Taking Care of Your Puppy in Bunbury and Eaton.
Getting a new puppy is an exciting time. It’s a new family member, exercise partner, therapist, best friend and play mate all rolled into one bundle of excitement.
By the time you have even got your puppy home, you’ll have been bombarded with a heap of conflicting and confusing information. What do you feed your dog, how much, how often, what flea control should you use, do you need heartworm prevention, etc.
Here’s a quick rundown on what we recommend.
Getting the feeding right is critical. For the first few days, keep feeding your puppy what has been recommended by the breeder. Changing the food on the first day can cause extra stress.
We recommend Royal Canin food, but any good quality food will be ok. Please avoid the cheap stuff – it’s cheap for a reason. Poor nutrition for puppies can increase the risk of bone and joint problems, and cause multiple health issues.
Be aware of advice from breeders. If it doesn’t sound right, give us a call an we can talk you through things. We see a lot of dogs being fed Weetbix (I’m not sure at what point in a dogs evolution wheat became a full meal), and even one dog where the breeder advised the owners not to let it drink tap water (the breeder advised raspberry cordial).
We recommend feeding three times daily until at least 3-4 months old (depending on breed), then twice daily until 6-12 months old. As a general rule, the larger the breed the more frequent the feeds should be. Once the dog is 12 months old, they can be fed once or twice daily.
- Intestinal worms – fortnightly until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age. After that, it’s every three months for life
- Flea control – we recommend starting a good quality flea control product from 8 weeks of age. We recommend Bravecto, which is just given once every three months as an oral chew. It’s easy to give, is very effective at controlling fleas AND ticks, and appears to control mites as well
- Heartworm – Heartworm prevention is best given as a long-acting injection, given at 12 weeks of age, 6 months of age, at 15 months of age, then annually to tie in with your pets annual health check and vaccines
EVERY puppy needs to be adequately vaccinated.
The first vaccination is normally given at 6-8 weeks of age. This will normally be done with the breeder.
The second vaccine is given at 10-12 weeks of age. We recommend giving the C5 vaccine at this point (Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough) so the dog can be safely socialised two weeks later.
A third vaccine of Parvo, Distemper and Hepatitis is given at 14-16 weeks of age.
We strongly recommend pet insurance, especially when your puppy is young. During the first 12 months of age is when many orthopaedic injuries occur (puppies are clumsy and break things quite often), and many developmental problems may become apparent. Of course, we recommend they stay insured for life, but if your budget won’t stretch that far then please prioritise the first 12 months.
First Vet Visit:
We recommend you have your puppy checked by a vet within 48 hours of picking it up. This gives you the peace of mind that you’ve got a healthy dog, and allows any problems to be dealt with promptly. In the last few months, we have seen new puppies sold with ear infections, skin problems, dental issues, and even a broken leg!
At this first visit, if your puppy is over 8 weeks of age and healthy, we can sign you up for 4 weeks free insurance with Petplan.
Healthy Pets Club:
We know this is a lot to take in, which is why we have created the Healthy Pets Club. For an annual or monthly fee, your puppy will receive a free puppy check, all its vaccinations and heartworm treatments, worm and flea treatments delivered to you when the doses are due, plus discounts on microchipping and desexing.
Healthy Pets Plus members will also get free unlimited primary consultations (excluding out of hours consultations), so any time you’re worried about your pet you can have them checked by one of our vets. For more information on the Healthy Pets Club, head to http://www.bunburyvets.com.au/healthy-pets-clubs/ or call us today.