Home Puppy Care
Home Puppy Care

At Home New Puppy Care

The addition of a young puppy into your life is a time of great happiness and excitement for the whole family. With this comes a large responsibility to provide the best care for your new puppy, a responsibility which may last 10-18 years!

New pet owners are often overloaded with advice from many different sources, much of which is often conflicting and confusing. To help you and your new puppy to get off on the right foot, we have discussed the main areas of healthcare for your puppy in the following pages.

At Home New Puppy Care at High Street Road Animal Hospital, Mt Waverley

New Puppy Checklist

There are a few very important things to do when you welcome a new canine family member to the home. Call us today to book an appointment!


  • General health check
  • C5 Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Parasite Control
  • Desexing
  • Diet Advice
  • Pet Insurance
  • Puppy Preschool

Vaccinations for Dogs

All puppies require a course of puppy vaccinations to provide protection against Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Parvoviral Gastroenteritis and Canine (Kennel) cough.

Canine Distemper is a fatal viral disease which may cause signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, conjunctivitis, muscle twitching and convulsions.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis causes liver disease. Signs include abdominal pain and depression. It is also a potentially fatal disease.

Parvovirus is a virus which causes severe gastroenteritis which can also be fatal. Signs of infection include severe depression, vomiting and diarrhoea containing blood.

Canine Cough is caused by a virus and a bacteria. Infected dogs develop a dry hacking cough which is very contagious to other dogs.

Puppies that are unvaccinated are at risk of developing severe disease and possibly death.


Our vaccination protocol for puppies is as follows:
  • 6-8 weeks Protech C4 (Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough)
  • 12-14 weeks Protech C5 (Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Canine Cough)
  • 16-18 weeks Protech C4 (As above)

After the initial course of puppy vaccinations, puppies should wait two weeks before being taken into public places such as the local park to ensure they have the maximum protection.

An annual booster vaccination is needed to maintain immunity in adult dogs. This visit always includes a full physical checkup by a Veterinarian.

Microchipping Your Dog

Microchipping is the best way to permanently identify your dog should they go missing. Unfortunately, many dogs that turn up at animal shelters and council pounds have lost their collars and ID tags, making it impossible to reunite them with their owners. Microchipping eliminates this problem.

Implanting a microchip is a very straight forward procedure. The tiny ID chip is placed between the shoulder blades beneath the skin. This can be performed in a routine consultation without the need for sedation. Alternatively it can be implanted while they are under anaesthesia for surgery.

We then register you and your dog’s details with a nationally accredited and Victorian Government approved Registry called Central Animal Records.

If your dog goes missing and ends up at a pound, shelter or vet clinic, a scanner is used to identify the animal and the owner is contacted to organise a reunion.

The heartache of losing a dog and not being able to recover it is deeply distressing to a family, so please also remember to update your dog’s microchip details when you move or re-home your dog.

Parasite Prevention


There are several treatments available for heartworm prevention.

The most convenient is a yearly heartworm injection that is often given at the same time as the annual vaccination.

The heartworm injection is given at 12 weeks of age (at the same time as vaccination), 6 months of age (at the same time as desexing) then just once a year with the annual check up and vaccination. There is no risk of lapsing with prevention as a reminder is sent out annually.

Most owners are happy that they no longer have to remember to give monthly prevention!

Advocate is a liquid that is applied to the skin at the back of the neck every month. It also provides protection against fleas.

Heartgard is a monthly meat flavoured chewable which many dogs regard as a treat.

Sentinel Spectrum is a flavoured tablet that is given once monthly which also protects against fleas and all four types of intestinal worms.


Intestinal Worms

The four types of intestinal worms that infect puppies and adult dogs are roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and whipworm.

Roundworm infection is very common and most puppies are infected from a very young age from their mother. Infection may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, bloated abdomen and ill thrift.

For this reason, all puppies need to be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months old and then every 3 months for life. An allwormer such as Popantel, Drontal, Milbemax or Canex that target all four types of intestinal worms needs to be used.



There are several very effective easy to use products available to eliminate fleas on your pet. Most of these products are safe to be started at 8 weeks of age.

Advantage is applied to the skin between the shoulder blades once a month and is available for both dogs and cats.

Revolution is a liquid that is applied to the skin between the shoulder blades every month. It also protects against heartworm as well as sarcoptic mange and ear mites in dogs.

