Puppy Care

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Puppy Care

Congratulations on your new family addition! We know how much information there is to learn when first getting a puppy, so here are some of the basics to get you started.

Vaccinations

We routinely vaccinate our puppies against 5 diseases:

Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough (both Bordetella and Parainfluenza)

A puppy should receive 3 vaccinations, the first at 6-8 weeks of age, the second at 10-14 weeks of age and the third at 16-18 weeks (It is very important the last vaccination is given at or after 14 weeks of age). They will then need vaccines every year for the rest of their life.

It is important to realise that your puppy is not fully vaccinated until 1 week AFTER their final booster. They should not be out in public or in contact with unvaccinated dogs until then.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is a parasite transmitted via a mosquito bite. Heartworm is prevalent in the Brisbane area and it can be a fatal disease. There are many different heartworm prevention products. We will try and find a product that best suits you and your puppy. Prevention should begin at 6-12 weeks of age. Here are some examples of prevention available:

  • Sentinel spectrum – monthly chew -prevents heartworm, intestinal worms and sterilizes fleas. Suitable from 6 weeks of age.
  • Interceptor or milbemax – monthly tablet – prevents heartworm and intestinal worms. Suitable from 2 weeks of age.
  • Proheart injection- prevents heartworm – it is given at 3, 6 and then 15 months of age and then yearly to coincide with annual vaccination
  • Advocate – skin spot on – prevents heartworm, intestinal worms (except tapeworm) and kills fleas.  Suitable from 7 weeks of age.
  • Revolution – skin spot on – prevents heartworm and kills fleas., Suitable from 6 weeks of age.
  • Panoramis – an oral chew – prevents heartworm, intestinal worms (except tapeworm) and kills fleas.  Suitable from 14 weeks of age.

Intestinal Worming

What do I need to worm my puppy against? 

Puppies should be wormed for roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm (including the hydatid tapeworm). Puppies can be susceptible to gut worms and can be significantly affected by a small worm burden. These worms can also be spread to humans, especially children. So it is very important to keep up with your intestinal worming regime.

How often should I worm my puppy? 

Puppies need to be wormed every fortnight from 2 to 12 weeks of age, then monthly up to 6 months of age, then every three months for life. However, this may change depending on the heartworm prevention you choose.  Suitable products include Popantel all wormer, Sentinel, Advocate, Panoramis or Interceptor.

Fleas

Flea control is very important as a large flea burden can cause anaemia and death in a small puppy. Get into a routine and start your puppy on flea prevention straight away. Here are a few options:

  • Advantage- monthly spot on, safe from weaning
  • Revolution- monthly spot on, safe from 6 weeks of age
  • Advocate- monthly spot on, safe from 7 weeks of age
  • Sentinel spectrum – monthly chew, safe from 6 weeks of age
  • Nexgard – monthly chew, fleas & ticks, safe from 8 weeks of age
  • Bravecto – 3 monthly chew, fleas & ticks, safe from 8 weeks of age
  • Comfortis – monthly tablet, safe from 14 weeks of age
  • Panoramis – monthly tablet, safe from 14 weeks of age

 

It is important that ALL animals in the household must be treated for control to be effective (including cats!!)

Microchips

A microchip is a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades via a simple injection. It can be done any time after 8 weeks of age.

The microchip holds a 15 digit number. Your details are linked to that number. If your puppy goes missing and is found and brought to a shelter or a vet clinic, the puppy can be scanned for a microchip. Once we have the chip number, we can call you immediately. The one-off fee includes the microchip and life-time registration on a nationwide database.

Remember, a collar and tag can get lost, but a microchip is there for life.

Diet

There are so many on the market, what should I feed? We recommend a good quality dry kibble for your puppy. There are a number of brands that are of good quality. These include Hills Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Royal Canin. You should select the puppy or growth variety for the appropriate breed you have.

What about bones? No bone is 100% safe, they are a common cause of oral trauma, broken teeth (especially in pups as their teeth are so brittle) and obstructions. Please speak to your vet for more information on choosing appropriate chew toys.

Puppy Pre School

Since the primary socialisation period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialisation classes are most valuable for puppies 8 -16 weeks of age. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous.

Puppy preschool is an excellent way to socialise your new puppy to a variety of people, other dogs, and stimuli, in a controlled environment.

In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed.

Pet Insurance

With the rising costs of veterinary medicine, it may be a good idea to consider pet insurance. There are many companies that provide this service. When comparing companies things to consider include

  • How long has the company been in business and who underwrites the policy?
  • Does the policy guarantee lifetime renewal?
  • Does the policy stop cover once the pet reaches a certain age or does cover decrease as the pet ages?
  • Does the policy place new exclusions or restrictions on cover at the time of renewal?
  • Does the policy have an age limit for joining?
  • Does the policy cover for hereditary and congenital conditions or are there breed specific exclusions?
  • Does the policy have limits per claim as well as yearly limits?

 

You will also need to decide the type of coverage you want – accident, illness or both.

In general most companies will cover 70-80% of the veterinary bill and most offer some coverage for routine health care. Most have no waiting period for accidental injury but they usually have a 30 day waiting period for illness.  It is important you check their tick paralysis policy as these differ significantly between companies.

Some companies that provide house insurance also provide pet insurance. As with any insurance, it is important to read the product disclosure statements carefully and choose the one that suits you.