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Our guide to caring for your
new puppy

To help get your puppy off to a healthy start, Brimbank Veterinary Clinic is open six days a week to discuss vaccinations, worming, feeding and house training.

Vaccination – Guarding against disease

Please talk to us about protecting your puppy from fatal diseases. It is critical that your new pup is vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (C3). We also recommend vaccination against Canine Cough (C5), which can be done with the 12 and 16 week vaccinations.

Vaccination schedule

Managing pet health is a year-round activity, an annual health check and vaccination assessment is essential to ensure your pet stays healthy and protected from serious diseases. Below is the puppy vaccination schedule:

1st vaccination – 6 to 8 weeks old

2nd vaccination – 12 weeks old

3rd vaccination – 16 weeks old

Worm free

Pups should be treated for intestinal worms these include; roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Young pups are particularly susceptible to the effects of worms that can cause weight loss, “pot belly”, anaemia and in some cases, death. Worm eggs are passed out through the pup’s faeces and become a human health risk – especially for children.

Treatment schedule:
  • Treatment should be given at 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age.
  • Continue worming every 3 months for life long.


Treat your puppy with a good-quality “all wormer” tablet or syrup such as Drontal, and weigh your pet prior to treatment to ensure correct dose. You are welcome to use our scales at any time.

Protecting their hearts

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes; therefore, the infection can be transmitted without contact with other dogs. Signs of heartworm can vary from slight lethargy and cough to collapse and death. Most cases of heartworm can be treated, however treatment can be complicated. It is much easier to prevent infection.

Treatment schedule
  • Heartworm prevention is best given monthly using Heartgard tablets or Advocate drops (will also
    control fleas and worms). Start at 6-12 weeks of age and continue for life.
  • Dogs older than 6 months should be blood tested before starting heartworm prevention.
  • Once a year the heartworm injection (Pro-heart ) can be given from 12 months of age.
Flea prevention – relieving the itch

Advantage and Advocate are safe, effective products to control fleas. Simply put a small amount of liquid on the back of your dog’s neck once a month. Advocate will also control heartworm and most intestinal worms. We have found that flea collars are not very effective in controlling fleas.

Good food, good health

A balanced diet is very important for growing dogs. Good quality commercial foods, either canned or dry will provide all your pup’s nutritional requirements. Premium foods such as Royal Canin use high quality ingredients and are more digestible.

This means that your pup is getting the best nutrition and you don’t need to feed large quantities. Also, droppings are firmer and reduced in quantity. Royal Canin make special food for different size dogs (eg large breed dogs).

  • Feed in two or three meals daily and adjust amount according to body condition. Ask our staff to demonstrate the key indicators of good body condition.
  • Plain meat (cooked or uncooked) is not a balanced diet for a growing dog.
Proper toilet habits

As with all training, rewarding the correct behaviour is far more effective than punishing incorrect behaviour.

  • Choose a place outside that you want your pup to use.
  • Take it there when it is likely to want to go – which is usually after it wakes up, after meals or when it sniffs to find a place to urinate. If it uses the correct place immediately reward it with a small piece of food and some verbal praise.

The 6-16 week age period is very important for shaping the behaviour of your dog. It is OK for your pup to socialize with other dogs that are up to date with their vaccination. Puppy Pre-school is an ideal opportunity to start training your pup and learning about his/her needs, as well as socializing with other pups.

Please note:
  • Puppy Pre-school is held at the clinic on Tuesday nights. Booking is essential.
Should I have my dog de-sexed?

De-sexing is an important issue for animals that are not kept for breeding. It not only helps to control dog populations,

but can prevent some health problems. Breeding your dog can be a rewarding experience if properly managed – please talk to us if need more information.

In males de-sexing greatly reduces aggression towards other male dogs, territorial urination, mounting, hypersexual behaviour, roaming and prevents prostate problems. Desexing females avoids unwanted litters, greatly reduces chances of breast cancer, and reduces roaming and attracting males when in season.

Please note:
  • De-sexing won’t change your dog’s personality.
  • While there is some tendency for de-sexed dogs to put on weight, this can be managed through controlled feeding.
  • De-sexing can be done from 6 months of age.
Microchip identification

Microchips ensure permanent identification for your dog. Microchips are now compulsory with all council pet registration. The microchip is implanted under the skin on the back of the neck and can be implanted at any age. If your dog is picked up by the council or animal shelter they will scan for a microchip and give you a call. Ask our staff to have your pets’ microchip checked when they come in for an annual health check.

Council registration

Your pup should be registered after three months. Registration is much cheaper for de-sexed pets.

Health insurance

You can cover your dog against unexpected medical problems as well as personal liability for damage it may cause.

Health insurance can cost as little as $16 per month. Look at these websites for further details:

Give us a call to discuss caring for your new puppy.

03 9449 1100