Your puppy’s general health check
It is good to visit your vet as soon as possible after choosing your new puppy. You are also welcome to visit us before you fully commit to taking on your new puppy to get advice and discuss specifics of the breed to make sure you choose the right dog to suit your lifestyle. Most things we find at your puppy’s general health check are straight forward. Simple things like ear mites, fleas and other visitors are common and are easily treated.
However, very occasionally this veterinary examination can reveal more serious health problems such as heart murmurs, mouth defects, retained testicles and hernias. Our team will help you understand if any problems detected during your general health check are serious, could have any long-term implications for you and discuss appropriate treatment plan options.
We are always here to support and advise pet owners, so please feel free to ask us about anything pet related that you have questions or concerns about.
Getting rid of fleas and worms
Many puppies, no matter how bright and healthy they appear come with an invisible burden of worms. Worms are transferred across the placenta, through mum’s milk and in faeces. Worm eggs and larvae pose a threat to your family. On rare occasions they are responsible for serious conditions such as epilepsy and eye damage in young children, making regular preventative worming treatments a vital part of dog ownership from the day you acquire your puppy.
If your vet identifies simple common parasites, such as ear mites, skin mites, worms or fleas, then these are easily dealt with. Eliminate parasites as soon as you acquire your puppy or at first vaccination. A parasite prevention plan should be started as soon as your puppy enters your home. Even adorable pets can come with unwelcome visitors or can quickly acquire them!
It is wise to take an effective veterinary flea and parasite prevention product for your new puppy, even if it is clear of unwanted visitors. As soon as your puppy begins to socialise, it is at risk from picking up parasites.
We can supply you with an ideal treatment.
All puppies over eight weeks old, providing they are well, need to be vaccinated as soon as possible! If your puppy is eight weeks or older and in good health you should book your first vaccination appointment and start their vaccination course immediately. Your puppy’s second vaccination is given between two to four weeks after their first vaccination. Our reception staff will book your second appointment at the time of your first vaccination, two weeks after the second vaccination your puppy will be protected and can start exploring the outside world. In some areas we may make recommendations that vary to the above due to local environmental factors.
We advise all puppy owners to consider neutering their pets at six months of age. This is a simple procedure with a quick recovery time. It reduces the future risk of mammary cancer in female dogs and in male dogs reduces aggression and unruly behaviour. We have produced a separate detailed guide to neutering which talks you through the whole procedure and its aftercare.
It is now a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and puppies should be microchipped by eight weeks old. A microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and is inserted between the shoulder blades. If your pet gets lost at any time during their life, the microchip can be read by veterinary practices and rehoming centres so you and your pet can be reunited.
We strongly believe that all clients and their pets benefit from a reliable pet insurance policy, covering injury and illness. Please ask a member of staff if you would like advice regarding selecting a policy provider, as general guidance we suggest that a “lifetime policy” gives your pet the ideal cover required. Insure your puppy as soon as you acquire it or at its first vaccination!
Find out more about the types of pet insurance and about making a claim.
Companionship and behaviour
Puppies are naturally curious and playful, so it is important to let them explore their new home and gradually introduce them to a wide variety of new sights, sounds and smells. It is important to provide puppies with a space that they can retreat to, that is solely for them where they can feel safe and not be disturbed. You should also help them to become accustomed to spending some time on their own and without interaction with humans. This will help them to grow into confident, friendly dogs that feel safe in your home. When introducing a puppy to other cats or other dogs keep them on a lead and don’t leave them alone until you’re confident they have accepted each other. Do not leave puppies alone with small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters until they have learned to ignore them.
Your puppy should be fully weaned by the time they are ready to join your family. Always ask what they have been fed and whenever possible stick to this for the first few days to reduce the risk of an upset stomach. Once settled in, you can start to introduce a new food by gradually mixing an increased proportion into your puppy’s food over the next week. A good quality, complete diet designed to meet the nutritional needs of puppies, supporting development and growth is ideal. This should also be low in sugars and other ingredients without beneficial properties, to aid digestion.
We are happy to recommend suitable diets.