Para Hills Veterinary Clinic: Puppy Care


puppies require a sequence of vaccinations to guard them against some common infections which can be fatal. Dogs then require a yearly booster vaccination to continue this protection.

                * 6-8 weeks – c3- Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus

                * 12 weeks – c5 – Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica

                * 16 weeks – c5 – Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica


Intestinal worms can be transmitted from dogs to humans, especially children and can cause severe health issues. Pups can be born with intestinal worms or pick them up from their mother soon after birth and if left untreated, can be deadly. Please note that not all worm preparations are effective against all types of worms.

Worm puppies:


                * Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then

                * Every month until 6 months of age, then

                * Every 3 months


Fleas can lead to skin disorder, anaemia and tapeworm infestation in your pet. Washes, powders and collars generally only kill the fleas that are on the pet at the time of application and before long a flea infestation builds up again from an infested environment. There are a range of excellent “spot-on” preparations that are very successful, last for a whole month and destroy fleas before they can even bite your puppy.



Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, so your puppy does not need to be in contact with other dogs to become infected. The worms live inside the heart and can grow to 30cm long, interfering with circulation and ultimately causing heart failure and demise. Normally there are no outward signs of the disease until it is really advanced and although there are treatments obtainable the disease is generally still fatal as the damage to the heart is permanent. Pups should start heartworm prevention at 12 weeks of age. There are numerous different products available – either monthly tablets or “spot-ons”, most of which also protect against a array of other parasites, or the convenience of the once annually Proheart injection.


Proheart Injection

This injection is administered once a year in grownup dogs, but has to be given a little more often in pups:

                * 1st dose 12 weeks (when due for final pup vaccination)

                * 2nd dose 6 months (when desexing is advised)

                * 3rd dose 15 months (when 1st annual vaccination is due)

                * Then every 12 months



puppies need extra calcium and phosphorous when they are growing, to develop healthy bones and muscles. A good quality “puppy” food will have these additional vitamins in the correct ratio and should make up at least 2/3 of your puppy’s diet. Dogs need to eat puppy food until they are 6 – 18 months of age depending on their breed. Large breed dogs should eat a puppy food specially formulated for their high growth rate. RAW bones should be fed from an early age, as chewing helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. NEVER FEED COOKED BONES. Chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes and fatty food should not be fed to dogs, as these may have deadly consequences.



We advise that male and female pups are desexed at 6 months of age. There are numerous important reasons for this:

                * Lowers the risk of an undesired pregnancy and the number of    unwanted puppies

                * Makes pups more receptive to training (especially male dogs) and can make dogs less territorial and less aggressive

                * Reduces the chance of mammary tumours in females

                * Eliminates the risk of uterine infections (pyometras) in female dogs which are deadly if not treated

                * Eliminates the chance of testicular cancer and minimizes the chance of prostate complications in males.


Female dogs will come into season from 5-12 months of age depending on their breed. Female puppies DO NOT need to have a season before being desexed. In fact the risk of developing malignant mammary tumours is only 0.5% in dogs that are speyed before their first season. This jumps to 8% in pups speyed after their first season then to a 26% risk after their second season.



This involves injecting a small microchip under the skin at the back of the neck. This microchip contains a number which is linked to your details in a data base, so that you can be reunited with your dog if they are ever lost. A good time to do this is at desexing when the dog is already under anaesthetic, but the microchip can be implanted anytime.


Puppy School

It is very important that puppies are socialised with other animals and people from an early age to prevent behavioural issues later in life. Puppy school is an excellent way to start this, as well as learn about puppy care, basic training and pup behaviour in an enjoyable small class environment.


Pet Insurance

Pet insurance gives excellent piece of mind that your pet will be able to get the treatment that is necessary if any unforseen health problems should arise. There are several different companies which offer pet insurance with a wide range of different policies accessible. It is essential to select a policy that will best suit your circumstances.