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Getting a puppy

Getting a new puppy

There's a lot to think about when you are getting a puppy when all you really want to do is enjoy the moment. Don't worry, we will guide you through. In the meantime here's a quick rundown of what needs to happen when and what to expect.


Puppies receive some immunity from the mother’s milk when they are 1st born. This immunity slowly decreases over 2-3 months, which is when we vaccinate to boost their immunity to a protective level for longer.

These vaccinations are given from 6-8 weeks, the second vaccination should be given after 10 weeks and there should be at least 2 week between vaccinations. It can take up to 2 weeks after the second vaccination for full immunity to be reach, after this time it is then safe to take your puppy out into the big world to explore.

We recommend a book call The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey which you can get from the practice.

Your puppy will be vaccinated against:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus

Once the primary course is given they need a yearly booster for the rest of their life to ensure immunity is kept at an effective level.

Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough is a separate vaccination, it is given by a spray up the nose, this is found to be the most effective way to give this vaccination. It is a yearly vaccination protecting against:

  • Canine Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica

It is not an essential vaccination for day to day, but it is spread by close contact between dogs. We recommend that if your dog is highly socialised or is going into kennels that they are give this vaccination.


Puppies can be infected with roundworms before they are born or after through the mothers milk. It is important to have a good worming regime in place to help the puppy fight against any worms they may have contracted. We recommend worming every 2 weeks till they are 12 weeks old and then every month till 6 months of age. It is always a good idea to book in with a nurse to have your puppy weighed before worming to ensure they are receiving the correct dose. When your puppy is 6 months old we will do a lifestyle assessment with you and a decided worming protocol for your pet.

It is important to worm your dog through out their life as tapeworms are also common in puppies and adult dogs. The worms are transmitted by indigestion of fleas which carry Tapeworm eggs. Although you may never see a flea on your animal it only takes one flea to give your dogs worms.

Fleas and Ticks

We recommend regularly treating your pet against fleas and ticks. There are a few products on the market which we recommend varying from spot on to tablet. The best way to choose an appropriate treatment is to speak to a member of staff who will discuss your lifestyle and therefore the best treatment protocol for your pet.

Fleas and ticks can carry diseases that are not only harmful to your pet but also you. With the winters becoming milder we have seen a large increase in fleas and flea infestations. It is more important now then ever before to protect you’re pet against fleas and ticks.

ID Chip

In 2016 it will be law that every dog must be ID chipped. The ID chip is placed in the back of the neck using a large needle; your puppy will feel a quick scratch and may yelp but will soon forget all about it. We normally ID chip at 2nd vaccination, but it can be done earlier or later depending on each individual puppy. The ID has a unique number to your puppy which is read using a special scanner. Your information is kept on a secure database which can only be accessed by people with an access code e.g. Police, Vets or Dog warden.

It is very important that your information is kept up to date on the database so that if your pet ever goes missing you can be reunited as soon as possible.


People tend to think it's only older pets that get ill and therefore younger pets don't need pet insurance but we know from the patients we see each day that that is not the case.

In fact, the younger your pet is when you insure them the better as it means you are less likely to have any existing conditions, which may not be covered by the policy and you can then receive more help covering the cost of any future treatment your pet needs.

It is important to note that not all pet insurance is the same. There are many different types of policy available and the level of cover provided can vary considerably. The four main types of policy are as follows:

  • Accident: provides cover for accidents only and no cover for illness
  • Time-Limited: provides cover for a set amount of time (usually 12 months) and after this period the condition is excluded
  • Maximum Benefit: provides cover up to a maximum amount of money per condition and once this limit is reached the condition is excluded
  • Lifetime: provides a set amount of money each year which is refreshed each time you renew your policy allowing you to continue to claim for ongoing conditions

As you can see from the information above, the type of policy you choose can have implications for the veterinary care of your pet and the costs you will face so it's important to choose the right cover.

Sometimes, the cheapest insurance can cost you more in the long run. When shopping around for a policy, we suggest that you ask the following questions to allow you to compare the overall value you are getting, not just the price:

  1. Does this policy cover congenital, hereditary, hip-related, dental and behavioral conditions?
  2. Is there a time or monetary limit on how long this policy will cover ongoing conditions for?
  3. If I claim, will my premium increase?

Unlike other forms of insurance it is not easy to switch pet insurance in the future as any pre-existing conditions your pet has are likely to be excluded so it's important to do your research and choose the right cover from the start.


Nutrition is a very important part of owning a puppy. Your puppy is growing and developing every day and it is important that their nutritional needs are met to ensure they have the best start in life. Malnutrition at an early age can lead to many different problems in later life. It is important your puppy is feed a well balanced, high quality puppy food. We recommend Hills Vet Essentials as we know that they have put many years of research into there food to ensure it is balanced for a puppy’s growth and development. The nursing team is here to help you with your puppies development and can help you with selecting an appropriate diet.


We recommend neutering from 6 months of age. There are many health benefits to neutering your pet; it reduces the risk of some cancers, seasons and uterine infections in females and unwanted litters. It is personal preference if to spay females before or after the 1st season. We recommend booking in for a free nurse health check at 5-6 months of age to assess your pets maturity pre neutering.

Socialisation and Training

It is important to socialise your puppy at a young age, the more training and experiences they encounter at a young age the more rounded an adult dog you will have. Your puppy will learn best between 6 – 14 weeks as they are the most out going at this age and view very few experiences as a negative experience. It can be hard to socialise your puppy at such an early stage in their life due to the vaccination, but it is important to use this time to have them handled by family, strangers, introduced to vaccinated dogs and puppies.

Local training clubs are an ideal way of ensuring socialisation and dog/owner participation in basic training methods. Other means of training available involve one to one methods, ideally involving both owner and dog with a trainer or sometimes sending the dog away to be trained. However these are certainly less fun and sometimes not as successful as the owner/pet participation and are often reserved for problem animals that have to undergo behavioural therapy.

We welcome all puppies to our Puppy socialisation classes. All puppies should have had their 1st vaccination 5 days before their 1st session and bring proof of vaccination with them. For more information please ask a member of staff. Click here to learn more about our puppy socialisation classes.

We also recommend a book call The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey. The book is step by step guide to training and behaviour to help you to achieve a well rounded puppy. You can purchase the book from the practice for £8.

Nurse Clinics

We offer all our clients Free nurse clinics. Our nursing team is here to help you with any questions or concerns.