Whether it is for a health check or first vaccination, we always make a puppy’s first visit to Mulberry House Vets an enjoyable and positive experience.
We give them time to get to know us, cuddles if they want and our rooms are always very clean so they can explore the consult room if they are curious. It is a good idea to withhold food from your puppy for a couple of hours before coming to your appointment to ensure they are hungry and keen to eat treats while being handled.
It is wonderful to see so many of our doggy patients come bounding in through the front door ready for their gravy bones!!
We recommend that puppies have their first vaccine at 8 weeks, a second at 10 weeks and a third at 12 weeks. By splitting the vaccine course into three visits we can allow puppies to get out walking and socialising by 11 weeks old – a crucial time in their development.
It also means that we have plenty of opportunity to ensure that your puppy is healthy and growing well.
See our Vaccinations Page for more information.
Your puppy is likely to be a bit sleepy after their vaccination and may be a little off their food for the day. They may also be tender over the back of the neck and shoulders where the vaccine has been given. A small number of puppies will develop a little lump at the injection site by their shoulders this usually occurs 5-7 days after the vaccine and will resolve by itself within a couple of weeks.
It is important to wait until a week after your puppy has had their second vaccine before going out on walks and meeting other dogs. However as long as your garden is safe and enclosed, then your puppy can go out there straight away. It will help to build their confidence, get them used to their new home and you can start their toilet training. It is important to check the garden regularly for cat or fox poo and also dangerous items which your puppy might chew or swallow.
Feeding your puppy good quality nutrition is essential as they grow.
We recommend a complete puppy food until they reach adulthood when their bodies are fully mature –this will be 12 months old for small breeds and up to 18 months old for giant breeds.
The packet of food will guide you as to how much to feed depending on your puppies age and weight.
Your puppy’s breeder should supply you with a bag of the food that they have been feeding.
If you would like to change this food, it is important to do so gradually over a week.
The vet or nurse will be happy to discuss diets in more detail. We are happy to recommend Royal Canin, Hills or Purina as brands which put a lot of evidence-based research into the nutritional content of their diets.
There is no need to give your puppy milk, but do ensure there is plenty of fresh water available to them at all times.
Flea, tick and worming treatments are given regularly throughout your pet’s life to ensure both your pet and human family members are protected from these common parasites.
Puppies should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old.
Flea and tick treatment is usually started at 8 weeks old.
Depending on the weight of your puppy they will have a spot-on or tablet treatment.
Once puppies are over 2kg in weight, we use Nexgard Spectra which is a monthly tablet. This provides protection against fleas, ticks, roundworms and lungworms.
An additional tapewormer tablet is given every 6 months.
Be reassured that we will send you a monthly reminder by email to let you know when your pet’s treatment is due!
Neutering (spay in females and castration in males) is recommended to prevent unwanted litters of puppies, straying from home and also future health problems.
Female dogs who are not neutered have higher incidence of mammary cancer and infected womb (pyometra).
Some male dogs that are anxious, may actually become more fearful after castration. We may recommend in this case trialling chemical castration. A hormonal implant is injected under the skin which lasts for 6 months and allows you to assess how your dog’s behaviour might change following permanent surgical castration.
Neutering can be performed from 6 months old in small dogs, however in larger breed dogs there is good scientific evidence of the health benefits in waiting until they are fully grown i.e. 12-18 months old.
Small female dogs can be neutered (spayed) before their first season at around six months old. If your dog comes into season, we will then wait three months until performing their spay. When in season, there is a higher level of oestrogen hormone affecting the uterus which gives it a greater blood supply and makes it more fragile thus increasing the risks of surgery.
For female dogs over 15kg keyhole spaying is highly recommended as a minimally invasive and safer way to spay with a quicker post-operative recovery. Please see the Keyhole Surgery page for more information.
Since 2016 it is a legal requirement that all dogs over 8 weeks old must be microchipped.
Most puppies are microchipped by the breeder. If your puppy has not been microchipped then it is a simple procedure and can be done at the same time as their vaccination or in a nurse appointment.
The microchip (the size of a grain of rice) is implanted with a needle under the skin between the shoulder blades. It is made of non-reactive material so shouldn’t cause your pet any problems throughout their life.
It is important to update the microchip database if you change your address or phone number to ensure you can be contacted if you pet is found.
All dogs must also wear a collar and tag with owner details when in public.
Having a dog in your family should be a joy and a pleasure. Positive and consistent training from the day you bring your puppy home, will ensure a happy relationship between all human and canine family members. There is lots of evidence to support positive training based methods. We offer a complimentary ZOOM puppy evening where Di Martin, from Click-2 Heel training will run through top tips for the early training of your puppy. Please ask at reception for more information.
This is a personal option. We think its great to keep your puppy out of trouble when you are not watching, but also provides a safe-haven away from the daily hustle and bustle for your pup to escape to at home. If you travel with your pet as well this crate is home wherever you may go.