Common Health Issues in Puppies

Updated: Jan 6

Your puppy will be due for a vet appointment 2-4 weeks after coming home with you, to have their second puppy vaccination. Here’s some handy information about common ailments to watch out for in case you need a vet trip before then!


Although all RightPaw breeders will make sure their animals are treated for parasites as much as possible, some puppies will be too small for a flea treatment before 8 weeks old. They might pick up fleas from other pets in your home or garden. If you notice your puppy scratching, check their coat for live fleas or ‘flea dirt’, which looks like black dandruff. If you suspect fleas, take your puppy down to your local vet for help choosing the right product to treat them with.


Most RightPaw breeders worm their puppies every two weeks from two weeks old, so your puppy is unlikely to be carrying a worm burden. If you do find worms in their faeces, take them to the local vet clinic for advice on the most appropriate product to treat them with. Most breeders will send home advice on when the next worming treatment is due so you can get organised.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Vomiting and diarrhoea! These are the most common health issues seen in puppies. All sorts of things can cause an upset stomach, including stress, the introduction of new foods or treats, infections and more.

Mildly soft poos are nothing to worry about in a puppy when they first come home. It is common for the stress of the big move to cause this. If the poo is watery, has any blood in it or the puppy seems generally unwell, get them checked out by a vet.

The odd vomit after eating too quickly is also completely normal and not too concerning. If you notice your puppy eats very fast, try feeding them off a ‘slow feeder’ plate or bowl, or in a puzzle toy. Vomiting that carries on after eating, or that is accompanied by diarrhoea or an unwell puppy, should be investigated by your vet.

Puppy Pyoderma

This is the fancy term for puppy acne. Puppies get pimples! Usually these come up on their belly or between their legs and look like classic little pimples or blackheads. They are nothing to worry about unless the puppy is itchy or has a rash that is spreading.

Limping and Lameness

It is very common for little puppies to get under people’s feet. Be careful not to step on your puppy, drop anything onto them or let them fall off furniture. Children and puppies can be a rambunctious mix so make sure the whole family knows to keep an eye out for puppy and not to run too fast with them underfoot. Try not to allow a puppy to sit under a baby’s high-chair – there’s too much potential for dropping things on puppy’s head! If you do notice your puppy limping, crying or holding up a foot, it is worth having them checked by a vet to see what the damage is.


Whilst not really a ‘health issue’, teething can be painful! Your little puppy is currently going through the process of losing all 28 of their baby teeth and having 42 adult teeth come in. Their little mouths can be sore, so they need to be able to chew and gnaw on appropriate chew toys for pain relief.

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