Desexing Your Dog

When should I get my dog desexed? During our puppy vaccination consults we will discuss with you the best time to desex your dog.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Here at High Street Road Animal Hospital, we often recommend desexing at 6 months of age for most smaller and medium breed dogs.

This advice may vary if you have a large or giant breed dog.

Some owners have heard that they should wait until their puppy has had their first heat (if female) before desexing, however this does come with certain risks that owners need to be aware of.


Risks with delaying desexing
  • Increased risk of cancers (mammary cancers in females increase to 8% after their first heat and to 26% after ≥2 heat cycles; prostate & testicular cancers in males)
  • Increased risk of haemorrhage (for female dogs in heat or having had multiple heat cycles due to increased blood supply to the reproductive system)
  • Increased risk of pyometra (pus in the uterus) in female dogs
  • Increased risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Development of unwanted behaviours becoming a ‘learned’ habit (especially in male puppies that develop indoor urine-marking, roaming or dominance behaviour)


I have a LARGE BREED dog – when should I get him desexed?

A study published in 2013 by the University of Davis, California, suggested an increased risk of hip dysplasia and cruciate injuries (musculoskeletal joint diseases) in a small population of Golden Retriever and Labrador breeds if desexed early at less than 12 months of age.

While this may seem like pretty convincing evidence, the answer is often not that simple. When reviewed critically, this observational study looked retrospectively at a relatively small study population and did NOT control for several biases such as weight. Desexed pets tend to be heavier, and weight, rather than the age of desexing, may have played a significant role in increased risk of hip dysplasia and cruciate disease. However, the study does support a common theory that hormones influence the normal development of joints in some breeds, with earlier desexing causing delayed closure of the growth plates in the bones of large breed dogs. This leads to longer limbs and subsequently may result in higher rates of musculoskeletal joint diseases.

Based on a small number of studies, if you have a large breed dog, or a breed that is prone to hip dysplasia and cruciate disease, you may wish to consider desexing later or after 12 months of age. However, these benefits would need to be weighed up against the benefits of desexing earlier at 6 months of age.

de la Riva, G.T., Hart, B.L., Farver, T.B., Oberbauer, A.M., Messam, L.L.M., Willits, N. and Hart, L.A., 2013. Neutering dogs: effects on joint disorders and cancers in golden retrievers. PloS one, 8(2), p.e55937.

I have a Dachshund or a breed prone to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) – when should I get him desexed?

A UK study published in 2018 suggested there was a significantly increased risk of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in Dachshunds desexed before 12 months of age compared to those desexed later after 12 months of age.

Similar to the aforementioned study on Golden Retrievers and Labradors, this study likewise did not account for weight and it is well known that higher weights are associated with an increased risk of IVDD. Interestingly, other studies have reported the contrary and found NO increased risk of joint diseases based on the age of desexing of Dachshunds.

In light of these studies, if you have a Dachshund, you may wish to consider desexing later or after 12 months of age. However, these benefits would need to be weighed up against the benefits of desexing earlier at 6 months of age.

Dorn, M. and Seath, I.J., 2018. Neuter status as a risk factor for canine intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH) in dachshunds: a retrospective cohort study. Canine genetics and epidemiology, 5(1), pp.1-14.

If you have any questions or concerns on desexing, please discuss this with the vet during your dog’s vaccination.

Dental Care for Puppies

Puppies get their first set of teeth or their temporary teeth in the first few weeks of life. Their permanent or adult teeth are usually all through by 6-7 months of age. When puppies are teething, they like to chew and it is not uncommon to find temporary teeth that have fallen out!

Dental disease is a major problem in adult dogs, so teaching your puppy early to look after their teeth can have major benefits. Puppies should be encouraged to chew on dental aids such as rawhide bones, pigs ears etc. We can give more advice on dental health care needs for your puppy.

Toilet Training your Puppy

Teaching your pup not to soil inside the house can be fairly easy if you follow a few straightforward guidelines. These are set out below although in order for toilet training to proceed without too many hiccups you really need to stick with it and remain patient.

Try to get in the habit of using one particular word or phrase when taking your pup out to the toilet. As your pups goes to the toilet repeat this word over and over. When they are completely finished make sure you calmly praise the pup. Try not to get too excited when praising your pup as this can lead to an ‘ accident’ occurring just when they’ve done the right thing.

