The top tricks to giving a puppy the best start in life!

,

1 – Buy a good puppy!

They look cute and cuddly but are they healthy? Are they in good condition? What vaccinations, worm and flea treatments have they had? Are they puppies from a registered breeder or do they have a dubious history which may involve puppy farms? Be especially wary if they come “from a place near” a country town.  By law, all puppies need to be micro-chipped prior to sale.

2-Organise a Vet Check straight away!

We think this step is so important The Berwick Village Vet offers free puppy health checks as soon as you pick up your new friend. We can discuss everything you need to know and are NOT bound by any contracts with pet shops.

3-Get them wormed!

Our recent experience of dealing with a critically ill puppy, riddled with worms after “having been wormed” makes us think there are lots of puppies out there that have not had the right treatment.  All puppies should be wormed every two weeks from the age of two weeks old through to 12 weeks old. Worms can inflict long term health issues on your puppy, they can also cause issues in you and especially your children.

4-A good diet!

We have many people ask well what is a good diet? Well the Association of American Food Control Officials or AAFCO, have strict guidelines. This association is there to protect the consumer and their dogs by ensuring a level of nutrition in dog foods.  Some dog foods are only licensed as “complimentary foods” not a balanced diet.  Others are “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for all life stages of dogs. This means they haven’t been checked to see if they are nutritionally balanced!  What you want is a statement on the pack saying “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures” to substantiate that the diet is complete and balanced nutrition for the life stage it is advertised for.  Read the pack, and make sure you are giving your puppy the right start!

5-Flea treatment!

A basic, but easily forgotten. Make sure your new friend doesn’t bring fleas home with them.  Make sure you use a product that has a persistent action unlike flea powders and shampoos.

6-Socialisation!

Get them enrolled into puppy school straight away! Most puppy schools are a combination of health, training and socialisation advice for the new pet owner, and more importantly social time for your pup!  Both you and your pup will have a ball! Make sure you go to a good school and don’t be sucked in by a no-fee policy, as they will feel obliged to upsell to you!

7-Vaccination!

Prevention is not only the best it’s the only “cure!” Parvo is the most common of the diseases in a core vaccine, and make no mistake it’s a killer.  Your puppy will have its immune system suppressed, start vomiting and passing bloody diarrhoea until death and sometimes medical intervention isn’t enough! Make sure your puppy is vaccinated at least once before you pick it up, and then speak to us here at the vet clinic about a program that is right for you.