You’re almost set. You have a healthy puppy, learnt about flea & worm treatment, vaccinating and even a bit about giving your new fur baby the best start in life with nutrition. But you’re a fur parent that wants to go above and beyond and lavish your puppy with extra care…
You may need to give your puppy a gentle wash from time to time. You can get away with just some warm water, but if you like, a mild pet shampoo can be used. Once older, some dogs don’t need a bath at all, but in the case of specific skin problems such as greasiness, infections or allergies, special bathing products may be prescribed – ask your veterinarian for advice.
Just like us our dogs need dental care too. Poor dental hygiene can lead to other diseases. Gum disease is one of the most common afflictions in dogs with over 80 percent of dogs having early stages of gum disease by the time they are three years old.
Now’s the time to get your puppy used to you brushing their teeth and having their teeth looked at. Your puppy will start to lose baby teeth at about 3-4 months – and you’ll see an increase in chewing, so make sure you’ve got plenty of chew toys available so that they don’t chew clothing and furniture. Make sure to use an appropriate toothbrush and paste designed for dogs plus a chewable dental hygiene product like ORAVET® once they are six months of age.
If your dog spends more time walking on carpet and grass than on hard floors or concrete, teach them to give you their paw to have their nails cut. You will learn more about the importance of nail care in your puppy pre-school class, including the special nail-cutters to use and just how much to cut. Remember, any surface that is too hot for you to touch is too hot for your puppy’s feet. Something to be aware of on hot days.
Check ears regularly, and so long as they are clean and odourless, leave them well alone. If you notice signs such as: discharge, unusual smell, redness or scratching, have your puppy checked by a veterinarian.
Occasionally dogs will suffer from a chronic condition, meaning something that is long-lasting, often for life. Examples are osteoarthritis, epilepsy, heart disease or noise phobias. Fortunately, modern animal pharmacology has developed highly effective medications that can help relieve the pain and symptoms associated with these conditions. Your veterinarian will diagnose any concerns during regular check-ups, or if you take your dog in having noticed something different.
Remember, animal health is not subsidised by the government like human health care is. So whilst there are treatments available, they do cost, and you may wish to consider pet insurance. For a modest monthly premium, you can receive very generous benefits from insurers that cover a lot of the costs associated with providing your precious family member with the best health care available.
Vaccinations generally start around 6-8 weeks of age. An initial puppy course needs to be completed (usually by around 16 weeks of age) and then booster vaccinations are required for ongoing protection.
Gentle monthly dosing with NEXGARD SPECTRA can help control fleas, ticks, and worms. If your puppy is less than eight weeks of age then you may want to try FRONTLINE Spray as this can be used on puppies from three days of age to help manage fleas. Stay on top of flea and worm treatment, it is easier to prevent than it is to eliminate an infestation.
Adapting the feeding programme as your puppy grows helps to prevent developmental growth problems. This is particularly important in large breed dogs.
Microchipping is generally done at an early age, your puppy may already be microchipped when you acquire it. Remember to update changes such as new owner details and change of address, as soon as possible. Ask your veterinarian for further details regarding microchipping at your puppy’s first check-up.
Your puppy will go through puberty between six and twelve months. De-sexing of both dogs and bitches at an early age may reduce their chance of having certain types of cancers later in life (e.g. mammary, testicular), or unwanted pregnancies. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of de-sexing with your veterinarian.