How to take care of your new puppy
We would like to congratulate you on the acquisition of your new puppy. Here are some notes that may help you become a responsible pet owner. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Most pups will have been introduced to solids by the time they go to their new home. Sudden changes in food types can cause diarrhoea, so it’s a good idea to know what your pup was being fed and start feeding the same foods whilst you gradually introduce any new food.
- 6-8 week old pups will need 3-4 small feeds a day. By 6 months this can be twice daily and by 12 months once daily.
- Pups require a well balanced diet. We therefore recommend a good quality premium puppy food which will provide the correct amount of energy, protein and all the vitamins and minerals to help get your pet off to the best start in life.
- Premium diets are available at the clinics which are tailored to the weaning puppy, small, medium, large or giant breed pup. There are also diets to suit pups with sensitive stomachs or skin. You should feed your pup on a puppy diet until it reaches adult weight usually around 10-15 months of age, depending on their breed.
- We have staff trained in pert nutrition so please feel free to speak to them about the best diet for pet.
- Dogs have poor hygiene and therefore it is important to wash your hands after playing with your puppy. Common infections passed from dogs to people include the fungal infection ‘Ringworm’ and more seriously ‘Visceral larval migrans’ that results from human infection with canine intestinal worms.
- Visceral larval migrans is a serious disease that results in internal organ damage and can even cause blindness.
- You should never let your dog lick your face; and especially not the face of children, elderly or immuno-compromised people.
- Intestinal parasites are common in dogs. Toxocara canis can infect the pup before birth or later through their mothers milk
- Ask the breeder how often your pup has been wormed since it was born and when the last time it was wormed.
- Pups should be wormed with a reliable round wormer every 2 weeks from 2 weeks old until 12 weeks. Treatment should be done monthly until 6 months and then 3 monthly.
- At 12 weeks we recommend that your pup is given an ‘all wormer’ to cover for both round and tape wormers
- Types of worms
o Round worms - can cause visceral larval migrans, and transmit to humans.
o Hookworms – particularly dangerous to puppies
o Whipworm – can cause diarrhea in adults
o Tapeworms – require the flea in the lifecycle and are a common parasite of dogs. Segments look like grains of rice in the stools. Can cause irritation to the anus – dogs may “scoot” along the ground.
o Hydatid tapeworm- carried by dogs which eat raw offal and sheep carcasses. Require treatment every 6 weeks. Extremely dangerous to human health- permanent damage can result if they infect children.
- How do we prevent/treat worms?
o There are many different preparations out there which claim to prevent/ treat worms. As with many things today, the more expensive wormers are the most effective.
o The all wormer tablets we recommend are Popantel ®, Drontal ® or Pyraquantal ® tablets.
o For convenience there is a topical product available called Advocate® which covers all worms except the hydatid tapeworm. This product is suitable for dogs which are not exposed to offal. Advocate also covers heartworm, fleas and mites. This product can be used from 7 weeks onwards.
o Interceptor ®, a tasty chew tablet covers all intestinal worms.
o For the best product for your pet and circumstances speak to one of our staff.
Dogs are susceptible to a number of preventable viral diseases, some of them are both common and deadly, and all of them are extremely contagious.
- Parvovirus- This is a common and deadly, especially for pups, and older animals. It is highly contagious and usually results in outbreaks within a population of unvaccinated areas. It attacks the intestine resulting in bloody vomit and diarrhea, until the animal usually dies of shock through blood loss. Treatment is very expensive and usually unsuccessful. Vaccination is highly effective
- Distemper- rare nowadays but few cases are still diagnosed each year. Causes a fever and pneumonia, leaving animals with life long nerve defect as the brain is damaged.
- Canine Viral hepatitis- common, occasionally serious but usually mild or no signs. Causes liver damage and sometimes liver failure.
- Canine cough- caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. Bordatella and Parainfluenza are commonly vaccinated against. Canine cough results in a honking cough which is extremely contagious and frustrating to treat. Can last for a few weeks.
