick control
SIGNS of tick paralysis include wobbly back legs, change in voice, coughing, vomiting, laboured breathing, depression and disinterest or total collapse. Seek veterinary attention immediately!
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.
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 Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet.
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 and – 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, large raw leg marrow bones and brisket bones are great. In smaller breeds, raw chicken wings or necks may be more appropriate.
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. 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.
No matter how much love and care we provide our pets, accidents and illness are beyond our control. We recommend Pet Health Insurance to take the worry out of paying pet health care bills when the unexpected happens. With some procedures and illnesses now costing in the thousands for specialist treatment, having insurance can certainly lead to substantial savings and peace of mind, knowing that you can do the best for your pet should the need arise.
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 run here at Bulimba or 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 grooming salon downstairs. Book by calling Salon 154 on 07 3899 5972 or talking with our receptionist.
Our staff are also more than happy to discuss any issues or worries you may have about your new pet.
If you have any problems or questions about your new puppy, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 3899 1495