Puppy Care Guide

We might be big…

We might be small…

We might be cheeky…

We might be sleepy…

But we all have one thing in common…

We all deserve the best start in life

When you choose to become a dog’s owner, you are starting a unique friendship that will last a lifetime. Giving your pet the best start in life is essential for your puppy to grow into a happy, healthy member of your family. Our guide below will provide some basic care information, but remember- your pet is unique, and your vet will be able to make the right recommendations about what is best for you and your puppy.

Socialization and Training

Puppy Preschool graduates at the Karratha Veterinary Hospital

Dogs are pack animals, and absolutely love to be part of the family. Introducing puppies to dog training and other dogs at a young age gives them the best chance at being well behaved, social, happy adult dogs who know their place in the family and around other animals.

We strongly recommend taking your pet to local puppy classes, followed by training at your local kennel club. Check out the puppy behaviour section in the pet care tab for more information.


These are given to prevent serious and often fatal diseases that dogs can contract. Your puppy often does not have to be in direct contact with other dogs to catch some of these diseases. Our vaccines are very safe and have very low chance of producing side effects. We vaccinate all puppies for parvovirus, distemper virus, and hepatitis virus.

Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, he or she can go for walks in public and see other dogs without the risk of catching fatal diseases. Your puppy will also receive a full physical examination at every vaccination to ensure they are healthy and developing normally.

Vaccines are normally given as a course of three vaccines, each four weeks apart, after which your vet will advise of how often your pet needs to return for a booster injection.

Some dogs might also need vaccination to protect against Canine Cough, also known as Kennel Cough, and in remote communities we will often vaccinate to protect them from Leptospira and Coronavirus.


Intestinal worms can cause diarrhoea, weight loss, anemia, poor growth and can be transmitted to people. An itchy bum is often the least of their worries! Occasionally, intestinal worms can make a puppy so sick that it can be fatal. Many young puppies carry massive worm burdens.

We recommend that puppies get intestinal worming (tablets or liquid) every two weeks until three months of age, then once every three months.


This is a deadly parasite spread by mosquitos. After a dog gets bitten by an infected mosquito, the worm is injected into the bloodstream where it eventually travels to the dogs’ heart, and it is here that the heartworm grows and matures. Unfortunately, most intestinal all-wormers do not protect your puppy for heartworm disease. We recommend the yearly proheart injectable to ensure your pet is always protected against this deadly disease.

Fleas and Ticks

Nobody likes being itchy! But did you know that fleas and ticks can also cause anemia and other skin diseases? The north-west ticks can also transmit two potentially fatal blood parasites. Prevention keeps your pet comfortable and safe from these diseases.

There are many ways to protect your puppy against fleas and ticks, including spot-on treatments, tablets, and even injections for those really stubborn infestations. Your vet will tell you the best treatment for your puppy.


Every year thousands of dogs get out of their yard and go missing. A microchip is an implant, given as a once off injection, which permanently identifies your pet. It means that if your pet is picked up and scanned by the rangers or vets, they can get in contact with you very quickly. It also helps if identification or ownership of the puppy is disputed. It is probably more affordable than you think! Microchipping gives you peace of mind that if your pet gets out they have a really good chance of finding their way home.

A microchip is usually given at desexing or during your puppies first course of vaccines.


Good quality diet will make your pet healthier, smarter and ensure correct bone development. A good diet has everything your pet needs, eliminating the need for supplements and avoiding the dangers of under or over supplementation.

In addition to this, good diets reduce flatulence, keep your pet a healthy body weight, and let them develop strong muscles, bones and teeth.

We recommend Hills Science diet for your pet. Ask one of our friendly staff which diet is best for your pet.


The decision whether or not to desex your pet is a very important one and should be discussed thoroughly with your vet prior to the procedure. There are many benefits to desexing your pet and for more information we recommend you visit our desexing information page on the pet care tab.

Male dogs are prone to roaming, male dominance aggression, antisocial behaviour, ‘humping’, testicular cancer and prostate disease. Desexing your male dog reduces or can even eliminate these potential problems.

Female dogs are prone to attracting stray dogs, surprise pregnancies, uterine infections and mammary cancer. Desexing your female dog eliminates these potential problems.

Desexing your pet from four months onwards offers many health benefits. We use extremely modern anaesthetic, monitoring and pain relief protocols to ensure your pets operation is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Pet Insurance

With advances in veterinary medicine, we are able to offer your pet more and more in terms of treatment and diagnostics. Sadly, sometimes the cost of this important treatment falls outside of the family budget.

Overseas, pet insurance is almost as common as insuring your car or house. Pet insurance allows you to budget for that unexpected illness or accident. Many of our own vets and nurses have their pets insured and we strongly recommend it for every animal.

Pet Insurance Links: