Vaccinations are important to protect your puppy from potentially fatal viral diseases. Your puppy requires the three initial vaccinations to be fully protected and should not socialize with unvaccinated dogs until two weeks after the final vaccination.
Our normal protocol involves:
First at 6-8 weeks: C3 - parvovirus, canine distemper and canine infectious hepatitis.
Second at 12-14 weeks: C5 - C3 plus kennel cough.
Third at 16-18 weeks: C5 - C3 plus kennel cough.
After these initial vaccinations, yearly boosters are required to maintain protection throughout their life.
There is also the option of an intranasal kennel cough at the second vaccination, to allow for sooner socialization. Please call the clinic or discuss with your veterinarian at the time of consultation for more information.
Puppies should be wormed with an all-wormer which kills all the intestinal worms including roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm.
Puppies should be treated:
every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age
every month until 6 months of age
every three months if older than 6 months, for the rest of their life
Some “allwormers” may not cover all worms, especially tapeworm.
At 12 weeks of age puppies should be started on heartworm preventative medication, which kills worms that live in the chambers of the heart and the large artery leading to the lungs. The worms are transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause severe damage to the heart and vascular system.
The medications available include monthly applications (tablets or spot-on) or a yearly injection usually given at the same time as the annual vaccination.
Flea preventatives are available in a spot-on, tablet or spray-on form. Flea powders or collars generally don’t provide adequate protection from ectoparasites. Flea and ectoparasite preventatives should be considered especially if the puppy is an outdoor dog, socializes with other dogs, or is exposed to wildlife such as foxes or wombats.
For small to medium breed dogs, puppies are ideally desexed at 4-6 months old. Large to giant breed dogs are generally desexed at 5-6 months. For the ideal age to desex your dog, please talk to your vet.
We recommend feeding your puppy 4 meals a day until they are 12 weeks old. Feeding 3 times a day is adequate after 12 weeks until they are 6 months old. Feed twice a day until they are 12 months and then once to twice daily as adults. Puppies should be fed puppy food until they are 12 months old, except large (> 25kg) and giant breeds, which should be fed LARGE DOG puppy food until they are 18 months of age. Home cooked diets are extremely difficult to nutritionally balance. Even as an adult, your dog’s diet should consist of at least 70% dog food, but ideally consists of 100% dog food. For a guide on how much to feed your puppy at different ages, please check the food package or consult your vet.
It is important to socialize your puppy with other dogs and people. The prime socialisation time for a puppy is between 10 and 14 weeks of age. This is the ideal time to take your puppy to puppy school where they will learn to appropriately interact with puppies of the same age and vaccination status in a controlled environment. Unfortunately we do not run a puppy school at our clinic due to the busy emergency service we provide. For recommendations on excellent puppy training schools and dog training programs, please speak to our nurses or vets.
If you have any questions about general puppy care please don’t hesitate to ask us!