There is a lot of preventative medicine that comes along with adopting a new puppy! It can be very confusing and overwhelming, especially if you haven’t had a puppy before.
Your breeder will send your new puppy home with records of their first vaccination, what worming treatments they have been given and any relevant health concerns. Many breeders will give you advice on what worming product to buy next and what date to give it. Make sure you book in for your puppy’s second vaccination with your vet as close the due date as possible.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know about puppy vaccination and worming schedules:
Your puppy will usually need a series of three primary vaccinations. Their first one should have been completed by the breeder, the second one will be due 2-4 weeks after you bring your puppy home, and then a final one is generally given 4 weeks after that.
Generally, the timeline looks like this:
Your vet may recommend your puppy have an extra vaccination so that they are at least 16 weeks old for their final injection. This will depend on the area you live in, the brand of vaccination they use, and your vet practice’s protocols.
Follow your vet’s advice on vaccination schedules and remember to also get creative with safe socialisation practices so your puppy doesn’t miss out on the big wide world while they’re waiting for their immunity. See our article on puppy socialisation here.
Worming, Flea and Tick Treatment
There are many different products out there for parasite prevention so there are a wide variety of combinations you can use to keep your puppy covered. Products come as pastes, spot-on drops, tablets and the Proheart heartworm injection. Your breeder may have preferences they suggest using, as might your vet.
Whichever combination you use, you should make sure your puppy is covered for:
Ticks (if in a tick area)
Your vet will advise you which particular combination of medications is most suitable to your area.
Generally, breeders will worm their puppies at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. We recommend continuing this, worming every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then worming monthly until 6 months of age. After 6 months of age worming is recommended every 3 months for life.
If your puppy is too small for a flea or tick product when they first come home, you should manually check for any evidence of these parasites every time your pet comes in from outside. Run your hands through the coat, feet between their toes and check their ears. If you find a little bump you think could be a tick, call your vet clinic straight away for advice on how to safely remove it. Your local vet can tell you what size and weight your puppy needs to be to start a flea and tick medication and can guide you through the right purchase.