Congratulations on the new addition to your family. The puppy stage of a dog’s life can be such an exciting and fun time however there are a few important points to be mindful of to make sure your puppy goes on to lead a long and happy life.
A NUTRITIONAL DIET
From 6 weeks of age, feed your puppy three times per day until they reach 12 weeks, when they can move to two meals per day.
It’s best to feed them a good quality food specifically formulated for puppies for at least the first 12 months to ensure they get the nutrition they need for their growing bodies. Large breeds should be fed food that is formulated for large breed puppies for 18 months, to avoid bone growth deformities.
Raw bones containing no fat, can be a great way to help clean you puppy’s teeth, however we recommend never feeding your puppy cooked bones.
A puppy requires a minimum of three initial vaccinations at 6, 10 and 14 weeks, then a yearly booster to maintain immunity. A puppy is not fully protected until 2 weeks after the last vaccination. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, avoid exposing your puppy to other dogs and taking them out for walks.
We routinely vaccinate against Parvovirus, Infectious hepatitis, Distemper and Parainfluenza (kennel cough). Further vaccines are available for kennel stays.
WORMING AND HEARTWORM
Dogs can easily become infected with both intestinal worms and heartworm if prevention measures are not kept up to date.
Worm your puppy with a recommended intestinal wormer every 2 weeks until your puppy reaches 12 weeks old.
To avoid the need for future heartworm tests it is important to start heartworm prevention by 12 weeks. We recommend monthly Milbemax tablets to guard against heartworm and intestinal worms until the dog is 6 months old. Once your puppy is 6 months old, a Proheart SR12 injection can be given and 3 monthly worming tablets can be used.
Year-round flea control for your puppy is recommended in Warwick. Frontline, Advantage and Advocate top-spots kill fleas for a month and are safer and more effective than flea collars, powders, and shampoos. We also supply Comfortis, Nexguard Spectra, and Bravecto which can be given orally to control fleas and ticks.
Paralysis ticks are rare in Warwick however if you are visiting Goomburra, Killarney, the Range, or the coast you should use tick prevention i.e. Nexguard Spectra or Bravecto and a tick collar.
If you suspect tick paralysis (commonly identified by weakness in the legs and a hoarse bark) call our clinic immediately. Warwick Vet Clinic has a vet on call for emergencies 24 hours per day.
MICROCHIPPING AND REGISTRATION
Microchip identification involves inserting a rice grain size microchip under the skin of your puppy as a permanent form of identification.
It is a legal requirement of pet ownership in NSW but not Queensland. We do however strongly recommend microchip identification to prevent accidental euthanasia of owned animals. Microchipping is most easily done at the time of de-sexing (when a discount applies).
Dogs within the Warwick and Allora townships must be registered with Southern Downs Regional Council, a substantial discount applies for de-sexed animals.
Recommended when your puppy reaches 6 months old, de-sexing can:
· Reduce the risk of some serious diseases
· Eliminate unwanted pregnancies
· Reduce territorial aggression and wandering
Contact the Warwick Vet Clinic to book your puppy in for de-sexing.
Training your dog early in life, can help avoid many problems later in their life. Warwick Dog Obedience Club runs regular dog training classes helping you and your companion learn vital communication and behavioural skills and provide important socialisation with other dogs.
It is important in large breed dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia to be careful with them during the period from 4 – 12 months of age, which is their peak growing time. It is extremely important not to overfeed them during this time. A fat pup may be cuddly but it possibly doing harm to their joints carrying around excess weight. It is also important not to over exercise these pups in the first 12 months as this can also damage their joints. Try to resist the urge to take them for a long walk until they are over 12 weeks of age. They will get enough exercise running around the back yard if you do not over feed them.
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
Accidents or illness can be unforeseeable and often happen at time where you can least afford it financially. There are many companies offering pet health insurance at very reasonable premiums, giving you the peace of mind that you’ll be able to give your pet the best treatment possible should the unthinkable happen.
CONTACT A CLINIC
For more information on the health and wellbeing of your new puppy, contact Warwick Vet Clinic.