Congratulations with your new pup!

To guide you as well as we can with the development from pup to an adult dog we have put some important information in this letter.

Chipping

Since 2013 it is required for all pups from 7 weeks old to be chipped. Most pups leave their mom at an age of 8 weeks, so your pup probably already has a chip. This chip is under the skin and has a unique number which identifies your dog. It is important that your dog is registered to your name and address. You can check this on www.chipnummer.nl. If your pup isn’t registered yet, you can arrange this on the website www.ndg.nl.

Deworming

The most common worms in dog are called Toxocara Canis. This worm can cause problems such as losing weight, vomiting and diarrhoea. All pups are infected through the uterus and the mother’s milk with these worms. Also after they have left their mother a lot of pups still get worms by licking their fur or by eating faeces and other things on the street. These worms are also contagious to humans and most important, to children. Clearly it is very important to deworm your pup! Below are the ages when the pup needs his/her deworming:

  • 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 weeks old
  • 3, 4, 5, and 6 months old
  • after that 4 times every year, for the rest of his/her life

For a proper deworming we advise Milbemax® (chewable) tablets. When a pup turns 6 months, it is also possible to examine his stool to check if deworming is necessary. We can do this at our clinic and provide same-day results. More information about worms and the health risks to humans can be found on www.esccap.com.

Vaccinations

Newborn pups are protected against several diseases by antibodies they get from their mother through the uterus and the mother’s milk. These antibodies are used up in the first weeks of life of your pup. To protect your pup when this protection fades away, they need to be vaccinated at the right time, so that your pup can build his/her own protection. In their first year of life pups are vaccinated three times. This happens at an age of 6, 9 and 12 weeks old. Through these vaccinations the pup can face different pathogens in a safe way. The defence system of your pup develops specific antibodies and immune cells that will protect him/her against these diseases. Pups in the Netherlands are usually vaccinated against the following diseases: Leptospiroses, Parvo, Hepatitis, Kennelcough and Distemper. After this, a yearly vaccination is enough to keep your dog fully protected.
If you are planning to travel abroad, your dog needs to have a Rabies vaccination as well. For most countries it is required to give this at least 21 days before you leave. For the specific requirements, you can check this website: www.licg.nl. The Rabies vaccination can be given at an age of 3 weeks.

Fleas

Fleas can be very inconvenient to you and your dog. They cause itching and can even cause an allergic reaction. Because dogs go outside in all seasons and have lots of contact with other dogs, it is our recommendation to treat them every month with an anti-flea product. We have several options, for instance: a spot-on solution, tasty tablets or a collar. Our assistants would be happy to advise on which anti flea-product works best and is the most safe for you and your dog.
Don’t wait to treat your dog against fleas until he/she already has them! Adult fleas can lay 100 eggs a day which develop to new fleas within 3 months. Because of this cycle it takes a long time before you can get rid of the fleas again. Soo prevention is definitely better  than cure! For more information you can check this website: www.esccap.com.

Contact with other dogs

During the ages of 3-12 weeks, pups go through socialisation phase. In this period the pups are very curious and exploratory. It is very important that they discover all kinds of things, for example cars, trams, cats, other humans, little children, etc. In this period they learn that these things aren’t scary! From the second vaccination at an age of 9 weeks it is important that your pup meets other dogs. One way to achieve this is to join  a puppy-course. Here your pup can learn to play with other breeds that they didn’t see in the nest or at home.

Food

In the first 6 months your pup is growing very fast. To develop properly, a balanced diet especially for pups is very important. We advise Hill’s VetEssentials food for pups. This diet has been scientifically tested and shown  to contain all the right ingredients for pups such as minerals, vitamins, omega-fat acids, and anti-oxidants necessary for the healthy development of the immune-system, the bones and joints, the skin and for good digestion. For dogs that will grow over 25 kg (adult weight) there is a special food. This prevents them from getting problems with their bones and joints. Little dogs should get puppy-food until they are 12 months old, for large breeds it is recommended to give puppy-food until they are 18 months old.
If you are going to change food, it is very important to do this gradually to prevent intestinal problems. The intestines of a puppy are very sensitive.
in terms of how many times a day a puppy should be fed, here is some advice:

  • until the age of 3 months: 4 times a day
  • 3 till 6 months: 3 times a day
  • from the age of 6 months: 2 times a day

Walking

Off course it is wonderful and important to walk your new puppy! Start with little walks at a time and don’t walk long distances yet. Our advice is to keep the walks proportional to the age of your pup. The best method is to walk your pup up to a time of one minute for every week of age.  So a 9 weeks old pup can be walked 9 minutes on each occasion or shorter. You can go out as frequently as you like, though, with rest periods in between.

