Caring for your new puppy
House Training – Puppy Socialisation
Ask for our free puppy packs! with free product and information about house breaking, diet, etc…
So, you’ve got a puppy. A couple of kilograms of love, energy, enthusiasm and fur! There are few things that compare to the sight of your puppy running to greet you, his/her face alive with joy and excitement, tail wagging, bounding along on those little unstable legs. But with ownership of your pup come a lot of responsibilities – the responsibility to safeguard his/her health, to ensure that your pup’s behaviour – as he/she grows older – is acceptable to the people around you, and to keep him/her safe from unexpected dangers (e.g. cars, strange dogs, etc). So how can you meet these responsibilities?
Puppy Diets – By Dr Phil our vet.
Growing pups need high levels of calcium, protein and vitamins to meet their growth requirements. Failing to meet these requirements can result in stunted, unhealthy pups with soft, fragile bones. Burwood Veterinary Hospital recommends feeding high quality premium puppy foods like Eukanuba and Royal Canin to young dogs till they are 8-12 months old. Premium brands, such as Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Hills Science Diet consistently give optimal results. They can be purchased from pet shops and our clinic. There are different puppy foods available for different sized dogs – call into the clinic and our trained staff will discuss with you the best diet for your pup.
Puppy Vaccination by Dr Phil
Puppies are vaccinated at 6-8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, and then annually after that. Vaccines can be divided into ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ vaccines. Core vaccines are distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus; non-core vaccines are parainfluenza and Bordetella (Kennel Cough), leptospirosis and coronavirus. Recommendations will vary depending on circumstances, not all vaccines will be recommended to be used every year. When you bring your pup to the Burwood Veterinary Hospital we will tailor a vaccination programme to suit your pup’s requirements. There are newer vaccines that have a longer duration of immunity. Vaccines may be recommended to be dosed into the nose as an alternative – especially before going to kennels as this route may provide better immunity to respiratory disease.
Worming – How puppies get worms
The worms are able to cross the placenta and infect the pups while still in the uterus, during the last third of pregnancy at about day 42; the worms, that are in cysts in the bitches muscles, are stimulated by hormonal and release the worms into the mothers blood. AMAZING!!
- Secondly another group of worms are able to enter the pups via the milk they suckle from the mother.
- Worms are even able to infect the pups per thorough the skin and lastly via ingestion or swallowing microscopic worm eggs from the environment.
- So deworming is important – we usually recommend deworming monthly till 5 months and then usually every 3 months.
- We have dewormers that are effective.
So deworming is important ! We typically recommend deworming monthly till five months of age and then every three months with an effective broad spectrum wormer. These are available from our clinic without prescription.
Fleas are a common parasite of puppies. At the Burwood Veterinary Hospital we have seen puppies and kittens covered in fleas. Don’t let this happen to your puppy! Effective flea control is readily available. Flea collars, powders and shampoos just don’t work well enough and we do not recommend them. We have products that are effective and safe – our friendly staff will advise you on the best way to use them.
Heartworm is a worm that lives in your dog’s heart, eventually causing heart failure and death. It is spread by mosquitoes. Worm tablets for intestinal worms do not prevent or treat this parasite. Fortunately it is easy to prevent, with options including daily tablets, monthly tablets or ‘spot-on’ applications, or annual injections. At the Burwood Veterinary hospital we can tailor a preventative program for your pup that will not only keep your pup safe from this parasite, but will suit your budget and lifestyle.
Puppy Pre-School – see puppy classes
Desexing – Spaying or Castration
Usually done at 5 – 6 months. Females should always be sterilised unless they are going to be bred. Males are usually castrated depending on the individual situation.
Burwood veterinary clinic recommends one of the two centres for puppy classes
- The Victorian obedience Dog Club Inc – Classes are held For vaccinated pups from 8 weeks . The Class instructors are licensed V.C.A. Instructers. Classes are usually held on Sundays. The club is dedicated to promote responsible pet ownership.
- K9COACH – Runs puppy schools in the Burwood area – Call Hans on 03 9889 8555 – K9coach also offers in house puppy training. Usually a 4 week course running about 1 hour a week.
House Training your Puppy
Housetraining – Based on information from Dr Jacqui Ley BVSc(Hons) MACVS (Animal Behaviour) adapted by Dr Phil.
Housetraining is a process – be Patient! It should be easy! It is important to realize puppies do NOT stain the carpet or soiling the floor out of spite ever !!
In the Beginning….. It takes time to develop the concept of holding on until reaching a specific place. As the puppies become older, the toilet area moves away from the nest. This is not much different from the way people develop toilet habits. However, while we look for a room with a toilet in it, puppies are smelling for a specific area. So what are they smelling for? Puppies learn to use an area if it has been used by other dogs as a toilet. When the puppy can first start to toddle, it is attracted to the area its mother uses as a toilet by the smell. The smells encourage the puppies to use the area as a toilet.
Puppies develop a preference for particular surfaces to use as a toilet and can include carpet and tiles as well as grass and dirt. Decide where you want your puppy to toilet. If you intend for your puppy to use the garden or lawn outside, then right from the start, ensure it can access these areas easily.
- Take the puppy outside frequently- aim for every 2 hours (minimum 6-8 times a day)-ps you can sleep at night. Don’t allow the puppy to play until it has eliminated. Sniffing is allowed as it is an important part of elimination behavior. Use a short lead so you are right there to praise the desired behavior. If the puppy is not interested- stop and walk back and forth quickly. Give a treat and heaps of praise as the puppy is squatting. This will build the association between squatting and good things.
- You can encourage your puppy to eliminate with words such as “pee”, or “be quick”.
- Take the puppy out after eating. Watch for behavior such as circling, pacing, whining, standing at the door or suddenly stopping an activity and then immediately. Take the puppy out.
- Take the puppy out immediately after playing and when it wakes from naps and after a night sleep.
- It is possible to train a puppy to use a litter tray
- Maintain a regular feeding regime and no free access to food. Remove the food after 30 minutes. It encourages the pup to defecate after feeding.
- If you have another house trained dog, take it outside when you take the puppy.
- It can sometimes help to take a sponge soaked in urine to the area you wish the puppy to use. This can help mark it for the puppy.
- You need to be next to the puppy to reward the behavior at the exact time that it occurs…
- Ensure your puppy is supervised when it is running free. Make sure doors are closed to minimize the chances of an unseen accident.
- If you cannot supervise, then confine your puppy somewhere it cannot damage the floor. Use a crate. Or confine the puppy on a hard, easy to clean surface with a suitable tray of its substrate (i.e. turf or soil).
- Punishment has no place in house training. If you catch the puppy about to eliminate or mid elimination, startle it and then immediately take it out to the desired area. WITHOUT PATTING, ENDEARING WORDS. Just pick it up – no eye contact – no smacking and place in the toileting area.
- If you find an ‘accident’, clean it up without drawing your pup’s attention to it. : If you feel like hitting or kicking something, kick yourself.. (Not to hard please)- for not ensuring the puppy was adequately supervised or confined.