Guidelines For New Puppy Owners

The first few months of a puppy’s life are very important for both you and your puppy. As well as learning proper behaviour and being socialised, there are some important health needs to attend to.

1. Vaccinations

Your puppy should receive a number of vaccinations depending on the age of your puppy and the type of vaccine used. Typically, vaccination programs start at 6-8 weeks of age, and boosters are given at approximately 4 to 6 week intervals until the puppy is 18 to 20 weeks of age. Annual vaccination is recommended to keep antibody levels high throughout life.

2. Intestinal worming

Many puppies are born with worms. Since roundworm can cause illness in humans, especially children, puppies need to be wormed every 2 weeks from 2 to 12 weeks of age, then monthly to 6 months, then at 3 monthly intervals afterwards.

3. Heartworm

Heartworm prevention usually starts at 3 months of age and is available as a daily or monthly tablet or chewable, or as a monthly ‘topspot’ application (a small amount of liquid applied between the shoulder blades).
There is now a once-a-year heartworm preventative available from your veterinarian that gives your dog 12 months protection from heartworm disease in one dose. The new Once-A-Year injection is administered by your vet and can be used in all dogs from 3 months of age.

4. Fleas

Flea control is important from a young age, as a few fleas can end in plague-proportions in a couple of weeks! Fleas also carry tapeworm eggs, which infect puppies as they chew at and swallow the fleas. There are many different flea control preparations, not all of which are suitable for young puppies.

5. Nutrition

Good nutrition is vital at this age when bones are quickly growing. A puppy diet is required as it contains the right balance of nutrients, significantly calcium, and a good quality diet means it is readily digestible (undigested food results in soft, smelly faeces, and also flatulence). There are many different brands of premium pet foods. Large breeds of dogs have specific nutritional requirements during the rapid growth phase, so large breed puppy diets are recommended for these dogs.

Pet Care

  • What is your New Year’s resolution? For many of us, it’s weight loss. While our personal health is incredibly important, it is not every day that we take our dog’s weight into consideration too. In fact, approximately 40% of dogs in Australia are overweight or obese, and many pet owners don’t even know it! Therefore, …
    Read More >
  • In December, our Bulleen vet sees a lot of patients with tummy upsets which can often be traced back to too many rich festive foods. Ideally, pets should not ever be fed processed foods as their stomachs have not evolved to digest them and so eating them often leads to diarrhoea and/or vomiting.   However, there …
    Read More >
  • During summer, most of our pet patients visit our Templestowe veterinary clinic because they have been overexposed to the harsh sun. In this blog, we are explaining the different health consequences that this exposure can have on your pet. We’ve also put together a quick 5-step grooming guide for owners to care for their pets …
    Read More >

Newsletter Signup