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Puppy advice

Advice to help with your new pack member

Shh! She is still sleeping.

We love to see you at the practice with your new pups - it truly is one of the perks of the job!

We love getting to know them with you and watching them grow. we always consider them to be part of the Charlesworth family - but we do also realise that being a puppy parent is a lot of hard work and a lifetime commitment and we want to support you all the way - the following is some advice we hope will help you on your journey.

Where do I find my new pup?  Which type of dog is best for me? 

If you are considering a puppy but are still unsure, please do get in touch - we would be happy to talk things through and advise you. Puppy farming is unfortunately a huge problem at the moment and causes so much suffering, so it would be very wise to do lots of research before you start looking - take a look at the the following link for lots of guidance on buying pets safely or please do check out rescue centres.

There is also a welfare initiative called The Puppy Contract that will help you and help protect animals from unscrupulous breeding - please do check it out here.

Bringing them home 

When you have your gorgeous new pup do give us a call to register their details - our reception team will chat with you and let you know what to do. It’s important to let your little one settle in gently at home for a few days before a first vet visit, this will help reduce their stress levels. If your pup seems unwell at all then please do not hesitate to get in touch, as poorly pups can deteriorate very rapidly.

When you bring your pup to the practice it is a nice idea to also bring their familiar blanket and toy, maybe a few favourite treats to help them feel at home. Try to let them go to the toilet before the visit and don't feed them lots just before a journey, as they may get car sick. It’s also a good time for them to wear their little collar or harness and lead, as they will need to get used to these, but please do carry them and don't allow them onto the waiting room floor.

The following advice is a link to the Purina Puppy website, its packed with great info and will really help you with those tricky first days and all the days afterwards!

Click here for more information

 The following are a few of our top tips for pup parents 

  • Neutering
  • Nutrition
  • Socialisation
  • Toilet Training
  • Vaccinations
  • Worms and Fleas

Neutering

We recommend neutering your dog when they are at the right age and stage of development - this will guard against future health problems such as womb infections, mammary cancer, testicular and prostate disease. If you wish for your dog to be neutered for behavioural issues, we will need to chat about this. Please do bring your pup in for an adolescent check when they are around 6 months old - we will see how they are doing and talk more about neutering, what it involves and any other issues you may be having with your canine 'Teen', as this can be another tricky time for pup parents - please do check out this link from Purina for lots of great advice.

Nutrition

Do ask your breeder or rescue centre to let you have specific feeding instructions to follow at home - they should hopefully provide you with some of pup's usual food to keep you going. It’s important not to make any sudden changes to their diet or feed them inappropriate new foods as this could upset their digestion. Puppies need a balanced, good quality diet that is correct for their age, size and breed and will meet all of their nutritional needs as they grow. The following link has lots of advice to help you feed your new pup.

Socialisation

 A well socialised pup grows into a happy dog! But it's so important not to just expose your pup to everything you can think of in a haphazard way. Try to help your pup learn about the world using registered behaviourist recommended methods, these will support their natural curiosity and encourage them to enjoy and adapt to their environment and everything in it in positive ways. Please do have a look at the APBC website for lots of advice from accredited behaviourists, as these early, sensitive weeks are a critical time for your puppy's emotional development . .  Its best to take things slowly and always supervise them with new people, pets and situations - try to ensure they have good experiences and try to avoid an upsetting encounter. We strongly advise 'Happy Visits' these are informal drops at the vets for a hello or a scheduled nursing appointment for some pleasant experiences to help pup get used to us and limit any future stress.The key is let your pup get used to new things gradually - supervise their playtimes with suitable, engaging toys - learn doggy body language so you can read their moods & emotions and understand their more subtle behaviours; ask advice about how to be a great pup parent! It’s a good idea to try to ensure your pup has regular, gentle handling and grooming of their sensitive areas, ears and feet - have a look at their little teeth and ask our nurses to show you how to gradually get them used to brushing - treats are a great way of helping them adapt and remember the experience as a good one. You may want to consider some puppy training classes when they are fully vaccinated - do have a look at the following link for more advice about socialisation.

Toilet Training

There are bound to be some accidents and that's ok! Try not to get upset - just clear it away without a fuss and reward and praise them when they get things right.  Puppies will have the odd mishap indoors, they are babies after all, but they will learn to go outside in their own time and should be given plenty of opportunities to do so - with lots of positive rewards and encouragement they will get there! Do check out the section on the Purina website for lots more advice

Vaccinations

Of course your pup will need vaccinations as soon as they are able - it may be the case that they have already had an initial vaccine at 6 weeks old - do ask your breeder or rescue centre for their records as this is important information for your Vet. Give the practice a call and they will advise you when to book in - we will usually give a vaccine at 8 weeks and another at 10 weeks then at 12 weeks. Your vet will advise you depending on your pups age and vaccine history. We may also administer a microchip at 8 weeks old if your pup has not yet had one, as this is required by law - ask your team for details.  Your pup will have a full health examination with the vet when they visit. The nurses will also love to meet your pup for a Puppy Talk and a cuddle - there is lots of info and advice they can impart.  Do check out our Pet Health Plan - this will entitle you to savings, discounts and allow you to spread the cost of your companion's routine health care throughout their lives. We also strongly recommend Insurance - this will give you peace of mind that the bulk of your vet fees will be covered in the event of illness or injury.

Worms and Fleas

It is likely your pup may have Worms when you take them on - worms are passed on to them by their mother and so they are often born with them or easily contract them - we recommend that puppies are wormed monthly until they are 6 months old - they will need to pop in for a weigh and worm as they do grow very fast! - Fleas and other skin parasites may or may not be present, but preventative treatments will be recommended. Please do ask your breeder or rescue centre for their record of worming and any flea treatments they have had. This is important information for your Vet.  Please do contact the practice before you treat them for parasites or wait for your first visit - as any products used must be appropriate and suitable for their age and weight.

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