Caring for your puppy

Bella Rose, Italian Greyhound

Bella Rose, Italian Greyhound

Whether you're a first time dog owner, or you have already owned dogs, getting a new puppy is an incredibly exciting time. You only have to see how much attention puppies get at the practice to know how much people love them. The first few weeks are also a great opportunity for your to give your puppy their very best start in life. This is the time when you can lay the foundations for a happy and healthy dog by making sure that both their physical health and behaviour get off to the best possible start. It isn't difficult and the benefits are clear. Here's what you need to do! 

 

  • Choose a great name - understandably a high priority for most of us, but did you know that because most commands are single syllable words like 'Sit' and 'Stay', names with only one syllable are harder for your dog to tell apart from commands, e.g. 'Sam' could be confused with 'Sit'. Names with two or more syllables will make life easier for your dog 
  • Find a place to sleep - your puppy will need a cosy bed where they will feel safe and comfortable. Their sleeping area should be away from extremes of heat or cold and your puppy should be able to see and hear normal family life so that they can get used to their new home
  • Choose collar and lead - by law, all dogs must wear a collar with a dog identification tag inscribed with the owner's details, and from April 2016 they will need to be microchipped
  • Buy feeding bowls - separate bowls for food and water, located somewhere your puppy can eat comfortably
  • Organise vaccinations - puppies can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age and need two injections to get full protection. Read more... When you bring your puppy in for their first vaccinations, we will also include a free Puppy Pack full of useful information, a free 4-week PetPlan insurance cover note, a free dose of wormer, a free dose of combined flea and lungworm treatment
  • Sign up for our Healthy Pet Club - we recommend our interest-free monthly plan as an easy way to take care of all your puppy's routine preventative healthcare, saving you money at the same time. The plan includes:
    • Vaccination - your puppy will need annual booster vaccinations to keep them protected
    • Worming - almost all puppies are born with roundworms transmitted from their mother so it is important to use an effective wormer every 4 weeks until the age of 6 months. Read more...
    • Fleas - no matter how clean your house and dog, at some stage you will face the problem of fleas. Using effective flea products will make sure your puppy stays healthy. Read more...
  • Organise insurance - while our Healthy Pet Club takes care of routine preventative healthcare, a good insurance policy with a reputable provider will provide peace of mind that you are covered against unexpected health problems. We can usually offer a free 4-week comprehensive cover note at the time of your puppy's vaccinations. Read more...
  • Choose a good food - it is important to feed your dog a high quality diet. Puppies benefit from a diet designed for their rapid growth and high energy levels, and can then be moved onto an adult diet once they reach maturity. Make sure your puppy always has a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water and the correct amount of food. Read more...
  • Socialise your puppy - puppies have a special sensitive period at the start of their lives when they learn to accept things around them so that they are not afraid of them in later life. We have created a special guide for you to download explaining this, including a socialisation chart for you to record your puppy's progress. You may also want to consider crate training as this can be a great way to train an obedient, relaxed dog. Ask us for advice!
  • Consider neutering - bitch spay and dog castration are recommended for health reasons. Read more...
  • Make an appointment for microchipping - if your puppy gets lost, with a microchip you can be sure it has the best chance of coming home. Microchipping has been compulsory in Wales from April 2016. Read more...