Puppy Care

Congratulations on your new addition to the family. Dogs make wonderful pets but also need a lot of time and attention. Below are a few introductory notes on the best way to care for your new puppy; however, should you want more information please ask one of our nurses or enquire about puppy preschool classes.


Puppies require vaccinations to ensure full health is maintained. Vaccinations are usually given at 6, 9 and 12 weeks (some vaccine brands require a 16 week final dose against Parvovirus) to cover against Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Infectious Cough. After the puppy course of vaccinations dogs need annual check ups when your vet will advise which boosters are recommended. Keep away from high risk areas (parks) and large dog populated areas until 7-10 days after your puppy’s final vaccination.


Spaying and neutering is best done between five and six months of age.

Females come into heat at around 6 – 8 months of age but this first season is not needed or recommended before spaying. Spaying before six months removes any pregnancy risks, not to mention the ‘hangers on’, the locking away period and the bloody discharge. Neutering prevents dominant male aggression, wandering and of course the male sex drive that will encourage the dog to escape at every possible opportunity.

All de-sexing includes pain relief. Also IV fluids and a pre-anaesthetic blood test are highly recommended during the surgery to increase the safety of the anaesthetic and the costs are additional to the de-sexing cost.

Microchipping and Insurance:

Microchips can be inserted under the skin and are the only guaranteed method of permanent identification for your puppy. We normally insert a microchip at the time of your puppies 2nd or 3rd vaccination, otherwise we can do it when they are being de-sexed. Microchipping of dogs has been a legal requirement for the last 10 years and owners of unchipped dogs can be fined.

Medical insurance can also be obtained for your pet. Please ask one of our staff for brochures about insurance plans available. Pet Plan, Pet n Sur and Southern Cross Pet Insurance are the main pet insurers.

Name tags, with your phone number on them are also a good idea for puppies and dogs.

Flea and Worm Treatments:

Puppies require worming every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age, then routinely every 3 months. DRONTAL tablets should be used as these include tapeworm treatment.

One tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) can be picked up when your dog swallows an infected flea, which is why reducing the flea population also reduces tapeworm infection.

Fleas are a big problem in Auckland and can cause profound irritation in dogs, cats and humans. The majority of summer skin problems in dogs are caused or worsened by flea bites. All cats and dogs in the household should be treated. There are a wide range of flea treatments, and we can discuss with you the best one suited to your situation. Frontline, Nexgard, Advantage,Revolution, Bravecto and Comfortis are a few main treatments used.


There are a large variety of foods available and value is often proportional to cost. A premium puppy food is the best to start on. Premium foods prevent upset stomachs because of their ease of digestion. They also contain all essential vitamins and minerals (including calcium), plenty of essential fats and oils for good coat condition and the protein source are often chicken or turkey based. No additional dietary supplements should be needed. Some examples of premium diets are Eukanuba, Hills and Royal Canin. Milk can cause diarrhoea; therefore don’t allow your puppy access to milk.

Puppy Preschool:

Puppy preschool classes are run at all Vet Hospital Group clinics.

They are a great way to socialize your puppy in a safe and controlled environment, as well as giving you the opportunity to learn about puppy health and behaviour.

It is a great chance to ask questions you may have about toilet training, obedience, bad behaviours starting at home etc. Where appropriate (if beyond the scope of advice we can give), we can refer you to a canine behaviour specialist for those complex issues.

The classes are run one night a week for three weeks, with each class lasting approximately one hour.

Each puppy that graduates will receive a certificate and prize.