Care of Your Puppy
Choosing your puppy
When choosing a new puppy it is important to consider which breed (or crossbreed) would be most suited to your lifestyle.
Anyone thinking of taking on the responsibility of owning a dog should ensure they know what it entails and make as much of an informed 'breed choice' as possible.
A good website that outlines the needs of each type of dog is www.dogbreedhealth.com. It also provides easy to understand information on potential health problems of each breed.
General Health Check
You may have obtained your puppy from a rescue centre or bought your puppy from a shop, family or specialist pedigree breeder. Wherever your puppy came from, you may or may not have been provided with a range of care advice. Even so the advice can sometimes be contradictory. We hope that this simple outline guide will help to tie everything together and get you started off on the right track.
Puppies are a lot of fun but there are a lot of important things that you should know or will need to remember to do at the right times, which can seem daunting and confusing.
We hope that helping you with information now should go some way towards reducing your worries and maximising your fun!
It is good to visit us at Holly House Vets as soon as is reasonable after choosing your new pet. Remember that this can even happen before you fully commit to taking on your new puppy. We can check that everything seems OK! Occasionally you may be wise to settle in your new puppy for a few days before you visit us, however we will always be pleased to help with a new puppy whenever you come along!
Hopefully you will have chosen a perfect new puppy and nothing will be wrong! However sometimes we find simple things that we need to help you with: ear mites, fleas and other visitors are common, not very serious and are easily cleared. Very occasionally your first veterinary examination can reveal more serious problems such as heart murmurs, cleft palates, retained testicles and hernias. However, do not fear! Most of these can be resolved and we are there to help you with what you need to know about such things.
Vaccination - how to get started
A primary vaccination course is required and this can be done in your puppy from 6 weeks old.
The first injection is given at 6-8 weeks of age and a second and third injection are required at 10 weeks and 12 weeks of age to ensure full protection.
We also recommend an additional parvovirus vaccination at 16 weeks of age.
After this primary course, a once yearly booster vaccination will provide full cover for these conditions.
To read more about vaccinating your puppy, please click here.
Join our Health Club and get your puppy's vaccinations for free!
On the 6th April 2016, it became compulsory for every dog owner in England to have to have his or her dog microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old. According to the government, owners who do not comply with the new law risk face fines of up to £500. We think it’s great news as it means more lost pets will be reunited with their owners, rather than ending up in rehoming shelters.
If your puppy gets lost the microchip can be read by veterinary practices, the dog warden and rehoming centres so you and your puppy can be reunited.
Join our Health Club to get your puppy's microchip for free!
Getting rid of fleas and worms
Most, if not all puppies (no matter how bright and healthy they appear) come with an invisible burden of worms. Worms can even cross the placenta and be transferred through mum’s milk. Eggs are then passed out in the faeces and contaminate the environment where they can persist for up to two years. Other dogs can pick up roundworms by ingesting the eggs passed in infected dogs faeces.
Worm eggs and larvae also pose a health threat to your family and are occasionally responsible for serious conditions such as epilepsy and sight damage in very young children. Even if you do not have children yourself, they may visit your house from time to time or you may exercise your dog in an area where young children play.
Roundworms can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and weight loss in young puppies.
Tapeworms can be picked up either from fleas or from eating raw meat. They are not a human health hazard but are unsightly and cause irritation to your pet as the segments crawl around their bottom..
Remember that the team at Holly House are there to supply you with all the ongoing parasite prevention products you will need throughout your pets life.
Click here to view great savings on the preventative health products for you dog.
Getting on with insurance
The Team at Holly House strongly believe that all clients and their pets benefit from a reliable pet insurance policy covering 3rd party liability, injury and illness. We feel all pet owners should have some form of health insurance for their pet.
We are restricted by the FSA on the advice we can give concerning pet insurance, but we remain confident that a “Life-policy” such as that offered by PetPlan ® insurance is ideal. If you are interested in taking out pet insurance at any stage in your dog’s life, the Holly House team have pet insurance advisors available to help you with this. For more information, please click here.
We advise all puppy owners consider neutering their pets at 6 months of age. This is a simple procedure with a quick recovery that will reduce the future risk of mammary cancer in female dogs and aggression and unruly behavior in male dogs.
We have produced a separate detailed guide to neutering which talks you through the whole procedure and it’s aftercare.
Join our Health Club to save 20% on the cost of neutering.