Your new Puppy
Now that you have chosen your new puppy, there is some basic information that you need. Please do not hesitate to contact our nursing staff with any questions you may have.
Flea Treatment and Prevention
Dental Health Care
Vaccinations from Ark Vets Galway
Your puppy will need two 7-in-1 vaccinations. A thorough health examination will be carried out at each vaccination visit to ensure your puppy is healthy. We will advise you on all aspects of your puppy’s health, training, diet and behaviour at your first consultation visit.
The vaccinations include protection against:
- Distemper – a virus that causes respiratory, gastrointestinal disease and seizures and is usually fatal
- Hepatitis – two viruses that cause an often fatal liver disease and jaundice
- Leptospirosis – two types of bacteria picked up from rivers, stagnant water or rats causing blood disorders, liver and kidney failure. This can also be transmitted to people.
- Parvo virus – an often fatal viral infection causing bloody vomiting and diarrhoea
- Parainfluenza virus – part of the highly infectious Kennel Cough Syndrome
- Coronavirus – a virus that results in a haemorrhagic gastroenteritis
Puppies can be vaccinated at six weeks and have their vaccination course completed by nine weeks. For complete immunisation, please allow ten days after the second vaccination before you bring your puppy out for its first walk. Early vaccination will allow for early socialisation, enabling your young puppy to learn how to meet and greet other dogs without being aggressive. Re-vaccination is advised every year with a concurrent health examination.
Kennel Cough vaccine: Kennel Cough is a severe croup-like cough, distressing to both dog and owner, which can sometimes progress to cause pneumonia. For full protection, Kennel Cough vaccination is needed every year. This is a requirement of all good kennels.
Feeding advice from Ark Vets Galway
We recommend Hill’s Science Plan Puppy Food for your growing puppy. This is a high quality, super premium, easily digestible food, which results in less stools being passed – and less cleaning up.
The frequency of feeding and amount of food needed will depend on the age and breed of your puppy.
8-12 weeks: 4-5 meals per day
12-16 weeks: 3-4 meals per day
16 weeks of age and over: 1-2 meals per day
Your puppy should have access to fresh clean water at all times and should be fed puppy food until it is one year old.
Avoid offering tit-bits to prevent begging.
Please contact us and talk to one of our nursing staff if you have any enquiries on feeding.
House Training Advice from Ark Vets Galway
This should start on day one. We find the easiest method is to train your puppy to use newspapers, making sure there is an adequate number of papers around the bed. A young puppy will urinate very frequently, approximately 6-10 times daily, and may defecate 2-3 times daily. This is normal behaviour.
Start by bringing your puppy out hourly and remaining with the pup until he has performed. A reward at this stage will reinforce this as a positive behaviour.
Worming your pet
Puppies can have worms from the age of two weeks. Your new pup should be wormed straight away. Worming should be performed every three weeks until your puppy is six months old and every three months after that. If very young children are in contact with your pup, we advise that you de-worm your pet each month. Worms like Toxocara canis can cause human blindness and liver disease, with children being the most susceptible. Although rare, it also is very preventable.
We recommend you use a good quality wormer as the cheaper alternatives are less reliable. Make sure you purchase your wormers from the veterinary surgery for this reason.
Flea Treatment and Prevention
Your new puppy may come with some passengers and will be at risk at picking up fleas if in contact with other animals. We recommend the use of products from the vet, which will be a lot more effective than those from the supermarket or pet store. Old treatments, such as powders and collars, are not efficient at eliminating fleas. Most of the effective flea treatments now come in the form of liquids which are applied to the back of the neck.
All dogs should be treated regularly from April to October to prevent against fleas.
Please contact us if you require further advice and our nurses will be happy to advise you on your individual circumstances.
Neutering at Ark Vets
If you do not intend breeding your dog, we recommend that all pets, male or female, be neutered.
Females: This procedure is called spaying and involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus. A female dog will have her first season between six and 12 months of age. Spaying before the dog’s first season will almost completely eliminate mammary tumours/breast cancers, prevent unwanted puppies, and avoid uterine/womb infections and cancers in later life. The dog’s personality does not change but we do give diet advice to prevent excessive weight gain afterwards.
Males: The main advantages to neutering a male dog are to prevent aggression, fighting, and wandering to find a mate. This procedure is called castration and is carried out between six to ten months of age.
Are there any adverse risks to neutering? A neutered animal requires fewer calories. Neutering, in conjunction with getting older, will mean they are more likely to put on weight. All animals need a correct combination of exercise and feeding to prevent obesity. Getting the correct balance should maintain their correct weight. Our nursing staff offer a free weight watchers clinic for our plumper patients.
Spayed females may be at a slight increased risk of developing urinary incontinence in adult life. This is an uncommon occurrence and usually can be easily managed with medications. Urinary incontinence is also seen in unneutered females.
Microchipping at Ark Vets
If your pup is a pedigree animal, microchipping will have been performed by the breeder in order to register your puppy with the Irish Kennel Club (IKC). It is essential to change your puppy’s registration information on the IKC register.
If your puppy is not microchipped, we recommend you do so. Microchipping is a deterrent against theft and will help re-unite you with your pup if it goes missing. The microchip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin at the back of the neck. This is a relatively painless procedure. The microchip contains a unique barcode, which is registered on fido.ie. We will also give you a tag for your puppy’s collar.
We will offer you free pet insurance for six weeks after your puppy receives its first vaccination with us. We strongly recommend pet insurance for all breeds, not just pedigrees.
We advise that you insure your puppy from a young age, before any pre-existing conditions can limit the insurance. This will prevent the worry of having a sick pet and will remove the burden of veterinary expenses. Pet insurance will also provide third party liability cover if your pup bites or causes an accident.
Many new procedures and cutting edge diagnostic investigations are now available to vets. This allows us to offer the most advanced health care to your pet. These are expensive techniques and pet health insurance allows us to give your pet the best possible health care.
It is important to read and understand these policies carefully.
Dental Health Care
Approximately 75% of all dogs over three years of age suffer from dental disease. Other than breaking teeth, the main dental problem is Periodontal disease, which is the growth of plaque and calculus from food build up. This is caused by incorrect feeding, not chewing bones and a genetic predisposition in breeds like Yorkshire terriers. Also, dogs do not brush their teeth!
Most small breed dogs need their teeth brushed regularly. Please contact us for further information. Our dental nurse will be happy to offer you further advice on dental hygiene and we run free dental hygiene clinics.