Getting our puppy off to a healthy start with The Roaming Vet

Welcoming a new puppy into the family is a very exciting time for everyone involved. Before you adopt your puppy it is important to ensure you do plenty of research as a family into both the type or breed that suits your lifestyle and into the breeders or rescue centers that are able to offer you a puppy.

At what age can a puppy come into a new home?

It is really important that a puppy stays with their mother for a minimum of 8 weeks. During the first few weeks of life, mum is feeding the puppy and ensuring the milk she gives primes the puppy with antibodies to protect the puppy from some infections they can obtain from the environment. The pups will learn to eat solid foods and develop certain behaviours such as grooming, play and other social behaviours whilst with their mother. Leaving home too early can impact on a dog’s well being and behaviours for the rest of their lives.

What is the mother like and the rest of the puppies in the litter?

When selecting a puppy it is really important to ensure that you can see the mother and puppies together interacting. It is advisable to visit a litter before they are ready to come home so that you can see all of the puppies together, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to meet the mother.

During this visit you will be able to see how well the mother and puppies are cared for and what kind of start they have had in life. It is important to assess some of the following things: –

  • What condition is the mother in – does she look well cared for, bare in mind mothers can lose weight whilst suckling large litters of puppies but they should not look too underweight.
  • Look at where the puppies are being raised and what they are being socialised to – a puppy needs to learn the way of the world and this starts at a young age, early exposure to the sights and sounds of the world is important. Often puppies reared in barns have not been exposed to household noises such as the vacuum cleaner and door-bell and can take longer to settle into a house environment.
  • Watch the puppies interact together, they often demonstrate some of their character traits at this young age, the boisterous puppy is likely to be confident in a new home, the quietest might suit a calm home.
  • Be cautious of picking the smallest puppy, frequently the smallest puppy can develop health problems.

What worming and flea treatments has my puppy already had?

Puppies should be wormed from a young age as there is potential for the mother to transfer worms at birth, if the puppies have not been wormed regularly they can fail to gain weight, develop chronic diarrhoea as well as develop long term complications.

Puppies should be wormed at 2 weeks old, this is usually repeated every 2 weeks until 8 weeks old then monthly until 6 months old.

Puppies also need flea prevention treatments, especially when socialising with other dogs, it is important to discuss this with your vet as some adult products are not suitable for young dogs.

Has my puppy been vaccinated?

Some breeders like to ensure the puppy has had either their first vaccine or a full course of vaccinations prior to entering a new home. It is important to discuss with us what vaccines your pup has already had as well as the timing of this injection so that we can ensure your puppy has all of the protection required to safely go out and explore the world.

Is my puppy microchipped?

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification, by law, every puppy should be microchipped by the age of 8 weeks so it is important to ensure you have the documents for this and ensure that the microchip company hold your details on record.

There are some small breed puppies that have not been microchipped by 8 weeks old as a veterinary surgeon has deemed this procedure to be detrimental to the puppies health. If this is the case the puppy must be issued a veterinary exemption certificate from the veterinary surgeon and you must ensure you have this documentation.

Collecting your puppy

Although an exciting time for you and your family, it can be very overwhelming for your puppy to be leaving their familiar surroundings and moving into your home. When bringing your puppy home bring a comfortable dog carrier, a comfy blanket as well as spares in case your puppy has an accident and food and water if it is a long journey home.

Make sure you have already puppy proofed an area at home and are set up ready for the puppy. Try to minimise exposure to loud noises for the first few days and do not plan for lots of visitors to meet the puppy until it is settled and has formed a bond with you. Take your time and be patient with your new puppy, you have a lifetime together and you need to ensure you take the time to bond and don’t rush the process particularly with a nervous pup.

First puppy health check

Your vet will take plenty of time to get to know your puppy and for your puppy to build confidence with them. A full clinical examination will be performed to check your puppy is fit and healthy and to discuss the best care for them.

      Areas covered include: Lymm, Hale, Bowdon, Wilmslow, Holmes Chapel, Mobberley and Alderley Edge.