- Dental Care
- Puppy Vaccinations
Your pup might have come to you on a specific diet already. It is important that initially we keep this the same to avoid upset especially in the initial stressful time of moving into a new home.
There are many wet and dry foods available along with milk products and treats. As a general rule we normally recommend dry puppy food three-four times daily from 8 wks old. A good premium quality food is recommended to ensure it is balanced and made with quality meat cuts and fresh ingredients. Dry food is better for dental care than wet. In general they stay on puppy food til 1 year old then move onto adult dog food until 7 years old when they move to senior diets. If you have a large breed puppy then we advise they go onto a specific large breed diet which is supplemented to support their fast growth and the stress put on their bones. These puppies must remain on puppy food until 18 months – 2 years old.
The frequency of feeds can be reduced to twice daily when they are over 6 months of age if wanted.
Your puppy should not get milk as they become lactose intolerant as they get older and it upsets their stomach. We recommend water only for fluid intake. The amount of water your pup drinks will depend on their diet. Pups on wet food will drink less than those on dry. If feeding wet try to have a mixture with dry.
Ask our nurses/vets for advice. We have samples of our recommended diets and special promotional offers in place for puppies.
We also have variations within our puppy/adult/senior diets to cater for specific conditions eg; sensitive stomach, small breed kibbles etc Feeding human scraps is not recommended as it is not balanced and can lead to deficiencies in nutrients.
The most common flea for dogs is Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea). Your puppy may contract a flea from another animal, its mother or the environment of the house which has larvae/pupae present.
Fleas are small parasites that live on the skin of your puppy, they feed on blood. One flea can lay up to 200 eggs before it dies. These eggs fall off the pets coat onto the carpets, floors or furniture. The eggs then develop in larvae and then in turn into pupae. The pupae will then become adult fleas continuing on the cycle. The pupae can remain dormant in the environment of your home for a long time and will only hatch when the environment is suitable (vibrations, movements, heat etc) These triggers of movement, heat and vibration are all produced by your puppy playing, moving around and also by central heating within our homes, our walking around, hoovering etc.
Adult fleas only represent 5% of the total flea life cycle, meaning that the other 95% is in your home carpets, beds, seats etc Fleas can be hard to spot on your puppy, they are small and very fast. You might spot flea dirt (faeces), this is small black/brown specks in the coat. This is a sign of an active infection.
Fleas cause multiple problems – they cause irritation to your puppy, skin rashes/lumps from bites, allergies to flea bites causing hair loss and biting self. The fleas feed on your puppies’ blood which in a young puppy can cause weakness and anaemia. Fleas also transmit tapeworm when they feed on your pup. Family members within the house might get small red itchy bite marks. What can you do? Prevention is better than cure.
Prevention – flea treatment, tablets every 3 months or spot-on once monthly. Again there are many products available - tablets, spot-ons, sprays, shampoos, collars etc. Unfortunately again a lot of these products have poor efficacy and it is not uncommon for us to see puppies that have been treated using some of these products to still have fleas.
Here in Rutland we use very effective spot-ons to prevent flea infestation and will kill any fleas your pup gets within 24 hours. We also have flea tablets as an alternative..
The vet/nurse will be able to give you advice and again we have a free weigh and flea treatment service by our trained staff.
If your dog gets fleas then we can help We recommend a flea tablet or spot-on treatment to kill the fleas.
The most important tick species in the UK is Ixodes.
Ticks are generally found in grassland, shrubs, forests, low hanging trees and wait for an animal to brush against them so they can climb on. They are more prominent in warmer weather of March to November.
Once on your dog they will attach to the skin, burrow and feed on their blood. Ticks are small white/brown/red/black swellings normally found around the face/ears, armpits/legs of dogs. Their colour depends on the type of tick and also whether it has ingested blood or not.
Ticks can cause infected swellings, anaemia and transmit diseases to dogs, some of which are zoonotic to humans. If you find a tick seek advice on removal by a vet/nurse to do correctly ensuring no mouth parts are left behind.
Prevention is with veterinary tablets or spot-ons, often combined with flea treatment in one formulation. This is done every 3 months if a tablet or once monthly if as spot-on. It is very important if you have an active dog, go visiting Wales, Peak or Lake districts on holidays or on days out with your dogs..
Ask you vet/nurse for more details and a free weigh/tick treatment with the nurse
This is also a very important thing to do to protect your puppy. Microchipping is a quick, safe procedure which will increase the chances of your dog being returned to you if lost, injured or stolen.
The microchip is a small plastic chip inserted under the skin of your pups neck. Each chip has a unique number linked to it and hence unique to your dog. The number is linked to your personal contact information, name, address, phone numbers which is completed online or by post and registered in a central database. This means if your dog did wander off, get lost, injured and was then presented to any vets, animal shelter, sanctuary, RSPCA, dog warden or police that they can scan your dog, get the number and then return your pet safely back to you.
Your pup can be microchipped at any time by one of the vets but in general it is performed at the time of 2nd vaccination before they start going out for walks etc.
