Puppy Care

VACCINATION

What should your dog be vaccinated against?

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.

When?

6 weeks               C3 vaccination (parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis)
10 weeks             C5 vaccination (C3 + canine cough)
12 weeks             C3 vaccination (parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis)

Following this, annual boosters are required for life.

Please remember your puppy is not fully covered by vaccinations until 2 weeks after their final vaccination.  It is important to restrict contact with other dogs and public places during this time.

HEART WORM PREVENTION

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 by 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 Milbemax, Interceptor, Sentinel and Heartgard.

 

WORMING

What should your puppy be wormed against?

Your puppy should 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.

When?
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 using an allwormer such as Drontal or Milbemax to kill all intestinal worms, including tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm.

 

FLEAS and 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:

 

Product Age safe to start Parasites controlled How often?
Bravecto 8 weeks Flea + Tick 3 monthly
Nexgard 8 weeks Flea + Tick Monthly
Frontline Spray 2 days Flea + Tick Monthly
Frontline Top Spot 8 weeks Fleas Monthly
Advantage Spot On Any age Fleas Monthly
Comfortis 14 weeks Fleas Monthly
Tick Collars

–          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!!

 

DESEXING

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.

FEEDING

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, 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.

MICROCHIP IMPLANTS

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.

 

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.

Learn more about our Puppy Preschool Classes

If you have any problems or questions about your new puppy, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 07 3193 9222