Welcome home puppy!
What an exciting time in your household – a new puppy! This can be a scary and stressful time, settling in your new puppy at home takes time, patience and most importantly – the right knowledge and tools! We’re here to help you navigate this experience, and ensure your puppy grows up to be healthy, well behaved and ready to take on the big wide world.
Your puppy requires a series of vaccinations to protect him or her from potentially fatal diseases. The importance of the three boosters relates to the fact that puppies lose the antibodies they received from their mother at different rates up to 16 weeks of age, and to cover all puppies at this vulnerable time, the program is as follows:
|6-8 weeks||C4 (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus + Parainfluenza – 1 component of kennel cough)|
|12-14 weeks||C7 (C4 + Oral Bordatella (the other component of ‘kennel cough’) + Leptospirosis)|
Annual boosters are required for life.
Worms can kill puppies, and some are transmissible to humans, especially children. 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 to use an allwormer such as Drontal, Endogard or Milbemax to kill all intestinal worms including tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm.
If your puppy is on Sentinel or Interceptor (products which are readily available from our hospital) he only needs a tapewormer tablet as these heartworm drugs also treat the other intestinal worms.
Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, so prevention is recommended all year round in Sydney. The immature heartworm is implanted under the skin by the mosquito, then matures in the heart to ultimately obstruct blood flow and interfere with heart function causing death from heart disease. Treatment is available, but is expensive and may be fatal in advanced disease.
Monthly preventative tablets and chewables are available from our hospital and we generally start heartworm prevention at your puppy’s second vaccination. We recommend:
- Milbemax – a monthly tablet that covers for intestinal worms and heartworm.
- Nexgard Spectra – a monthly tablet that covers fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm (This product does not cover all tapeworms, so we recommend a 3-monthly tapewormer on top of the monthly tablets).
- Proheart injections – a yearly injection that prevents heartworm.
Flea & Tick Control
There are two types of flea products – insecticides and insect growth regulators. Insecticides kill fleas whereas the regulators prevent fleas from breeding. As you may have read above, there are a few products which combine flea control with heartworm.
Paralysis ticks are present in the Mosman area at all times of the year. Tick season usually extends from September to the end of April, however we strongly recommend year round protection for your pet! The tick injects a toxin which causes paralysis starting in the hindlimbs and which progresses to affect the whole body. Affected dogs also have breathing problems, and sometimes gagging or retching.
Some of the flea products help protect against ticks and some can be used in combination with other preventatives for greater efficacy, but no treatment is 100% effective. We recommend using:
- Bravecto – a chewable tablet that lasts for 3 months
- Nexgard – a chewable tablet that lasts for 1 month
No tick prevention is 100% effective, so we strongly recommend daily, all over inspections to reduce the risk of your pet developing tick paralysis.
Microchipping & Registration
Microchipping is a mandatory, permanent form of identification. It is a small implant that is inserted under the skin in between the shoulder blades. It is about the size of a grain of rice. It can be carried out at any age, but in NSW, all cats and dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away.
Once you receive you puppy, go to the NSW Pet Registry website and create a profile for yourself. You can then search your puppies microchip number, and ‘claim’ them as your own. From here, you can update any contact information, and complete their lifetime registration. Dogs must be registered with your local council by 6 months of age. This is generally when we desex dogs, and once this is done, a discounted registration fee will occur.
Dogs can be desexed from 3 months of age. Speying a female (which involves the removal of her uterus and ovaries) will stop her coming into season and will significantly reduce the incidence of mammary tumours, the most common cancer in female dogs. It also means that infection of the uterus (pyometra) cannot occur, and the prospect of ending up with an unwanted litter is diminished.
Castrating males (which involves removal of the testes) can significantly reduce testosterone-related traits such as aggression, urine-marking, hypersexuality, territorality, and roaming. It reduces the incidence of prostate problems in older dogs, and eliminates testicular cancer. It does NOT alter the personality of your dog.
The operation can be performed on any weekday. We recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood profile to minimise surgical risk. This test is carried out in our in-house laboratory and can be done in the morning just before surgery. We are happy to give you more information on the pre-anaesthetic blood test – please contact us and speak to a nurse. We also recommend intravenous fluids throughout most general anesthetics and can discuss this with you further.
The nutrition given to a growing puppy are extremely important, especially in large and giant breeds. A high quality, size specific diet ensures they receive the appropriate protein and nutrients to support their growth. We recommend Hills Science Diets and Royal Canin. A mix of wet and dry food will keep your puppy satisfied.
We do not recommend feed your puppy raw mince, even human grade, as they are still susceptible to parasitic and bacterical infection such as Salmonella from raw chicken.
From 12 months of age, your puppy can transition to a high quality adult diet.
For more information on puppy school, head to this page.