Puppy Information

Information about your new puppy

Congratulations on your new puppy!

To help you get the most enjoyment from your new family member we have provided some information on the following topics.

  • Desexing
  • Vaccinations
  • Feeding
  • Flea treatment
  • Worm treatment
  • Toilet training
  • Socialising and behaviour problems
  • Insurance

Desexing (Spaying / Neutering)

We strongly advise having this done.

Bitches will no longer come into season, so male dogs will not be attracted to your bitch and your property during those times. Spaying your female dog will also totally eliminate the risk of contracting a pyometra, which is an often fatal Uterine infection. Male dogs, when neutered, do not roam looking for bitches in season. They also tend to be less aggressive to other male dogs. De-sexing is usually carried out from 6 months of age. More info →


Just as there are vaccinations for children to protect them against certain diseases, there are vaccinations for dogs as well.

We vaccinate against Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Kennel Cough and Leptospirosis. There are several protocols for puppy vaccinations depending on the breed of dog, brand of vaccine and the incidence of disease in the geographical area. At Pakuranga Veterinary Clinic we usually vaccinate puppies at 9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. Boosters are then given annually.

Your puppy is not considered fully covered against the diseases until a week after the final vaccination. While your puppy is unprotected, you should not allow your puppy to go to public places where unvaccinated dogs may have roamed. It is fine for your puppy to play on private properties with vaccinated dogs.


There are a variety of dog foods available. Important points to remember include:

  • Reputable commercial foods contain the right balance of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone growth. Foods such as fresh meat are not balanced for puppies, and diets high in fresh meat can lead to bone problems.
  • Puppies have different nutritional requirements to adult dogs. Most leading brands of dog food produce a puppy formula as well as an adult dog formula.
  • Large breed dogs have different dietary requirements to smaller dogs and again most leading dog food producers make a food especially designed for large breed puppies.
  • Be aware that dog foods are essentially priced on the quality of the protein content. The lower priced foods contain poorer quality proteins. While this may be adequate for some dogs, other dogs will enjoy much better health if fed diets with higher quality proteins (and fewer preservatives).

Flea treatment

There are many flea treatments on the market and they come under one of the following headings:

  • Sprays – Depending on the brand, sprays can be effective against if used properly and sprayed over the entire body. However, these can be messy and sometimes not well-tolerated by dogs.
  • Tablets –
  • Neck applications – These contain a small amount of liquid which is easily applied to back of neck & lasts between 1-2 months depending on brand. We recommend and sell Advantage which is highly effective killing adult fleas on cat and flea larvae in environment.
  • Multi treatment application – Bravecto and Advocate are leading multi treatments that is also applied to the back of the neck. They not only kill fleas, but also have a worm treatment included, which can by-pass having to give your dog a worm tablet if done regularly. They also contain ear mite treatment.
  • Flea collars, powders and shampoos – These products, while less expensive, are not as effective as other products. We recommend the aforementioned products for all aspects of flea control.
  • Please talk to any of our vet nurses for more information on any of the flea treatments mentioned so we can make sure you purchase the one most suited to your puppy’s needs.

Worm treatment

Because of the roundworm life cycle, puppies can be born already infected with roundworm. People can be infected with canine roundworm if there are poor hygiene practices when handling infected puppies. Puppies need to be treated with an appropriate worm treatment every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old, and then monthly until they are 6 months. From 6 months of age onwards we advise worming every 3-6 months.

Other worms such as hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm can also infect older puppies and dogs, so you need to choose worm treatments effective against these parasites when worming older puppies and dogs.

Toilet training

Just as with children, some puppies catch onto toilet training before others.

To help improve your puppy’s toilet training, remember to take him/her outside 1st thing in the morning, after every meal and last thing at night.


It is generally considered that the main socialization period for puppies is the time from birth to 16 weeks of age. Although dogs of older age will learn things, it is how a puppy interacts with his/her environment in the first four months that will establish the foundation of their life long behaviour patterns.

Puppies need to interact with other dogs in this time but, because of vaccination issues, this must be only with vaccinated dogs on private property where unvaccinated dogs have not had access.

Puppies also need to learn their place in the family. By taking cues from you as to when they are fed, when play starts and stops and when and where they walk, this can help to discourage behaviour problems later on.

We support & recommend puppy classes, which we hold here at the clinic. Please ask any of the staff members for more information.


We strongly recommend insurance for puppies. If anything unexpected happens to your puppy, pet insurance can help you cover the cost depending on the policy you take out, and also help with the cost of vaccinations and consultations for minor issues.

We can arrange 4 weeks free insurance with Petcover www.petcovergroup.com/nz to get you started.

If you have any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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