Puppy Care & FAQ

Dogs are great pets, and bringing a new puppy into your home can be a very rewarding and fun time. Below are some notes to help you keep your puppy healthy and happy.

Three French Bullgod Puppies


  • Your pup needs to be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks of age, 12-14 weeks of age and 16-18 weeks of age. A booster vaccine is then required every year for life.

Parvovirus causes bloody diarrhea, dehydration and is potentially fatal to young dogs


Vaccination will protect your pup from Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella by stimulating its immune system to produce antibodies against these nasty diseases.

Treatment for these diseases is expensive and not always successful.


  • In NSW, all pups must be microchipped by the time they are 12 weeks old or sold, whichever comes sooner.

  • It is also a good idea to have a collar/tags with contact details on them.


    A microchip can be a lifesaver – it is the only way to contact you should your dog become lost and is presented to a vet or the pound. Please make sure you keep your details up to date with council.


  • Registration is required before your pup reaches 6 months of age.

  • New owners can create a profile on the NSW Pet Registry website and then use the microchip number to ‘claim’ their pet. Owners can use their online account to update their contact details, report a missing pet, change a pet's ownership, and make the one off payment for 'lifetime registration'

  • Registration is discounted if your pet is desexed.


  • We recommend desexing most dogs by 5-6 months of age.

  • For large breed dogs, please chat to your veterinarian about the best time to desex, as suggested timings may differ.

  • Desexing prevents mammary cancer, pyometra and uterine infections in females and behavioural problems in males (urine marking, escaping and aggression), prostate disease, hernias, perianal and testicular tumours.

  • Breeding is very expensive! ‘Backyard’ pups often do not sell for enough to cover costs. There are also many potential complications for the bitch and pups.

Pet Insurance

  • We highly recommend that you invest in pet insurance for your puppy from a young age. This can save you if an unexpected injury or illness were to arise.



  • Due to their rapid growth, puppies need food that is carefully balanced with the right amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fat. This is why it is important to ensure the food you buy is specifically designed for puppies.

  • Premium brand DRY FOODS such as Hills® Vetessentials for puppies is guaranteed to be a complete and balanced diet.

  • The quality of supermarket brands varies considerably - generally you get what you pay for. Make sure the packet mentions that it meets the “AAFCO nutritional guidelines” and you are buying a ‘puppy’ formulation.

  • Puppy food should be fed in most cases until 12 months of age.


Puppy on the Beach


  • Puppies need protection from intestinal worms that cause vomiting and diarrhoea and can make your puppy very ill.

  • The common intestinal worms are roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm.

  • Pups need worming – Once fortnightly until they are 12 weeks old, then monthly until they are 6 months old, then every 3 months for life.

  • We recommend Milbemax®, Milpro®, Drontal® or Cazitel® tablets for worming puppies.

Flea prevention

  • Fleas are a very common problem for dogs and cats. Many pets are highly allergic to flea bites and develop severe skin irritations.

  • Our number one recommendation is to use products such as Bravecto® (3 monthly chew or 6 monthly spot on) or Simparica® (monthly chew) to treat the adult fleas that bite your dog.

  • For puppies under 8 weeks old or less than 1.3kg in weight, Frontline® spray can be used for both flea and tick prevention.

  • The adult fleas on the dog also lay eggs that fall off into your dog’s environment. Regular vacuuming of areas of the house your dog spends time in, as well as regular washing of its bedding, brushes etc. will help reduce the burden of flea eggs that can hatch and re-infest your pets.

  • It is important to treat all pets in the household at the same time for the best result.

Tick Prevention

  • Paralysis ticks are very common in this area and are life-threatening to your dog.

  • Prevention is better than treatment as many dogs treated for ticks die despite treatment.

  • You can easily prevent ticks on your dog by using Bravecto® or Simparica® as above.




  • Heartworm is a killer parasite spread by mosquitoes. This area has high numbers of mosquitoes and so our dogs are at high risk of becoming infected without adequate heartworm prevention.

  • The mosquitoes inject worm larvae into the dog’s bloodstream and the worms grow in the heart chambers and the lungs causing damage and fatal heart failure.

  • Heartworm disease is very difficult and very dangerous to treat, many dogs will die despite treatment.

  • Heartworm is easily prevented by a Proheart® injection given at 12 weeks and 6 months of age, then annually with your puppy’s vaccination.

An alternative to the Proheart® injection is monthly tablets for heartworm prevention.

Dental care

  • Ideally you should brush your puppy’s teeth daily. Getting them used to the toothbrush while they are young is ideal.

  • Chewable treats such as Greenies® or Oravet® chews help maintain dental hygiene.

  • Never ever give cooked bones to your dog. They are indigestible and can fragment into sharp pieces.



  • The biggest killer of young dogs is poor behaviour. Constant nuisance barking, destructiveness and aggression to other dogs or people are all too common reasons for euthanasia.

  • A well trained dog is a pleasure to have in the family. The alternative is a dog that is a nuisance, an embarrassment, or even a danger.


Puppy Preschool is a fun way to socialise your pup and also begin some basic training to help avoid behaviour problems in the future.

Albion Park Veterinary Hospital runs Puppy Preschool classes regularly.

Classes run for 1 hour each week for 4 weeks.

Pups must have had their first vaccination and be 8-14 weeks old at the start of the first class.

Please talk to our reception staff for more information.

Dog Running in Water