Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Puppy Protocols

You get a puppy and now you have to get it vaccinated, micro-chipped, sterilised, registered, wormed!! and the list goes on.. This outlines all the things to consider when you get a puppy, or even a new dog. Before we get started, keep in mind that different veterinary clinics and animal shelters have their own set protocols, this could be for different products used, and different skill or opinions. At the end of the day. Find one YOU trust, of course it matters what puppy thinks too, though sometimes he/she may not be happy, just because of the smells of other animals present.

Let's start with a puppy. You just got your puppy all of 8 weeks old. Yes this is the age that most people obtain puppies, earlier means they miss out on important lessons from mum. Later means more lessons with mum, though less critical socialisation and training time for you. So the standard is 8 weeks.

Puppy receiving a vaccination

8 week old Puppies: Time for puppies' very first vaccination! Start on a Puppy-safe Flea treatment. Administer intestinal worming prevention and also ask your vet about Heartworm preventatives. Puppy Preschool is also a great first step for puppy because it is a safe, clean environment where your puppy can socialise with other puppies and humans too, it also allows you to learn a lot about puppy and basic training too.

10 week old Puppies: Time to give worming tablets again.

12 week old Puppies:
2nd Vaccination is due. Puppy needs to be registered now that he/she is 3 months old. Also yet again flea treatment and a worming tablet. Begin assessing the option of sterilisation and discuss with your veterinarian.

14 week old Puppies: Give puppy lots of love and attention this fortnight :)

16 week old Puppies: 3rd Vaccination! This is the last until a years time.

17 week old Puppies: Puppy can explore the world now! Just remember to keep puppy on a lead unless otherwise prescribed (home, dog park or other places specified for dogs).

6 month old Puppies: If not already considered/discussed with a veterinarian, then sterilisation can be performed at 6 months of age. There is also a heartworm preventative that lasts for 12 months (saving you the monthly, or even daily tablets). This can be given from 6 months onwards. Also consider micro-chipping at time of sterilisation if not already carried out.

Dogs:  Flea treatment and worming should be done once a month. Though may vary depending on the product used, in which case ask a veterinarian.
Side-note: If you have a cat along with a dog. No you cannot use the same product on both unless it specifies that it is for cats too. This is because some products that are used in dog flea treatments are highly toxic to cats and can even send them into seizures, and can also be fatal. (The active ingredient that I am specifically talking about is Permethrin.)

This is the surgical procedure that makes your dog permanently infertile. Normally this procedure is carried out at 6 months of age. Though varies where dogs may have testes already palpable at an earlier stage, health risks, etc. It is possible for "future stud dogs" to be implanted with something called "Suprelorin" this inhibits the reproductive functions of dogs, (currently available for male dogs only). Ask a veterinarian for further information.

Micro-chipping: This is a small microchip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted just between the shoulder blades with an application needle. This micro-chip contains a unique code that is traced back to an Australia wide database to collect owner contact details should the puppy go missing. It can only be read using a special scanner and pet/owner details can only be obtained by an authorised member of a veterinary clinic, animal shelter, etc.

Nutrition: Puppies should be fed on a well balanced diet aimed at puppies for the first 12 months of their life, then gradually switched onto an adult diet. Some foods are for smaller dogs, larger dogs, more active dogs, etc. It is important to discuss which is best for your puppy/dog with a veterinarian.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. Always ask the veterinarian that is seeing your puppy about any of the above information because protocols may be different depending where you live, and who you visit.

Take care and enjoy a long happy life with your puppy or new dog :)


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