Pet Care Tasmania
Pet Care Tasmania

Puppy Care

*Please click on each heading to read more:

Caring for a puppy that has only recently been removed from mum and the littermates is mostly a warm and enjoyable experience. Your new companion or new member to your family will have some major hurdles to overcome, and so will you. Hopefully you will have done some thinking to make sure that your chosen puppy is appropriate to your circumstances in size, temperament and maintenance requirements. Think of your responsibilities for providing warmth, shelter, feeding, preventative health routines and safety (from the road, other dogs, poisons etc). Is it going to be an inside dog, an outside dog or both?
The young pup has an excellent chance of moulding quickly into your routines. However, the health of the pup, dietary preferences and behavioural traits will quickly fall from your control if your are not sharp. The following notes are provided to help you along the way of being a puppy owner. Don’t hesitate to ask our team if you have a question that concerns you.

The core diseases of main concern throughout the world are distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Canine cough (also known as kennel cough) is not a core disease but it occurs regularly throughout Tasmania and the mainland. There have been various vaccination schedules recommended for pups. At the Ulverstone Veterinary Clinic we believe that we should immunize dogs initially with a standard protocol according to the according to vaccine manufacturer’s claims. Beyond the first year the risks in each situation could be assessed individually. Unless there is a very high risk the initial vaccination with a C3 vaccine should be given at 6 to 8 weeks of age. This is also a most important time to be checking the pup for health issues and discussing your progress as a pup owner.

Regrettably behavioural problems are frequently seen in young puppies including aggression, and anxieties. Most certainly don’t leave it too late to seek help in the management of behaviour problems as there is an unacceptable high rate of euthanasia of pups that fail to meet the expectations of owners . Early puppy schooling is an excellent way to socialize pups and educate the family in current approaches to enriching the human animal bond.

Routine deworming in Tasmania does not require heartworm treatment, as this disease has not been reported here. Our clinic recommends deworming each 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, with a liquid, paste or tablet depending on the pup’s size. At 12 weeks of age until the age of 6 months medications can be given once monthly. Thereafter 3 monthly intervals are recommended for worm treatment with a broad-spectrum product. In Tasmania we are particularly keen to maintain a hydatid free status by the regular deworming of at risk dogs. Remember that deworming medications need to be given according to body weight. Feel free to use our digital scales and ask our staff for appropriate treatments. They can even send you a reminder when treatments are due.

If you are seeing fleas then these should be treated. Be wary of some products that are not safe for young pups. An excellent choice for young pups is a topical ( on the skin ) product that treats fleas, mites and worms. Talk to our staff about this.

Be sure to encourage a variety of foods. Commercial moist and dried diets are usually excellent, so are home prepared rations. Be aware of overfeeding meat. Introduce raw bones early for chewing. Chicken wings or necks and lamb shanks are suitable. Avoid sawn bones and sharp edged bones.

At present it is a legal requirement that your pup is microchipped for identification purposes at or before 6 months of age. If the Breeder or Pet Shop has informed you that the pup is already microchipped then you will need to have a form to certify this, and you will need to make sure that the pup’s details on this form are registered to your contact details.
It is a simple procedure but it is often the owner’s preference for it to be done at the time of desexing (age 6 months). We strongly recommend that an additional means of identification be given such as a collar with a name/phone number as quite simply it is more likely that the dog will be returned to you quickly from a named tag without the need for finding a vet or dog ranger with a scanner.

This is generally done at 5 to 6 months of age. In males that are desexed there is a significant reduction in the chance of contracting cancer in the prostate, anal area and reproductive tract. They are also less likely to roam, show territorial or mounting behaviour. Females that are desexed before their first heat are 200 times less likely to have mammary cancer than a non-desexed female dog! The infection of the uterus called pyometron is also common in the non-desexed female dog.
Desexing eliminates this risk. Despite a popular myth there is no advantage in having a heat period or a litter prior to desexing.

Annual health examinations are an important part of maintaining a healthy and happy companion. This is an important part of preventative medicine where a vet may detect a problem and apply early treatment.
The annual exam in a dog is somewhat equivalent to a human health exam each 6 to 7 years by a GP.

6 Weeks * *   *    
8 Weeks   *     *  
10 Weeks   *        
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16 Weeks * *   * *  
5 Mths   *     *  
6 Mths     * * * *
15 Mths *          
Then Monthly         *  
Each 3 Mths   *     *  
Yearly *