Congratulations on your new member of the family. Having a new puppy will bring much joy however there are down sides and if you expect a little trouble it will be easier to handle.
You will probably get your puppy at 7 or 8 weeks of age. This is also a good age to start vaccinations so do bring puppy along to our surgery where we will give a thorough check over and if all is well we will start the vaccination course. Not only that we will also talk to you about your new pup and you can ask us anything about the pup you wish to know.
At this time you should also be doing everything you can to socialise your puppy. Puppy should not go out on the streets because immunity to all of the diseases we vaccinate against will not become protective until a week after the second vaccine. However you should do all in your power to introduce your puppy to as many situations, noises, people, places etc. as you possible can.
At this stage your puppy will be one naughty self opinionated bundle of ego. Like a small child it will want everything its own way. Stay calm, stay firm, stay gentle. You will win in the end and eventually you will have one of the most wonderful possessions in the world - a good dog.
Ask us about our free puppy socialising classes.The nurses run these once a week for a month.They are great fun and highly beneficial for your puppy.
House training can be a problem some puppies learn in no time, others however seem to take ages. Take out often (especially after eating) praise when good and be patient- it will happen eventually.
Second vaccine happens at 10 weeks of age if we started vaccination at 7 or 8 weeks. If we started later the second vaccine should take place 2 weeks after the first vaccine e.g 9 weeks start 11 weeks second 10 weeks start 12 weeks second and so on. (see our vaccination protocol)
At this second vaccine we will again thoroughly check your puppy and expect more of your questions.
FIRST TIME OUT
Immunity rises fast after the second vaccine but it takes a week to reach protective levels. Therefore first time out on the street is one week after second vaccination.
Puppies often have worms. They are frequently born with worms. At the first opportunity we will get you to give a de-worming product even though the breeder may well have wormed before you collected puppy. Worming should be done often. We say worm each 14 days up to 12 weeks of age, then monthly up to 6 months of age and then every 3 months for life. We have the very best wormers and although they may cost more than pet shop wormers they will be much more efficacious.
Your new pet may well have the odd little pet of its own! For example fleas and lice. At first vaccination we will give you a free puppy pack which contains your puppy's first Credelio tablet for external parasites. Please use it and if you wish carry on administering it at monthly intervals as recommended.
Our puppy vaccines do not include the main cause of Kennel Cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica). This is a vaccine which goes up the nose. Also Rabies which is really only of use if puppy is going abroad is likewise not included. If you want these diseases covered please ask us about them.
We are all for implanting these fabulously clever little devices. About the size of a small grain of rice they are injected beneath the skin between the shoulder blades at the base of the neck. This is nearly always painless. It is now a legal requirement to have a puppy chipped by the time it is eight weeks old. This is a one off permanent thing and is very worthwhile. (see our article on microchipping)
Many new owners ask if we recommend any particular diet. All of us use well known proprietary brands to feed our pets but we make no stipulation as to which you should use. All of the well known brands are well researched, carefully prepared and beautifully presented. You make the choice but whatever you choose to feed puppy make any changes from what was being fed at the breeder very slowly. Gradually mix more new diet into the old diet day by day until you achieve the change over. If you do it suddenly you invite tummy upsets. Over time we have become very fond of Lily’s Kitchen as excellent, well produced, and tasty pet food. So much so that we stock a wide variety of it for re-sale. We have an article on Lily’s Kitchen for more information.
We recommend neutering for both males and females. It has some definite health benefits in the long term and eliminates unwanted pregnancy. We are happy to neuter from five and a half to six months of age which is before a bitch puppy will have had her first season. You will hear all sorts of stories about worse ill effects if bitches are spayed young. Generally, there are no worse ill-effects from spaying young, however, there is some evidence that large, slow-maturing dogs should be left until they are fully grown to avoid some increase in joint trouble later on in life.
Pet insurance is an excellent idea. It brings the very best of veterinary treatments within the budget of everyone. Some veterinary procedures can be very expensive especially ones we have to refer to be done at university veterinary hospitals. If your pet is insured you can afford it. We recommend Pet Plan Insurance if you use other brands check the small print carefully.
At your pup's first visit we will supply you with a month of free insurance. Take it, you might as well. There will be no pressure on you to continue but we heartily recommend it (We gain nothing from the recommendation)