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Puppy & Kitten Care Essentials

Knowledgebase

The first two months in the new home

Congratulations!

You are expecting to hear the pitter patter of tiny paws. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know about puppies and kittens!
There are a few things that you need to know in order to give your puppy the best start to life with you. First things first, once you pick up your new fur baby, register with us so we can help you both enjoy a long, happy and healthy life together.

Medical Essentials

Vaccinations

Just like human babies, puppies and dogs need vaccinations to protect them from a range of diseases. Some diseases are fatal, so please don’t put your puppy at risk!

It is recommended that you vaccinate your dog at the following ages

  • 6-8 weeks old*
  • 11-12 weeks old 
  • 16 weeks old

* The first vaccination is usually given by the breeder or rescue organisation, you should receive a proof of vaccination.

When you visit the vet clinic with your puppy keep it in your arms or in a carrier until you enter the consult room.  
Do not take your puppy out into public places until your veterinarian advises that it is safe to do so.
If you would like detailed information on our vaccination protocols and safe socialisation options for young puppies, please click here.

Parasite Prevention

Worms and fleas can cause significant illness in puppies and large infestations have been known to kill young animals. As such, we recommend that you routinely treat to prevent parasites:

  • Intestinal worms: every 2 weeks, and then switch to monthly treatments when your puppy is over 12 weeks old
  • Fleas: monthly, ensuring the product is appropriate for the puppy’s age
  • Heartworm: monthly, or via a long acting treatment

It is extremely important that you weigh your puppy before applying the treatment, and give a dose that is more than adequate for their current weight.
If you have any questions about what to use, when or how, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our friendly nursing staff can provide advice over the phone, you can also book a complimentary nurse puppy health consult, for a more detailed discussion, weight check and assistance with administration of any products purchased on the day.

Growth & Development

Diet

From little things big things grow… What you feed your puppy is very important. Giving them a good start in life is the best thing you can do to ensure they will be happy and healthy for years to come.

Many things such as size, breed, age, exercise and growth rates need to be taken into account when considering the best food for your puppy. It is recommended that you feed specific puppy food, to ensure they can grow to their full potential and avoid diet-related health problems.
In Australia, pet food must clearly state if they are a complete diet for pets, or a supplement, so look for diets that are clearly labelled as a complete diet for puppies.
We can help you choose the best option whether you have a large breed puppy (25 kg+ as an adult) who needs a puppy food formulated to ensure proper bone and muscle growth, or a small breed puppy with a little mouth who may need smaller kibble.

Foods  to avoid: 

  • bones (raw and cooked)
  • raw meats, particularly chicken
  • home cooked diets, unless the diet was formulated by a veterinary nutritionist
  • hard chews & treats
Puppy Preschool Classes

A puppy’s “socialisation period” ends at around 4 months old, it is extremely important that you give your puppy a range of positive, and varied, social experiences before this time. Puppy Preschool Classes at Newtown Veterinary Clinic are a 4 week class that covers basic training and how to take care of your new pup. These classes are held regularly but we recommend that you book early, to secure your puppy a spot.

Desexing

It’s never too early to think about preventing an unplanned pregnancy – a 6 month old puppy can become pregnant! Speak with us today to find out the appropriate age to desex your dog to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Health issues

If your puppy is acting flat or unwell in any way, please immediately seek veterinary attention. Puppies can deteriorate quickly, so it is vital that you act quickly. You can call our clinic or Geelong Animal Emergency after 5pm.

Other Things…

Identification

It is compulsory for all cats & dogs to be microchipped and registered with the council.
In addition to the microchip, your puppy should wear some sort of external, waterproof identification that clearly displays your phone number.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you consider pet insurance and encourage you to do your own research on which policy is best for your pet and financial situation. Standard inclusions vary from policy to policy, and prices vary depending on the pet’s breed and age. Comprehensive and independent information on pet insurance is available on the Choice website.

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