Bringing your new puppy home is a very exciting time! When you get a puppy there are many things on the list to tick off, from vaccinations, worming, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and training, just to name a few! We hope this simplified guide will help you keep track of all of the essential facts you need to know to take care of your new family member.
Puppy Care Information
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.
1st C3 (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus) at 6-8 weeks of age
2nd C5 (As above + Canine Cough) at 10 weeks of age
3rd C3 (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus) at 12 weeks of age
A YEARLY BOOSTER is essential to continue protecting your dog against disease.
Please remember your puppy will not be fully protected by vaccinations until after their final puppy vaccination. It is important to restrict contact with other dogs and public places during this time.
Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes and then moves to the heart and lungs, eventually causing death by heart failure. Heartworm IS diagnosed in Brisbane and all pups should start prevention at 6-12 weeks of age, and remain on prevention for life. There are a number of preventatives available:
Proheart injection – Yearly heartworm prevention. First given at 12 weeks of age, then at 6 months, then 15 months old (usually coincides with annual vaccination). Then once per year for life in adult dogs.
Nexgard Spectra (must be given EVERY month, a lapse in treatment puts your dog at risk!) Covers heartworm, hookworm, round worm, whipworm, fleas and paralysis ticks. Does NOT cover tapeworm and this must be given separately.
Other options (which must be given or applied EVERY) month: Milpro, Interceptor, Sentinel, Revolution
Intestinal worms can cause serious problems, and puppies are especially at risk. When worm burdens become high we can see diarrhoea, vomiting, pot-belly, weight loss, anaemia, scooting, severe intestinal complications and even death.
What should your pup be wormed against? Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm (including hydatids) and Whipworm. These can all be spread to people especially children so it is very important to prevent infestation.
When? Worm every fortnight from 2 to 12 weeks of age, then monthly up to 6 months of age, then every three months for life. If there are young children in the family, it may be advisable to worm the dog monthly. We recommend Drontal or Milpro, or Nexgard Spectra, with Popantel for tapeworms.
Please note that 3-monthly intestinal wormers do not cover heartworm.
Only 5% of fleas live on your pet, 95% live in the environment! Fleas can be spread to your house or yard by roaming cats or even possums. It is very important to keep up a continuous flea prevention regime, or you may find you have a flea infestation.
Note that ALL animals in the household must be treated for control to be effective. There are many flea control products available but some older products are not as effective, so please schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained vets to learn about the best options. The best products combine flea and tick control.
With a replication rate of up to 50 eggs per day per flea living on your pet, prevention is much better than having to deal with fleas once they are present. If your dog has fleas, your house has fleas! NB. All animals in the household must be treated for FLEA control to be effective!! (all dogs and all cats).
Paralysis ticks are a life-threatening problem all year round.
Animals spending time in bushy areas are at higher risk, but BACKYARD dogs can also pick up ticks dropped by suburban wildlife. Chemical preventatives do not
replace checking your dog over by hand after they have been outdoors. SIGNS of tick paralysis include:
Wobbly back legs
Change in voice
We recommend combined tick and flea control:
NEXGARD – A once a month chewable tick and flea prevention (Or Nexgard Spectra)
‘BRAVECTO’ is a chew given every 3 months for tick and flea prevention, or a spot-on Bravecto which lasts 6 months.
Other available products are Advantix and Frontline Top spot – these MUST be applied every 2 weeks for paralysis tick control.
This can be done at 5-6 months of age and involves a day visit with us. Larger breed male dogs may benefit from delaying desexing (up to 12-18 months) to allow more skeletal development, but ONLY if no testosterone – associated behaviour problems develop in the meantime.
Desexing will help control problems such as roaming, aggression, inappropriate mounting, mammary, uterine and prostatic disease. Your council registration will also be much cheaper. There is no advantage for your female dog to have a season or a litter first before de-sexing!
Use a good quality puppy preparation commercial food (not adult) as these are balanced in all the vitamins, minerals and dietary requirements your growing pup needs. We recommend premium quality foods such as Hills or Royal Canin.
Up to 3 months old………. 3 meals/day
From 3-6 months old…….. 2 meals/day
Over 6 months old……….. 1-2 meals/day
For healthy teeth and gums, chews such as Greenies, pigs’ ears and rawhide straps area great, though daily tooth brushing is the very best way to keep your pup’s teeth clean and healthy. Hills Vet Essentials has specially designed kibble to clean teeth more effectively than other dry foods.
It is a legal requirement in QLD for ALL puppies to be microchipped BEFORE they are sold or given away. If your puppy has not yet been microchipped please speak to our staff. A microchip is inserted into the loose skin over the shoulders and is a permanent identification - a collar and tag can be lost, but a microchip is there for life. Microchipping and registration by 12 weeks of age are also legal requirements for many Local Councils. Remember to keep your contact details up to date to make sure your dog gets safely home.
No matter how much love and care we provide our pets, accidents and illness are beyond our control. We recommend Pet Health Insurance to take the worry out of paying pet health care bills when the unexpected happens. With some procedures and illnesses now costing in the thousands for specialist treatment, having insurance can certainly lead to substantial savings and peace of mind, knowing that you can do the best for your pet should the need arise.
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 – a good obedience school can make the difference between a beloved family member and a public nuisance! Ask about our Puppy Preschool, run by our knowledgeable vet nurses.
ADVICE ON TABLET GIVING
Train your pup to take tablets. You can do this by:-
Starting tablets (for worming) rather than liquids at a young age.
If you have any problems with this, then insert your hand and fingers in the pup’s mouth often whilst patting and stroking to familiarise them to this action. Putting honey on your fingers can be a big help!
It is very important to maintain and get your puppy used to regular grooming. They shed regularly, and regular groom will help a shiny coat. Our wonderful in-house groomer offers a complimentary consultations and reduced price “first groom” for puppies to introduce them to the salon and the process.
If you have any questions or problems with your new puppy, please do not hesitate to give us a call!