- Vaccination works by teaching the dog’s immune system to recognise the virus. The body is then armed ready to attack the virus before it can replicate and cause disease. The ‘teaching’ takes time and in the first year must be repeated to build up the recognition. This is done by repeating the vaccine.
- At our clinic we recommend the following vaccination regime.
- At 6-8 weeks- parvovirus, Distemper and hepatitis vaccination (C3 vaccine)
- At 10-12 weeks – C3 repeat and an intranasal vaccination against canine cough.
- A booster vaccination is given 12 months later. At this vaccination we use a 3 yearly vaccine to cover for parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis. The canine cough vaccine is done yearly.
- Vaccinations can sometimes cause reactions, but this is rare. Most commonly the animal may be ‘off color’ or show soreness at the injection site. These symptoms usually only last for 24 hours. If you are concerned about your pet after vaccination please call the vet clinic.
Heartworm is becoming more of a problem in Australia every season. It is a disease of dogs and occasionally cats, spread by mosquitos. Immature worms live in the bloodstream where they are picked up by a mosquito and moved to a new host. The worm grows into an adult that lives in the heart chambers, and blood vessels of the lungs. Heart failure soon develops. Treatment is very difficult and expensive. We strongly recommend prevention against heartworm; especially dogs which travel or live near water sources.
1) Yearly Proheart injections- highly recommended as any lapse in treatment with monthly treatments could result in your dog becoming infected. First injection at 12 weeks, with a booster at 6months, then yearly.
2) Monthly- using Advocate ®, or Interceptor® (advocate from 7 weeks)
Heart worm prevention should be commenced from 3 months of age. A heartworm test should be run prior to starting treatment if treatment commences after 6 months of age.
There are many flea treatments available. We recommend the monthly applications of Advocate®, or Frontline®. Do not use adult preparations on pups. Note that there are no effective shampoos, rinses, collars or powder treatments for fleas available due to resistance. Please speak to a staff member about which product is best for your pet.
We highly recommend desexing of your pet for many reasons.
Females - Speying is removing the uterus and ovaries under a general anaesthetic
o First season at about 6 months
o Seasons last 2-3 weeks. Vulval bleeding can be annoying for an indoor dog.
o It is extremely hard to keep a female locked away from male dogs, as the dogs can follow the scent very well.
o Higher risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections in bitches that have had their first heat.
o Recommended at about 6 months of age, before first season.
o It’s too risky to do the surgery once in season, therefore you will need to wait at least a month after the season finishes to get her desexed.
o Entire males will seek out on heat bitches, and go to lots of effort to get to her. This can result in cuts from fences, getting hit by cars, or going missing.
o Entire males are more aggressive towards humans and other dogs
o Entire males will urinate ‘mark’ regularly and have pungent smelling urine
o Higher risk of prostate cancer in entire dogs.
o Castration requires an anesthetic and is done from 5 months onwards. We recommend before 6 months, as once aggressive behavior is learnt removing the testosterone may not have a great effect.
A microchip is an individual permanent implant which can be read using a special reader. This enables us or the council to find you if your pup is brought to us. We can microchip your pup at any age, and strongly recommend having this done. In some states of Australia it is now a legal requirement to have pet’s microchipped. Council registrations will be reduced for microchipped animals. It is cheaper and more pleasant for your pet, to do this under anesthetic, therefore we recommend microchipping at the time of desexing.
Puppy school/ training
Responsible ownership involves having a well trained dog and this training should be commenced as soon as the puppy is acquired. Your pup should be socialised with other dogs (as soon as vaccination as taken place) and with other people to make them a happy pet.
Training should be based on positive reinforcement.
At our Clare clinic we run a four week puppy school for pups 10 weeks and over which have had their full C5 vaccine. Please speak to staff about enrollment.
We have staff members at the clinic trained in pet behaviour which are willing to help you with any specific issue you may have. Please feel free to enquire or book a behavioural consult.