Good dental health begins with the proper diet as discussed above Gold standard care is brushing your dogs teeth
Step 1: Start by dipping a finger in beef paste. Rub this finger gently over your pet's gums and one or two teeth. Repeat until your pet seems fairly comfortable with this activity.Step 2: Gradually, introduce a gauze-covered finger and gently scrub the teeth with a circular motion. Step 3: Then, you can begin to use a toothbrush, either an ultra-soft model designed for people or a special pet tooth-brush or finger brush, which is a rubber finger covering with a small brush built in at its tip. Step 4: Finally, once your pet is used to brushing, introduce the use of pet toothpaste in liquid or paste form. Most of these contain chlorhexidine - ask your veterinary surgeon for their recommendations. Don't use human toothpaste, as it can upset your pet's stomach. Your vet may also advise the use of an antiseptic spray or rinse after brushing.
This term is for boys and girls. Specifically male dogs are castrated and females are speyed. Your puppy can get neutered from 6 months of age. There are also lots of benefits to getting it done.
Castration – will stop your dog developing cancer of the testicles and reduce the chances of prostate enlargement or cancer. It also reduces the risks of certain types of hernias. It can also have calming benefits if the dog is too excitable and in certain types of dominant behaviour. It will not alter your dog’s behaviour if it is normal.
Spey – prevents unwanted pregnancy, stops male dogs stalking your house or pet if she comes into season. It also means you do not have to worry about isolating your dog for 3 weeks twice a year which is the normal season frequency. It will prevent uterine and ovarian cancer. It will prevent uterine infections (pyometra) which can be life threatening. It will also minimise the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
We recommend as standard in our practice to spey your dog before she has had her first season as the benefits in regards to cancer issues is more than if she has a season.
Both of these procedures are DAY procedures so your dog will be admitted and discharged in the same day. They are also generally safe procedures. Any of our vets will be happy to go into more detail and we perform pre-operative health checks on all dogs within a few days of the anaesthetic and operation.
We send all our dogs home with some pain relief after the operation to keep them comfortable. All our dogs also have to wear a collar after surgery to prevent them licking their wounds.
We now have the facility to do laparoscopic spey on female dogs over 8kg weight, this is the removal of the ovaries through small incisions were camera ports and instruments are placed. The procedure means a faster recovery and less pain as smaller incisions. You can discuss this option with the vet at a pre-operative consultation and get an estimate.
Your Puppy will start his/her vaccinations at 8 weeks old. This consists of a primary vaccination course of 2 vaccines at an interval of 2-4 weeks apart, the last one given when the puppy is older than 10 weeks of age.
Vaccines are essential to ensure we look after the health of your new puppy. The vaccines we use within the practice cover the following diseases;
Canine Distemper – this is a fatal disease which is very rare in the UK now thanks to vaccination. It is a fatal disease which is hard to treat and affects multiple organs including the nervous system.
Canine Parvovirus – this is a fatal disease in young dogs were the virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in particular the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. Only a small percentage of pups which get this disease survive.
Canine Parainfluenza- this virus affects the dogs upper airways to cause a nasty cough and can lead to pneumonia in young puppies.
Canine Adenovirus (hepatitis) – this virus attacks the liver and can also affect the dogs eyes, it varies in severity.
Canine Leptospirosis (Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae) – bacterial infection spread by rats urine which can get into the environment or water and leads to kidney/liver damage. If is very sudden and often fatal.
Your puppy is protected by the vaccines immunity >7days after the 2nd injection. Boosters are given annually against all of these viruses to maintain good levels of immunity with a maximum 3 month extension from the date due before restarting the course again.
Within the practice we have a 3 year protocol for our dog vaccines as the immunity against the different diseases varies in length of time, so we do not over vaccinate your pets.
It is also worth considering vaccinating your pup against Tracheobronchitis (Kennel cough) caused by bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and the above virus Parainfluenza. This vaccine is different in that it works locally by absorption through the nasal mucosa (squirted up the dog’s nose, not injected)
This may already have been performed by the breeder/sanctuary before you got the puppy. There are many products available through pet shops and supermarkets consisting of tablets, liquids and spot-ons but unfortunately a lot of these are not very effective and only have a small spectrum of activity, so might only kill one type of worm. As a result we recommend you seek advice from our vets or nurses and obtain a trusted product from ourselves with the professional advice that goes with our products.
The most common worms are roundworms (Toxocara canis) and tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia and Echinococcus). Dogs can also get hookworms, whip worms, heart worms.
Puppies are often infected with worms before they are born through the placenta and also get infected with worms through feeding on the milk from their mother. Worming can be performed from 2wks of age. 2-12 weeks old – worm every 2wks 12-24 weeks – worm once monthly >24 weeks – worm every 3 months (unless your dog eats a lot of slugs/snails or you have children <3yrs old, we then recommend to keep worming at a once monthly interval)
The reason for the last point in relation to your children is that some worms are zoonotic, ie. They can pass from animals to humans and cause disease. Young children are very hands on with their new puppy and puppies love to lick faces and so children are more at risk and also have no hygiene skills yet. The main risk is from a worm called Toxocara which can cause blindness in children. There have been many cases reported in the North West.
We offer a free weigh and worm service within all our branches by trained nurses, these are free of charge, you only pay for the product. This is important as your puppy grows as the dose might alter.
Look out for our promotional offers on worming!!