At Westport Veterinary Clinic we recommend that a puppy health check be carried out within a few days of collecting your puppy, which is why we offer a free consultation for a puppy health check. At this time you can ask any questions that you may have.

Here is some advice to get you started. For a handout version please CLICK HERE.

Vaccinations

Most puppies are born with some immunity, which they get from their mums. This only lasts for up to two months so your puppy needs to be vaccinated to continue the protection.

Regular vaccinations are important to protect against infection with distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis. First vaccinations can be given from 7 weeks of age, followed by a second vaccination 2-4 weeks later, when at least 10 weeks old. Your puppy can start going out for short walks 1-2 weeks after the second vaccination.

After this primary vaccination course it is important to keep your pet up to date with yearly booster vaccinations to ensure continued protection, also a requirement for most kennels. We advise giving the kennel cough vaccination (included in our Friends of Westport scheme) which will help protect against some respiratory infections, which can be picked up anywhere not just from kennels! We can give this after the primary vaccination course.

Diet

Getting the right nutritional balance is very important at all stages in your pet’s life, to ensure healthy development and growth. The best way to achieve this is by feeding a high quality, protein based, balanced diet especially formulated for puppies e.g. Virbac Veterinary HPM.

Veterinary HPM™ is an advanced low-carb, high-protein formulation specifically designed to support the long-term health and well-being of cats and dogs, the highly evolved carnivores in our own homes. Young puppies should be fed around 4 small meals a day when they are 8 weeks old. Feeding frequency can be reduced gradually as meal sizes increase.

Friends of Westport

Prevention is better than cure so we want to make preventative health care easy and affordable. Our Friends of Westport scheme covers the preventative treatments your pet needs throughout life, such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and regular health checks.

Using our scheme can save up to 44% on just the essential preventative health care. Extra benefits include a 10% discount off nearly everything (most products and procedures undertaken exclusively at our practice).

Insurance

We strongly advise getting your new puppy insured as soon as possible, to give you peace of mind that your pet is covered should they need it. A lifetime policy is the most comprehensive cover available. We work in partnership with Petplan to offer 4 weeks free insurance as Immediate Veterinary Cover, we can start the process after your puppy has seen a vet. This will be activated by yourself via the email you receive from Petplan.  Please use this time to look around at the different insurance companies to find out which is best for you. If you have any questions please ask one of our team.

Dental Care

Periodontal disease is a serious but sometimes overlooked health issue; indeed, more than 87% of dogs over 3 years of age have some form of this progressive, degenerative disease. Dogs are very good at hiding dental pain from us, but believe us, it is sore!

The best time to start dental care for your puppy is now! Getting them in a routine is much better and easier than having to start after they already have sore mouths. We also advise using Healthymouth water additive, which has been shown to reduce plaque build up in dogs by an average of 74.3%. At the regular weight checks up until 6-8 months old, our vets and nurses will show you how to introduce teeth brushing and other dental care products.

Flea and Worming treatments

We advise using wormer and flea treatments once monthly until 6 months old. Due to the rapid development and growth all puppies experience at this age, we need regular weight and health checks with the nurse to ensure correct dosing.

The monthly treatment we advise is Prinovox; it provides good, reliable protection against fleas and some worms and is also one of the few products licensed to prophylactically treat lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) when used routinely. Lungworm can cause serious health problems and prevention is always better than cure, especially as we now know it is spreading and has been reported in central Scotland. We advise treating against tapeworm once every 3 months – this is important for your puppys as well as your own protection.

It is important to chose the treatment from your vet who will be able to recommend the most appropriate medications for you situation. Also these treatments have been clinically proven to be safer and more effective than ‘over the counter’ versions bought at pet shops and supermarkets.

All puppys get roundworms from their mothers. They cross the placenta before birth and then from their mother’s milk. Heavy worm burdens can cause serious disease in young animals, including intussusceptions and also pose a human health risk for example visceral larval migrans/ toxocariasis. Dogs can continue to become re-infected throughout life from the environment and from re-activation of dormant larvae within their own bodies, and so ongoing regular worming is a life-long requirement.

Neutering

When your puppy is old enough, you may want to think about getting them neutered (spay or castration). Age of neutering is from 6 months of age depending upon the size of your dog. For large breeds, we advise waiting until they are fully grown before neutering. There are many benefits to neutering; please discuss with one of our team if you have any questions.

If you have any questions please call us at your local branch, contact details are at the bottom of the page.

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