Points to remember
- Check with your local council with regards to registration laws and procedures for dogs.
- Young animals love to chew when they are teething. Keep electrical wires out of reach.
- Chocolate is dangerous. It contains theobromine, a stimulant which is toxic to pets.
- Never give cooked bones as a treat. They can splinter and cause serious internal injury.
- Poisonous plants include: lilies, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, oleander, and plant bulbs.
- If you treat your lawn with chemicals, keep your animals away.
- Puppies grow very fast. Collars and harnesses can be outgrown rapidly, leading to injury.
- Check collars every week.
- Don’t leave plastic bags out. Inquisitive young animals can suffocate.
- Snail baits are poisonous to your pet, even in small amounts, so use only in fenced off areas.
- Household poisons such as ‘Rat Sak’ may be fatal to your pet, so either don’t use them or hide them in an area where the pet can’t get to them.
In NSW, it is a legal requirement that dogs are microchipped and registered. A microchip is an implant, about the size of a grain of rice, that is placed under the skin of your pet, usually when they are quite young. Microchippping is the best way to identify your pet if they are ever lost. Vet clinics and pounds have microchip scanners, which can read your pet’s chip, and access your contact information that is attached to it. It is important that if any of your details, such as home address or contact numbers change after you get your puppy, that you update your details immediately with your local council.
Puppies may be bathed at home every 2 weeks if necessary to maintain cleanliness. The nurses at The Ark will be able to recommend the best shampoo to use for your new pup. Depending on the breed of your dog, a slicker brush, or comb, or both, may be needed to keep your pet’s coat in top condition. If you have a long-haired, or curly-coated puppy, we recommend that you get them used to being brushed on a daily basis. This helps keep the fur un-matted, and improves their coat condition. If you own a puppy that will require clipping later in life, bring them in for a regular groom with Julie (link) from 14 weeks of age. This grooming will get your puppy used to the clippers, scissors, bath, and blow-dryer we use, so it becomes a pleasant experience as they grow up.
Trimming your puppy’s nails can seem like a daunting task. Similarly to brushing, it will become a more pleasant experience for all involved if your puppy views it as a normal and regular occurrence. Play with your puppy’s feet, and touch their toenails regularly. If you are unsure of how to trim their nails, make an appointment with one of our nurses to show you how!
We run a 4-week course in conjunction with Fetch it Dog Training for puppies aged 8-16 weeks. During the course your puppy will be able to socialise and play with other puppies in a safe, controlled environment under direct supervision of experienced, qualified Delta CGC™ instructors.
Meanwhile… Owners can learn how to teach their puppies the necessary social graces to become a well behaved family member!
- House Training
- Bite inhibition
- Lie Down
- Come when called
- Safety Around the Food Bowl
- Stop That!
- How to be a good leader
Ring us now to enrol on (02) 9416 1300 or phone Carolyn 9418 4104 or Alex 0411 408 051.
It is important that your puppy receives proper nutrition while it is growing. Puppies are best fed three times a day for the first 4-6 months of life. After this time, they can be fed once or twice a day without any problems.
Our nurses are experts in developing a nutrition plan for your new puppy, so book an appointment to receive advice on a range of premium foods.
An abundant source of fresh water is essential, and separate food and water dishes that are difficult to tip over are recommended.
Paralysis ticks are a significant health risk to your puppy. They are most active during the warmer months of the year (October to March), but we can sometimes see cases year-round. There are a number of preventative products that can be used from 8 weeks of age. Chewable tablets, such as Bravecto and Nexgard are simple to use and also cover fleas. There are a variety of spot-on treatments on the market as well if you are unable to give your dog a tablet. No prevention is 100% effective, so it is vital that you check your puppy daily for ticks.
If you think your puppy has a tick, take them to a vet immediately for treatment.
Desexing is an irreversible surgical procedure that involves removing the testicles from male dogs, and the uterus and ovaries from female dogs. It is a routine operation that is performed regularly at The Ark Vet. There are lots of reasons to desex your pet, including:
- Costs – no additional food or medical bills for offspring
- Stops pet overpopulation in shelters and on the streets
- Reduces or eliminates territorial behaviour
- Less likely to suffer from anti-social behaviours
- Dogs are less prone to wander in search for a mate
- Reduced risk of cancer of the reproductive organs
- Pets generally live longer and healthier lives
Your puppy should be desexed at 5-6 months of age. There is no benefit in waiting, or with females, letting them produce a litter prior to being desexed.
These are parasites that live in the blood of the dog’s heart and adjacent blood vessels, and can be fatal if not prevented. They are transmitted by mosquitos, so consistent prevention is key. For the first 3 months of your puppy’s life, heartworm is prevented by giving a tablet (such as Milbemax) every 2 weeks. Once your puppy is 3 months old it can be given a heartworm-preventing injection, known as Pro-Heart. This Pro-Heart injection requires a booster 3 months later (usually done at the time of desexing at 6 months of age), and then a booster 9 months after that, which will coincide with your puppy’s first adult vaccination. This Pro-Heart injection can then be administered every 12 months to coincide with the annual vaccinations.
Parasites such as Hookworms, Roundworms, Tapeworms and Whipworms live in the dog’s intestinal tract. These worms are prevented by giving puppies fortnightly worming tablets (Milbemax) until 12 weeks of age, then giving the tablets every 3 months for the duration of the dog’s life. There are products on the market that can combine parasite protection. For example, ‘Panoramis’ is a chewable tablet that covers fleas, heartworm, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and roundworms for 1 month. Advocate’ is a topical spot-on that covers those same parasites for the same amount of time.
Fleas are an annoying parasite that cause itchiness, skin irritations, and spread tapeworm. Our nurses at The Ark Vet can advise you on the right product to use for the prevention of fleas for your puppy, how to use the products correctly and when to apply them. There are a range of products on the market for flea prevention, including chewable tablets, spot-on treatments, sprays and environmental treatments. We will help you choose the best product for your puppy and household.
Your puppy requires a series of vaccinations for protection against diseases such as Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough. There are 3 vaccines in the puppy course. These vaccinations are given at 6-8 weeks, 12-14 weeks and 16-18 weeks of age. If your puppy has missed any of these vaccinations, consult with your vet to determine when these vaccinations are due.
As an adult, your dog will require a yearly booster to maintain protection.
Bedding & Toys
A soft towel or blanket will be sufficient for the beginning, however there are dog beds available. It is best to teach your puppy from the day it arrives home where it is to sleep. Don’t be tempted to let your puppy sleep in your own bed, unless you intend for this to be where it will always sleep. Bad habits are hard to break!
A soft or ticking clock (simulating the heartbeat of its mother or siblings) will often help to settle your new puppy down to sleep more quickly.
Puppies have active minds and can easily become bored and lonely when you’re out. A good way to keep them entertained is to hide food in Kongs and Treat Balls, or provide a range of toys. Kongs that are filled with your puppy’s dinner can also be used to make your dog work for their food in the evening.