Changing teeth

Your pup has  28 temporary teeth and premolars (12 incisors, 4 canines and 12 premolars). From an age of 2-4 months, a pup will change his temporary teeth to his adult teeth, which total 42 teeth and molars. During the change, pups usually have an extra urge to chew. The growing of the adult teeth triggers the temporary teeth to fall out eventually. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, and we can see that the teeth are doubled. This can cause  wrong positioning of the adult teeth. If both the temporary and adult teeth are present, we call this ‘persistent milk teeth’. It is very important to extract the temporary tooth in this case! seethe most common occurrence of  persistent teeth is the incisors and canines, and is a condition we usually see in little breed dogs. Our advice is to check the dental status of your dog at an age of 6 months, during the ‘Teen-consult’.
To maintain the health of the teeth of your dog, we recommend training them at a young age with brushing their teeth. If you are interested in this, please ask one of our assistants or veterinarians to explain you how you can train this.

Heat and neutering female dogs

The first heat in female dogs is most common at an age between 6-12 months old, the smaller breeds usually earlier than the large breeds. If you don’t want a litter, our advice is to sterilise your female dog 3 months after her first heat. There are several reasons why the neutering is recommended:

  • to prevent mammary gland tumors (breast cancer) when she gets older. From examination we’ve learned that every heat means there is a higher risk of mammary gland tumors.
  • to prevent a uterus infection when she gets older. 1 of 3 dogs that aren’t sterilised will get an uterus infection. The dog can get very ill, and need an (emergency) operation.
  • we almost never see female dogs develop the diabetes caused by the hormones that run through the body of a non-sterilised dog.
  • other advantages about neutering include no heat, no unwanted fertilization and no pseudo pregnancy.

Castration male dog

Male dogs can be castrated at an age of 6 months. In the past, it was standard practice to castrate a male dog. This is no longer the case. Most of the time there is no need and the male dog has a better change on staying slim and well-muscled. However, there are some cases when it may be useful to castrate your dog, for instance:

  • In cases of behaviour such as dominance over other dogs, irreverent behaviour when there is a female dog in heat around or the mounting humans or toys.
  • medical reasons such as an infection of the skin of the penis or some prostate issues.

A castration isn’t always an effective  prevention of unwanted behaviour. The behaviour can also be learnt. There is a big chance that your male dog will calm down after his castration. If you want to see if a castration will have the desired effect on your dog, it is possible to give him an implant that works for 6 months. We call this a chemical castration. The testicles stop producing the hormone testosterone, and this has the same effect as a surgical castration.

Gaining weight after sterilisation/castration

After a sterilisation/castration the metabolism of your dog changes. Because of this he/she is more likely to gain weight. You can prevent this by giving a light diet or give ¼ less of the regular food that you used to.

Teen-consult

Pups also go through puberty! From an age of 5-6 months, there are changes in  their behaviour and degree of compliance. This is caused by hormonal fluctuations. At this moment your dog is going to try to get higher in the hierarchy. It is also possible that they ignore orders. It is very important that you maintain your constancy and firmness, and not  allow your dog to move your limits.

To help you as well as we can, we offer you a Teen-consult for €19,95 at an age of 6 months with one of our assistants. During this 30 minutes consult we will check your dog and talk about important things at this age. We will check the speed of growth, the teeth, weight and development of your dog. You will be able to ask all the questions you have been saving up. Also your dog can learn that going to the vet isn’t scary at all!

Taking care of the fur of your dog

It’s important to take care of the fur of your dog. Start with this when your dog is still young, so they can use to it.

Homecare?
To the groomer?
Short thick fur (German Shephard, Siberian Husky, Rottweiler, Labrador) Yes, weekly brushing. Yes, twice a year.
Smooth fur (Dobermann, Boxer, Dalmatian) Yes, brushing every now and then. Yes, twice a year.
Wirehaired (Cairn terrier, Fox terrier, Border terrier) Yes, brushing weekly (gentle). Yes, twice a year.
Longhair (Bobtail, Bearded collie, Shih-tzu, Afghan hound) Yes, brushing 2-3 times a week. Yes, 3-4 times a year at the least.
Halflonghair (Golden retriever, English cocker spaniel, Irish setter) Yes, brushing twice a week. Yes, 4 times a year.
Long thick fur (Newfoundlander) Yes, brushing weekly. Yes, 2-4 times a year.
Curly (Poodle, Bichon frisé) Yes, brushing twice a week. Yes, 4-6 times a year.
Dreadlocks No, just tare the dreadlocks apart. No, unless homecare is not possible.
Naked dogs (Mexican Hairless dog) Yes, scrubbing weekly. No, unless scrubbing weekly isn’t enough to keep the skin healthy.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Also you are always welcome to come in with your pup to weigh him/her and to get him/her used to visiting our clinic. Also you can downdload this information here: Puppy information Letter