Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis are given as a “5 in 1” vaccine at 8-9 weeks then a booster again at 12 weeks of age. Kennel Cough is also available as an intra-nasal vaccine. This is particularly important to administer if your dog is to be kennelled in boarding or grooming facilities. Boosters are then given annually.
Treat for worms at 4,6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age then again at 6 months of age. The breeder should have already started a programme from 2 weeks of age. Thereafter we recommend a preventative regime of every 3-4 months.
Products such as ADVANTAGE and REVOLUTION are highly recommended. They control fleas for 4 to 8 weeks – depending on the severity of the flea problem. Fleas are the intermediate hosts of the tapeworm, so that if controlled adequately it is less likely that your dog will become infected.
Baby teeth are generally lost and replaced by adult teeth between 4-6 months of age. Breeds with pricked ears will often have their ears drop during this stage for a temporary period.
Provide a warm, dry, clean bed in a quiet part of the house, as young puppies, like children, require plenty of sleep. Use plenty of newspapers as bedding, then this can easily be renewed at frequent intervals. Dog crates also provide a safe place for your puppy to sleep and can make toilet training easier, as dogs tend not to eliminate where they sleep.
A good diet is essential to provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and correct balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats required for growth – supplements are usually not recommended when such a complete diet is fed. If using supplements, make sure you check with your veterinary nurse first, as excessive use can be harmful.
Four meals are initially recommended; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Supper, reducing as the puppy gets older. Once the puppy is a full grown adult, then one meal a day is sufficient, keeping a close watch on body weight. Clean fresh water should always be available.
Keep the coat brushed 2-3 times weekly to remove loose dead hair. Trim nails to a level even with the flat of the toe pad. Bath when either dirty or smelly – maybe only a few times a year in most breeds.
Regular daily exercise is essential to good health. ALWAYS keep on a lead unless you have a large park well away from traffic as even the best-trained dog can suddenly take off across a road, and risk serious injury. DO NOT OVER EXERCISE growing puppies, especially the heavier breeds, as it can put unnecessary strain on young growing bones and joints.
Put puppy outside immediately after it wakes from a sleep, finishes it’s meal and at other regular intervals. Carry it out to an area designated for toileting. Praise them when they oblige and only chastise if you catch them in the act of making a puddle inside. Usually they will walk around in circles sniffing the floor when they want to make a puddle, so that if you are quick enough you can generally get them outside in time.
Teach children how to handle puppies carefully and encourage them to be careful with leaving toys around that puppy might chew or swallow. When carrying put the palm of one hand under the chest and use the other to support the hind limbs. Avoid excessive handling.
We always highly recommend taking your puppy to a puppy pre-school. Forrest Hill Vet Clinic has an excellent group training class especially designed for puppies to be well behaved and well socialised.
A healthy, well-trained controlled dog is more enjoyable for you and far less likely to annoy neighbours. When out walking and your dog fouls the pavement, in consideration to others please clean it up.
© Forrest Hill Vets (2000) Ltd