Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time for all. Here is some general information for you to help your puppy settle into its new home and help keep it healthy.
We recommend a premium puppy dry formula such as Eukanuba, Nutrience and Hill’s Science Diet. Many vets recommend these foods. At between twelve and eighteen months of age, your puppy can move onto one of the above premium adult dry formula foods. No cow’s milk should be given as this can cause tummy upsets. There are puppy milk formulae available if you prefer to give your puppy milk. If you intend to change the puppy’s diet, be sure to do it gradually so that no problems occur. It is fine to give the puppy other foods at the same time as the premium dry food (fresh meat and cooked vegetables) but cut down on the amount of the dry food.
Intestinal worms should be treated at week 2, 4, 8 and 12, then monthly until 6 months of age. After that you should continue to treat them every three months for the rest of the dog’s life. All our puppies are given worming treatment on arrival at our shop.
Heartworm treatment can be commenced from an early age. In general, if your puppy is under 12 weeks of age and has not been in contact with other animals, it is fairly safe to commence heartworm treatment but we recommend that you check with your Vet before commencing your puppy on heartworm treatment and follow their advice. All our puppies are given heartworm treatment. You can choose between tablets or monthly spot-on application which is put on the skin at the back of the neck.
In puppies, vaccination is carried out to prevent Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella. The first vaccination should be given when the puppy is 6-8 weeks old, the second at 12-14 weeks old and the third should be given at about 16-18 weeks. When your puppy goes to have their first vaccination, your Vet will give you a vaccination certificate which usually has the date when your puppy’s next vaccination is due. Yearly boosters are recommended to keep your adult dog protected. All our puppies have been vet checked and had their first vaccination.
Many Vets say that puppies can be desexed from approximately six (6) months of age onwards but check with your Vet for the minimum age they recommend for desexing, as the age can vary from Vet to Vet.
Flea prevention is simple in our climate. To keep your puppy flea free, a variety of products can be utilised. Some of the options available are a good flea shampoo, a flea powder, a flea rinse, flea collars or the modern, longer term alternatives which are a once a month application so that when the fleas jump onto the animal, they are killed quickly and are prevented from reproducing. All our puppies receive flea prevention treatment.
Ticks can also be a common problem in our climate. The tick of concern is the paralysis tick. The other ticks are the bush and the cattle ticks. The paralysis tick can be found all year round but the main season is between spring and autumn. The symptoms to look out for are a loss of co-ordination, a change in voice, starting to retch, cough or vomit, becoming paralysed, or having difficulty breathing. This tick may act quickly or slowly, however if any of the above signs become evident, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Protecting your pet from paralysis tick can take a couple of steps. Search your pets every day for ticks. The next step is to use preventatives. In addition to daily searching, the application of products specifically intended for tick control can greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis for your pet. Tick preventions come in tablet form or topical spot-on applications.
When you arrive home, set up a play pen or area where your puppy can call home for the short and long term, this may stay the same for the whole life of the puppy or may need to change as the puppy grows and their needs change. Considerations that need to be addressed are where your puppy will sleep, eat, play, spend their days and nights, the size your puppy will grow to and so on. Within the playpen you would place the food and water bowls, toys and bedding and then allow your puppy to explore at its own speed. Resist the temptation to pick it up until it has accustomed itself to its new surroundings.
If the puppy is to be introduced to other animals in the same household, wait until the puppy has investigated the whole house whilst the other animals are out. They should then be introduced very carefully and gradually, preferably with one or other on a lead. There is no reason why all animals should not become firm friends if properly introduced.
Try to keep a routine of events carried out each day at around the same time. You can get into a daily routine at home including exercise, playing, feeding, sleeping and socialising. Another good reason to keep a daily routine with the puppy is so that when you go to work or to school, the puppy is set for the day and is looking forward to the play time or exercise time which you will have together when you arrive home. Make sure your puppy has lots of toys to occupy their time so that they do not have to make up their own entertainment, for example, digging in the garden.
NAMING YOUR PUPPY
Remember, when choosing a name for your puppy, two-syllable names that end in a vowel, like Tasha or Bonzo are the easiest for a dog to recall. An ID tag which hangs from their collar is recommended for your dog’s easy identification.
Speak to your Vet about microchipping your puppy for their easy identification and safety. A tiny microchip is implanted into your pet, which has their very own number or “fingerprint” of identity. It cannot be seen so does not replace an ID tag for visible identification but your dog can be identified anywhere in Australia with an implanted microchip. No two animals have the same number and the chip lasts the lifetime of your pet.
Puppies often do not have full bladder control until 12-14 weeks of age so have patience. Puppies are most likely to want to go to the toilet when they first wake up, after eating and drinking and after play. The most effective way to house train your puppy is to take them out at these times and also every few hours in between, or if they start to circle or sniff. Take them to the same toiletting spot and praise them profusely! Even offer a tid bit of food as a reward. Never rub their nose in it or punish them later. Puppies only make an association if it is less than two seconds after the act. If you do catch them in the act, all that is needed is a sudden noise to stop the flow and then whisk your puppy outside. When your young puppy is in at night, you can use either a puppy pad on the floor (special pads for toilet training) or Housebreaking Aid drops on paper which will attract the puppy to that spot to toilet. Put the pad or drops and paper in the same place each night until they are toilet trained.
A puppy is a wonderful pet to have but it loves companionship. Make sure your puppy has lots of toys to occupy their time so that they do not have to make up their own entertainment, for example, digging in the garden. Puppies are teething and love to chew. Pig’s ears or porky lugs are great for this purpose as they burn up more energy than they give to your puppy so they will not become overweight by eating them. Pigs ears are also great for their teeth and can keep them amused for ages. Raw or smoked bones are also good for their teeth and another good source of entertainment – never give chicken bones or cooked bones.
There are a variety of combs, brushes, nail clippers, coat trimmers and such products available. The ones you require will depend on the actual coat of your puppy. We can help you choose what would be appropriate for your particular puppy to keep the coat tidy, clean, free from matting and looking beautiful. Most long-haired puppies should be groomed a couple of times a week.
Dogs have their own body odour just like humans and need to be bathed on a regular basis to keep their skin and coats clean. There are many shampoos available. Feel free to ask for advice when you come in.
Bathing your puppy also gives you a good chance to check its skin and ears. Long-eared dogs can have problems with fungal infections in their ears if they are not kept dry all the times, so ensure you dry their ears well after bathing or swimming and if in doubt, there are ear drops specially formulated to dry the ear.
Puppy preschool is designed for puppies (usually after they have had their second vaccination, but check with your Vet to see what they recommend as your puppy is not fully vaccinated until all three vaccinations have been given). The main objectives are for the puppies to learn basic obedience and socialisation. This process helps both you and the puppies to discover more about each other as their personalities are coming to light. Usually courses run for four weeks, once a week. Many of the good veterinary clinics will have preschools running regularly.
We are accredited members of the Pet Industry Association of Australia and abides by it’s Code of Practice. We sell all products mentioned in this information sheet and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your puppy or any other pets.
At Yippeeio Pet & Aquarium Centre, we are always happy to help you. Please ask. We are open 7 days a week.
* The information in this care sheet is intended as a helpful general guide only.
Yippeeio Pet & Aquarium Centre is an Accredited Member of the Pet Industry Association and abides by its Code of Practice.