Young puppies only have very small bladders and as such they need to go to the toilet quite a few times each day. Try to anticipate these times and take your puppy outside before they get the chance to go inside! As a rough guide most puppies will go to the toilet when they first wake up, after they have eaten or had a drink and when they calm down after playing.

Often we find that a puppy goes outside and is suddenly distracted. They are too busy exploring their environment to get down to business! Should this occur, put your pup on a lead to ensure they can’t wander at will. Trying to remain outside for at least five minutes each time you take your puppy out will also encourage them to use the time effectively.

Grooming your Puppy

Regardless of your puppy’s breed, grooming can be carried out on a regular basis by all members of the family. Even the very youngest child can be taught how to brush the puppy under adult supervision.

Any puppy which will need to have regular, professional grooming when they are older should be introduced to puppy clips as early as possible. A puppy clip normally involves a groomer clipping the face, paws and tail of the puppy to get them used to the sights and sounds associated with a grooming salon.

When grooming your puppy at home make sure you use a soft brush which will not cut or tear at the puppy’s skin. A bad experience with brushing at this stage in the puppy’s life will only serve to make grooming an unpleasant experience for everyone as the pup gets older.

When grooming your pup it is the ideal time to check them over for any injuries or infections that they may have picked up during the course of their day. Check your puppy’s ears to ensure they are clean and pleasant smelling, check the feet for cuts and grazes, check the eyes to ensure they are clear and bright and check the bottom to be sure it is clean. Attention to these areas on a regular basis can often save you trips to the vet.

Don’t forget that the main purpose of grooming at this age is not to keep your puppy immaculate, but to allow them a chance to get used to being brushed and handled by you. Any puppies who get distressed at being groomed should be handled gently and only by an adult.

Bathing your Puppy

A puppy’s skin and coat is very different from human skin and hair and it is therefore best to avoid using any human products on your puppy.

Products such as eucalyptus wool wash will strip protective oils from the coat and also introduce high levels of eucalyptus into the bloodstream, potentially causing poisoning of your pup. Many human shampoos and soaps contain chemicals and fragrances that will irritate a pup’s delicate skin.

It is quite normal for pups to have a ‘puppy smell’ and bathing is only necessary if they are extremely dirty.

When it is necessary to bath your pup please ensure that you only use products that are clearly labelled as suitable for puppies.

Children and Puppies

Having a dog within the family has been shown to generally have a positive effect on children, improving their self-esteem and sense of responsibility whilst giving them both a playmate and a confidante. It is important however, that all children are taught to treat a new pup with kindness and respect. A puppy is not a toy and children should never be allowed to treat them as such.

Below are some pointers to help your child develop a good relationship with their new puppy.

Never allow even the very youngest child to hit or chase your puppy as habits learned early in life can be carried through the childhood years and beyond. A puppy will quickly learn to fear your child and may even respond by biting.

Encourage children to help with feeding the puppy as this will help to establish them as higher in the family hierarchy than the pup, whilst also teaching them responsibility.

It is generally only a good idea to give children full responsibility for feeding when the puppy has learnt basic commands such as sit and stay and will respond to the child’s command. Giving young children this responsibility too early on in the pup’s life may create anxiety within the child, causing them to retreat from the responsibility rather than enjoy it.

All puppies need a place to retire to when they wish to be left alone. This is particularly important when there are children in the house. It is essential that all children within the family are taught to respect this area and that they are not allowed to pester the puppy when he or she retreats here. Whilst saying this, it is also necessary that the puppy will accept removal from this area by an adult should the need arise.

While your puppy is still quite small it is a good idea to show children how to pick them up correctly. Start by standing facing the side of the puppy. Place one arm around the front of the pup’s chest and follow this by scooping the other arm under the pup’s bottom and lifting him or her into your arms. When holding the puppy make sure they are held against the body as this tends to give the puppy a feeling of security.

Taking your puppy for a walk once it is old enough is one of the many joys of pet ownership. Allowing your children to participate is beneficial to both them and the puppy. The important thing to remember here is that young children should always be supervised when walking the puppy. Let them take the lead in ‘safe’ areas such as a park, but be sure to keep a firm hand on the lead yourself when walking near busy roads. All too often children get pulled off their feet by a boisterous pup and the last thing you want is for this to happen where there is a danger of anyone being run over.

