new puppyIdeally puppies should be left with their mother and siblings until they are 7 weeks old.During this important time their mother and siblings will teach them social skills and tolerance. Moving away from it’s mother and siblings is a bit change in the puppy’s life. When the time comes to collect your puppy there are some things you can do which will make the transition easier, both for you and the puppy.

Food

By 4-5 weeks the litter of puppies will be weaned on to a completely balanced puppy kibble (Hills/Royal Canin/Red Mills). Ask the breeder to give you a small amount of this so that there is continuity and this will help avoid a digestive upset. If you do need to change the puppy on to a new food do this very slowly, ideally over about 5 days gradually increasing the percentage of new kibble. Use the feeding guide on the back of the bag and divide the daily amount over 3 meals throughout the day. Fresh water should always be available to the new puppy.

Beds/Crates and Toilets

Crate training is one of the quickest and most effective ways to house-train a dog. Since most dogs instinctively avoid eliminating in their sleeping and eating areas, dogs that use their crate as a bed or “den” will seldom eliminate inside unless they have been left in the crate for too long. Crate training can also help teach the dog to develop control over its elimination.

As soon as your dog is released from its crate, you should take it to the garden so that it can toilet. You must ensure that the crate is large enough for your particular dog, you must ensure that your dog gets sufficient food, water, play, exercise and attention before it is confined, and you must return before the dog needs to urinate or defecate. The two most important benefits are the safety it affords your pet, and the damage that is prevented. The crate also provides a place of security; a comfortable retreat, where your dog can relax, sleep, or chew on a favourite toy. It is therefore essential that the crate is never used as a place of punishment.

Do all puppies have worms?

Intestinal parasites are common in puppies. Puppies can become infected with parasites before they are born or later through their mother’s milk. Some of these worms are also transmissible to humans. We would recommend that you worm your new puppy every 2 weeks until he/she is 12 wks old and then every month until he/she is 6mths old. Adult dogs/over 6mths should be routinely wormed every 3mths. Worming products include Milbemax, Drontal and Parazole.

Flea control

Fleas are small dark brown insects which can sometimes be found in the coat of dogs and puppies. They don’t live on the animal and sometimes only the dark specks can be found in the coat which is flea dirt (faeces). There are many spot –on treatments available such as Practic and Stronghold . Treatments should be repeated every 6-8wks.

When should my puppy be vaccinated?

There are many diseases that are fatal to dogs. Fortunately, we have the ability to prevent many of these by the use of very effective vaccines. In order to be effective, these vaccines must be given as a series of 2-3 injections. Ideally, they are given at between approximately 7 and 12 weeks of age and cover Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis etc. In areas/animals of high risk your veterinary surgeon may advise a further injection at approximately 16 weeks of age. It is also worth considering vaccination against kennel cough. This vaccination can be carried out at the same time as the other injections and is not an injection but involves drops inserted into the nose. If your puppy has already had a vaccine done with the breeder please show your vet the vaccination certificate so that it can be decided when the next shot is due (there must be at least a 2 week interval between shots).

First visit to the vets

When your pup comes to the vets for his/her first vaccination the vet will carry out a complete head to toe examination. The vet will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart/chest, a thermometer will be used to check the temperature. This is to ensure the puppy is healthy and fit to be vaccinated. The vets will then give the puppy a small injection into the scruff of the neck. The puppy can also be treated for fleas and worms if appropriate at this time (*Please note puppies should not be out in public until a week after the 2nd injection). At Allpets we also offer a free puppy pack which includes a free sample of puppy food, an Allpets calendar, 6wks free insurance cover with Allianz and a puppy party invitation.

How much?

The cost of the first and second vaccination is €72.00 (includes both visits), puppy wormer €3.04 each, flea treatment €7-10, microchip €25.00 (*which is a legal requirement from 2016), kennel cough €25.00 (if given with other vaccines) and pet insurance. We would strongly encourage you to consider having your new pup insured so that you are in a position to give it the best possible veterinary care should there be an accident/illness. There are a number of companies offering pet insurance in Ireland, more information on our pet insurance page.