New Puppy?Advice for new puppy owners
Free Consultation (Monday to Friday Only)
There is a lot to go through when a new puppy arrives and so we offer a free ‘get to know you’ consultation to ensure that your puppy gets off to the best possible start in life. Simply phone the surgery to register your new puppy and book an appointment. Please note that any treatment will be charged.
There are many right ways to feed a dog, and others less so. We stock most of the major quality brands, any we don't stock can be ordered in for you at your request and we have no objection to RMB (Raw Meaty Bones). Every puppy's situation is unique and our aim is to make it easy for you to make the necessary decisions.
This is IMPORTANT. We advise a course of three initial injections at 8, 10-12, and 14-16 weeks. We vaccinate against the core diseases Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. To complete the course, the puppy has a booster vaccination at 15 months, and annual boosters for some of these diseases every year thereafter as appropriate. This is in accordance with the WSAVA recommendations and has been proven to be safe, to protect dogs in the face of challenge and to be the one simple way to prevent an epidemic. We believe strongly that this is the best course of action and to encourage its uptake, if the puppy has the first two injections with us, the third is FREE. Kennel Cough is not life threatening like the core diseases above but is on the rise. It can be very distressing and occasionally serious. We advise that all puppies should be vaccinated against Kennel Cough. It can be given from 8 weeks, with the other vaccines.
There is no rabies in this country, but Rabies vaccination (following Microchipping) is mandatory for travelling abroad. The vaccine can be given from three calendar months (not 12 weeks) and the dog may travel 21 days later. We will produce your Pet Passport during this time. This vaccine can be given with other vaccinations but not with the Leptospirosis 4 vaccine where a 2 week gap must be given.
Microchipping is proof of ownership, a near guarantee of quick return if your puppy is lost or stolen and is the starting point for the Pet Passport. It involves a simple injection and can be done at any time often at about 10 weeks. In giant breeds we may leave it a little longer as the chip may migrate under the folds of skin as the puppy grows. The puppy is registered for life with Petlog (run by the Kennel Club) who hold the central computerised database.
The single most important element in ensuring a long and happy partnership with your puppy is proper socialisation. The window for socialisation is between 6 and 14 weeks. After that time the puppy can still be trained to accept new routines, new people, dogs etc, but it will be a much slower process. So, as soon as your puppy has settled in (2-3 days) expose him/her to whatever he/she is likely to encounter on a day to day basis (trips to the supermarket in the car, crowds of children coming out of school, loud music, even louder trucks and sirens). There are many puppy classes (we have lists). Training must be consistent, kind and sensible (we can recommend further reading). The bottom line: out and about on a collar and lead as early as possible.
We absolutely and unreservedly recommend that all dogs should be insured against veterinary fees. Animal medication and treatment is unavoidably expensive, more so if you don't have insurance. 'Stuff happens' and this is the one simple way to mitigate unmanageable fees. We work with all insurance companies, offering advice and support as appropriate.
There is no one right answer when it comes to neutering. Both males and females can be neutered from 8 weeks, but at Cuffe Vets we do not neuter any dog or bitch less than 6 months old. Although the general veterinary trend is towards routine and early castration of males, we only recommend castration in specific cases, and each case is determined on its merits. Castration is not a solution to incipient aggression, adolescent wanderlust, or wayward behaviour; it may help if coupled with proper training. With females (bitches) there again is a trend towards early routine neutering. We believe that spaying is in the bitch's interest in most cases and in general we prefer to spay 3 months after the first season has been completed. We can and do spay from 6 months however, for owner convenience or in high-risk situations.
Fleas, Worms & Other Parasites
Fleas will always be with us, and all dogs get worms (often in utero, so they are born with them!). We strongly advise regular worming and flea treatment for both their sake and yours. There are many different products available and we will advise you on the most effective route. Puppies must be wormed every two weeks from weaning to 12 weeks. Thereafter, worming is done every three months, unless a monthly Spot-On (kills worms as well as fleas) is being used. Lifestyle will dictate the best routine and we are here to help you decide.For more detail, come and talk to us in person! We are always delighted to welcome you and your new puppy into the practice.