Vaccinations provide protection from preventable and life-threatening diseases. Dogs are vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, & Parvovirus, commonly called a C3 injection. As well as Bordetella and Parainfluenza (Kennel Cough), this is added to make a C5 injection.
Your puppy should receive a vaccination at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks of age. The sequence goes, C3, C5, C3. They are then vaccinated annually for the rest of their lives.
We recommend to avoid areas with a high volume of dog traffic such as the dog park until 1 week after your puppy's 12 week vaccination. Not only can the dog park carry a few unwanted bugs it can be a bit too overwhelming for a puppy whilst in its critical phase. Areas such as the footpaths around your local area or meeting with your friends friendly & vaccinated dogs are fine. This is actually great positive exposure for your puppy.
It is very important to ensure your dog's vaccinations up to date. During their vaccination consult they receive a 'toe to tail' health check, this is an opportunity for them to have their ears, eyes, lumps and bumps checked early before any problems arise or become worse. Most boarding kennels, day care, groomers and dog training classes also require the dogs in attendance to be up to date with their vaccinations and provide a certificate of proof.
Flea & Tick Protection
Paralysis ticks are very common on the Northern Beaches and pose a huge health risk to your dog. Puppies should be on tick protection from 8 weeks of age. Before putting your puppy/dog on any tick & flea medications it is essential to weigh them to pick the right dosage. We recommend popping into the clinic to see us for this. Once at the clinic our nurses can weigh your pet, demonstrate a tick search, discuss the signs & symptoms of tick paralysis and help pick the right product for you. Below is a short summary of the products we frequently recommend for fleas, ticks, worming & heartworm protection.
Your puppies worming schedule should have already begun with their breeder or rescue organisation at 2 weeks of age. They are then wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly till they are 6 months old. From 6 months they should be wormed every 3 months for life.
The intestinal worms being treated for are: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. As well as causing discomfort to your puppy, these worms can be passed out through their faeces and transferred to yourself or your children, so keeping on top of your puppies worming schedule is essential.
Microchipping & Council Registration
Microchips are compulsory in NSW & with Northern Beaches Council. They provide permanent identification for your dog and ensure if they are lost and brought into the vet or picked up by council ranger they can find their way home safely.
It is really important that you keep your pets microchip details updated and current. Ensuring, if you change phone numbers, home addresses or transfer ownership, that this is reflected on the pets microchip. It is also compulsory to register your pet with the Northern Beaches council. Registration is significantly cheaper if your pet is desexed.
Both, updating your pets details & registration can be done online at https://www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au/.
Desexing is usually performed between 4 - 15 months of age, depending on your dogs sex and breed. It is best to discuss desexing your pet at your vet appointments to decide when is right for you and your dog.
We recommend desexing at Belrose Vet because it reduces many health risks throughout your pets life such as, pyometra (infection of the uterus), testicular cancer, anal masses and unwanted litters. It can also reduce mate seeking behaviours that could result in escaping & car accidents.
Desexing is performed under a general anaesthetic and your pet is only required to stay for the day. After returning home that night they will need to be rested for a few days, and slowly ease back into their normal routine.
Surgery bookings can be made in person or via phone booking. Please call or pop by to discuss booking in your pet and we can explain the procedure and after care instructions.
Starting a good dental care routine from an early age with your dog is a great way to reduce their chances of needing professional dental work. Daily brushing of your dogs teeth using a pet specific toothbrush & paste is the most proven way to maintain their oral health. During your vet consultation we can show you how to brush your dogs teeth and pick out the right toothpaste for you, they commonly come flavoured in chicken or beef!
We do recognise daily brushing is tough in today's busy world, if so, even just once a week with dental chews such as orivet in between, and a dental diet daily, would be a recommended option.
Unfortunately sometimes dental disease will still occur with age. Tartar build up and loose teeth will become very painful for your pet & needs to be treated. Luckily we can help with our dental x-ray technology and in-house dental equipment. A dental procedure o your pet does require a general anaesthetic but similar to desexing only requires a day visit.
Diet & Exercise
Puppies are in a very important growth phase during their first year of life. It is essential during this phase they are being fed puppy specific food to aid proper bone growth. We recommend high quality dry food, that is suitable for your dogs breed. Supermarket brands often are low quality and are not recommended. Often breeder will encourage raw feeding or home cooked diets. These diets involve a lot of research & preparation to ensure you are including everything your puppy needs and often result in an unbalanced product. If you are considering these diets it is essential you discuss them with your vet first and ensure you are meeting your puppies requirements. It is essential to always have fresh water available for your dog.
It is also important not to overfeed your dog throughout their life. Overweight dogs can face a multitude of health problems throughout their life. Popping into the clinic regularly for a weight and body score check is recommended and welcomed by our team.
This leads to exercise! Exercise helps prevent obesity and the associated health risks with it. It is also a great tool to ensure your dog is expending its extra energy, both physically and mentally. Regular exercise can reduce separation anxiety, excessive barking, digging and other unwanted behaviours.
We do not recommend long walks, runs or bike rides until puppies are older. Intense exercise can easily be too much on their development. If you are unsure please ask us in clinic or call to ensure you are doing the right amount of exercise for your dog.
Grooming & Nails
The grooming requirements of dogs varies with each breed, although we encourage all dogs to be brushed regularly from a young age. Starting out with a soft brush and using treats as a reward it is great to get your dog used to being brushed, with both their head, ears and feet touched gently. Not only will this remove the loose hair and dead skin from their coat, it will encourage them to not fear being touched and can make veterinary examinations a less scary experience. After your puppy is used to, and comfortable with having their feet touched you could introduce nail trimming. We recommend taking the process slow and ensuring you avoid cutting too far down the nail and hitting the blood vessels in the nail base. If you are at all unsure how to safely cut your dogs nails please consult us and we can do it for you.
Contrary to popular belief dogs do not have to be washed often. Once a month, or even every two months is sufficient. If you do choose to wash your dog, dot not use human shampoos, they are too harsh on your dogs skin and can cause allergic reactions. We recommend the puppy and gentle shampoos from the Blackmores PAW range.
Puppy Preschool and Training
At Belrose Vet we believe puppy preschool and training is essential to provide the best start to your puppies life and ensure they fit seamlessly into yours! Everyone wants to be able to take their pet to the park, a friends house or to the local cafe and have a well behaved dog - but this does require teaching, the repetition of positive behaviours and appropriate socialisation during your puppies critical learning phase.
Puppies have a critical learning phase is between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. This is when we recommend joining one of our puppy schools or hiring a dog trainer to work with you and your puppy. Click on our puppy preschool tab for information about our upcoming classes and recommended dog trainers on the Northern Beaches.