Introducing a new puppy
Introduce your puppy to the household gradually-it can be an overwhelming experience for a young puppy, especially if you have other pets and young children. Initially, we suggest you place your puppy in a puppy pen or crate with a warm bed and allow him or her to become accustomed to their surroundings. An Adaptil Diffuser can help reduce stress during this period of change.
Introduce your puppy gradually to the rest of the household. A crate can also be useful to introduce your puppy safely to other pets-we advise you do not leave them together unattended until your new puppy is well established
Crate training creates a “safe den” for your puppy, helping them to settle and feel secure, both in the home and when travelling in the car. The crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand, turn round and lie down in comfortably and must be NOT be used as a punishment.
Puppies generally indicate when they are about to go to the toilet by sniffing and turning in circles. When they do so, encourage them to follow you outside to a suitable place and praise then for going in the correct area. Confining your puppy to a small area, watching carefully for any signs, and regular trips to the toileting area will reduce the risk of accidents. Do not punish your puppy if they do have an accident as this can create stress, which may increase soiling.
Encouraging your puppy to sleep overnight in a crate can also assist with house training, as most dogs do not normally soil their bed area.
It is not unusual for previously house trained puppies to forget their toilet training when introduced to a larger and more stimulating environment. Please contact us if you are having difficulty with toilet training or if you see abnormal stools or urine.
Routine vaccinations are available against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.
Puppies require two vaccinations initially to fully stimulate the immune system. It is important to complete the course to give optimum protection.
The first vaccine is generally given at 6-8 weeks of age with the second dose 4-6 weeks later. The second dose must be given at at least 10 weeks of age so that the mother’s antibodies do not interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine. Puppies can go out safely a week after the second vaccination. However, to aid socialisation we suggest you allow your puppy to mix with healthy vaccinated dogs in a safe environment, such as your own garden, from one week after the first vaccination.
Kennel Cough is a single-dose intranasal vaccine which is recommended for all dogs which are likely to have regular contact with other dogs. It is a requirement at most boarding kennels and many training classes and dog clubs. Rabies vaccination is required prior to travelling abroad under the Pet Passport scheme.
Puppies have a sensitive developmental period which lasts until approximately 14-16 weeks of age. It is important to gently introduce your puppy to different people, dogs and other pets, travelling, different environments and experiences as early as possible to reduce the risk of fear induced behaviours and aggression later in life.
During this period try to avoid overly noisy, stimulating or stressful situations early on, but build up the strength of the stimuli gradually.
Birth to 3 weeks - gentle handling by men, women and older children if possible.
3 weeks to 6 weeks - gradual exposure to household noises, normal domestic environment, regular gentle handling and start grooming.
6 weeks to 10 weeks - introduce to visitors, postman, car journeys, vaccinated dogs in the home environment. Start to accustom to being left unattended for short periods. Ensure that you can add or take away food from your puppy’s bowl while it is eating.
10-16 weeks - gradually introduce stronger stimuli such as street noises, crowds, children’s play areas, traffic. Start puppy socialisation classes. Avoid dogs that are badly behaved or aggressive in public as this may give a negative experience.
16 weeks onward - continue to reinforce the lessons learned until social maturity, typically after 12 months of age.
Your puppy should receive a good quality complete wet or dry diet, which will supply all your puppy’s nutritional needs. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount to feed, but remember these are guidelines only. Young puppies should be fed little and often, generally 3-4 small meals a day. Any changes in the diet should be done gradually. We suggest that you avoid cow’s milk as it often causes diarrhoea, but your puppy should have fresh water available at all times. Take care with treats.
Puppies are very susceptible to parasites as their immune system is less well-developed. Roundworms are especially common and are zoonotic, which means they can cause disease in people, particularly young children.
Puppies may also carry tapeworm, most commonly picked up through grooming and ingesting fleas, but also, in older puppies, by hunting or scavenging. Fleas and ear mites (which cause accumulation of dark wax and irritation of the ears) are also common.
As a routine, we suggest treatment with Stronghold or Advocate drops (which cover fleas, mange mites,ear mites and roundworm, plus lungworm in the case of Advocate) at around the time of first vaccination, plus treatment with a Milbemax or Endoguard tablet (which covers tapeworm) at around the time of second vaccination. There-after, monthly Stronghold/Advocate and three-monthly Milbemax/Endoguard treatments are generally required, although we may suggest an alternative regimen depending on the presence and risk of parasites. Please discuss this with your Vet.