How to give your puppy the best start

Congratulations on your new family member! We know this is an exciting, fun and busy time, we have put together some tips on how best to take care of your new puppy.

When you welcome a new puppy we recommend you let it settle in for a few days and get to know each other. After 3 – 5 days you should have your puppy checked with us, here at the Animal Care Hospital. We can advise you on all aspects of puppy care and answer any queries you might have, about how to take care of your new puppy.

We recommend bringing your new puppy in to see us here for a social visit, before any booked appointments to ensure they are relaxed and calm at the hospital.

Photo of black puppy with green grass

Top tips for puppy owners for the first few weeks

  • Remember pet insurance is available for puppies from 8 weeks old.
  • Check if your pup is microchipped already when you buy it, if so ensure to register the micro chip number to your details.
  • If your new puppy is not micro chipped, please arrange an appointment to micro chip your new puppy. It is a legal requirement and it is a very simple procedure.
  •  provides lots of additional information on microchipping
  • Watch our vet Orlaith O’ Mahony demonstrate the microchipping procedure.

Here are some more tips to take the best care of your puppy and ensure they receive the correct treatments, vaccinations and nutrition to give them the best start.

Worming treatments for your puppy  

Most puppies carry roundworms. The eggs of these worms are not visible and are harmful to children. They can be eliminated by using Milbemax or Drontal worm medicine.

  • Worming should be carried out every 2 weeks, from 2 weeks of age until 12 weeks old, then monthly until the pup is 6 months old, then every 3 months for life.

Vaccinations for your puppy

Puppies should not be allowed access to public places until they are fully vaccinated. This involves a series on injections beginning from 8 weeks of age and finishing at between 10 and 12 weeks. They are vaccinated for Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis.

Veterinary Nurse and puppy Animal Care Hospital Douglas

  • All the above are potentially fatal diseases and can be prevented provided effective vaccination is carried out by a veterinary surgeon, and immunity levels are maintained with annual boosters.
  • Remember to bring your pets favourite toy with them when they come to visit, to reduce any stress and provide them with extra comfort.

Feeding your puppy

It is vital to get your puppy started on food that is right for him/her from an early stage. There is a bewildering choice of foodstuffs both tinned and dry (nuts).

  • We recommend you start your puppy on Hills Science Plan. The quality of the food you feed your puppy from day 1 will reflect its overall development. Sticking with a good diet from the beginning will minimise “fussy eaters” and “upset tummies”.

Neutering your puppy

We recommend you discuss this procedure with one of our team. It is important to be fully and correctly informed as to the effects of neutering.

  • We advise that if you have a female dog and do not intend on breeding that you should get her neutered either just before her first season or two to three months after it. The age of the first season is usually six months in most dogs but it can be as late as nine or ten months in larger breeds.
  • Neutering will not make female dog snappy. (All guide dogs are neutered at six months). Neutering your female dog will reduce by 90% the risk of breast cancer (a common cancer in older female dogs), eliminate the risk of womb infections, false pregnancies, heats and unwanted pregnancies.
  • Male dogs – castration of male dogs also decrease the risk of testicular and prostrate problems later in life and can decrease wandering, aggression, mounting and urine marking.

We have lots of fact sheets on our website to help our clients take the best care of their pets.

If you have any questions or need any advice please do give us a call on 021 489 3033.