As you are probably aware it is illegal for you to allow your dog to defecate in public places without cleaning it up. Teach your children right from the beginning that going for a walk includes having to pick up any faeces. By the time they are old enough to take the dog alone cleaning up will be a natural part of the walk.

Always try to involve the children in obedience training. Most obedience clubs will encourage children to participate and if you find that the club you go to doesn’t, perhaps you need to find a club that does! Children need to learn that obedience training is a necessary part of owning a puppy and they should be encouraged to join in under supervision.

Puppy Safety

Puppies will always try to eat what they shouldn’t. It is important to be aware that many common products and objects found in and around your home may be harmless to humans but can cause serious problems for your new puppy.

Puppies do need plenty of entertainment but try to avoid anything that can be swallowed or has sharp pieces. Small balls, Sticks, Frisbees (unless specifically designed for dogs), Children’s toys and Tennis Balls should all be avoided. Fragments from any of these items can be easily ingested, lodge in your pup’s airways or puncture their skin.

Listed below are some of the obvious and not so obvious items to take care with.


Pet Safe Toys

  • The ‘Kong’ range of toys
  • ‘Aussie Dog’ range of toys
  • Pet Frisbees
  • Rope Bones
  • Large Solid Rubber Balls


  • Battery Acids and Polishing Agents
  • Paracetamol
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Toiletries – including perfume and aftershave
  • Drugs and Medications -including over the counter preparations
  • Pesticides
  • Insecticides
  • Antifreeze -this has a very sweet smell, making it extremely attractive to puppies
  • Rat, Mouse and Snail poisons – Even PET SAFE poisons are deceptive. The safety is related to the product being less attractive to pets. These products, however, are still toxic if they are ingested

Toxic Plants

  • Mistletoe
  • Lilies
  • Azalea
  • Wisteria
  • Impatiens
  • Hyacinth
  • Most puppies will ignore these plants but if your pup takes a liking to chewing sticks or plants remove the toxic varieties wherever possible
  • If this is not practical try putting a fence around these to make that part of the garden a ‘no go’ area for your puppy

Foods to Avoid

  • Spicy foods and Curries
  • Raw Meats
  • Chocolate – (as little as one chocolate bar can make an average size dog very sick. Cooking chocolate is even more dangerous and can be fatal!)
  • Raw Onions – (given in excess can produce a form of anaemia)
  • Cooked Bones – (cooking bones makes them less digestible and likely to splinter when chewed.)

Hazardous Items

  • Polystyrene trays
  • Food wrap
  • Plastic Bags
  • Rubber Bands
  • Socks
  • Electrical Cords (the use of a bitter spray eg. Woundgard can be helpful to discourage a persistent puppy)
  • Jewellery
  • Small children’s toys


Here at the Hospital we have two hydrobaths for making dog washing a lot easier!

Two options are available for use of the hydrobaths.

Owners can choose to use the hydrobaths themselves to wash their own dog. The nurses can give a demonstration on how to use the bath which is easy to learn.

Alternatively, one of the nurses can wash and dry your dog for you. Your dog will need to stay with us for a couple of hours until they are dry enough to go home.

We can also trim your dog’s nails for you if you are having trouble doing this.

Puppy Preschool

We all love puppies and having a new puppy in the house is an exciting time!!!

Puppy Preschool classes are a fun, interactive 4 week training programme designed to give your puppy the best start in life.


The main aims of Puppy Preschool are:

  • To encourage your puppy to socialise with both puppies and people. It has been scientifically proven that puppies that are well socialised with other puppies between 8-16 weeks of age are more likely to develop into friendly well behaved adult dogs. Puppies that are isolated and have little outside contact during this critical early age are at a higher risk of developing behavioural problems later on. For this reason puppy preschool is strongly advised for all puppies to enable them to socialise in a fun, stress-free environment.
  • To start basic obedience training for you and your new puppy
  • To provide important information and advice about health care for your puppy including nutrition, parasite control and veterinary care.
  • To provide a fun, gentle, positive experience for your puppy when visiting the Hospital. This can reduce anxiety for your pet when visiting us in the future.

Call us to book in!

Book your pet in for an appointment with one of our friendly, experienced vets today!


“Friendly and welcoming”

Very caring staff. It is very friendly and welcoming. Our dog loves visiting this place.

– Meaghan, 5-Star Google Review


Opening Hours

Mon to Fri: 7:30am-7:00pm
Sat: 8:30am-1pm
Sun: Closed

Contact Us Today!