Introduction and Origin
Dogs are descended from a small, weasel-like mammal called Miacis which was a tree-dwelling creature and existed about 40 million years ago. Dogs, as we know them today, first appeared in Eurasia about 13,000 years ago, and were probably a direct descendant of a small, grey wolf. Dogs were first domesticated by cavemen in the Palaeolithic age and gradually developed (or were bred) into the breeds known today. Dogs have been used as guards, hunters, draught animals, eyes for the blind, drug and explosive detectors and rodent controllers for many years. The dog is one of the most popular pets in the world. The average dog lives 8 to 15 years. Dogs exist in a wide range of sizes, colors, and temperaments. Some, such as the Doberman pinscher and the German shepherd, serve as alert and assertive watchdogs. Others, such as the beagle and the cocker spaniel, are playful family pets, even though they were bred for hunting. Still others, such as the collie and the Welsh corgi, can herd farm or range animals. Each of the dogs just mentioned is a purebred. A cross bred dog, however - one with more than one breed in its background - can just as easily fit into family life.
Diet & Water
A well balanced diet is essential for the needs of a growing puppy and a high premium grain free dry food will ensure your puppy gets everything they need to grow up strong and healthy. High premium diets are designed to be fed by themselves so additions are not necessary. Milk is not necessary for your puppy. Always have cool, fresh water available.
Toilet training is an obstacle you will encounter almost as soon as you get your puppy home. As soon as your puppy has finished eating, woken up from a sleep, or even stops in mid activity, place them on grass outside, or on paper, and keep them there until they go to the toilet. Praise and reward your puppy for this “good behaviour” and soon your puppy will learn to go where you want them to. Always place newspaper near your puppy’s bed at night to “allow” them somewhere to go during the night, as they will be unable to hold off until they are older. There are also training pads that emit pheremones to attract your puppy to go to the toilet on them, making toilet training even easier. Crate training is another great option when raising puppies, it keeps them in a smaller area which only contains their bed. Puppies will not like to go to the toilet on or near their bed so this teaches them that they must wait until they are placed in an ideal spot. Puppy preschools are a great way to start your puppy on the road to being a well balanced, well behaved, socially acceptable adult. The more you socialise your puppy with other people and other vaccinated dogs and puppies, the easier it will be on you and your puppy to go for a walk, play in the park, visit friends and family and even a trip to the vet won’t be so horrifying. These days nearly every council has a designated “off leash” dog park where your puppy can play off lead with others under your supervision, and there are more and more puppy friendly holiday destinations that will welcome your pets as much as they welcome you!!
Worming and Flea Prevention
Roundworm, Whipworm, Hookworm, and Tapeworm are the four main groups of intestinal worms in puppies. The easiest way to worm your puppy is with an all- wormer tablet and should be given every two weeks until twelve weeks old, then monthly until six months, and then every three months for the rest of their lives. Heartworm is also a very deadly problem for puppies. Heartworm prevention comes in many forms and is usually started by 9 weeks of age. Fleas and ticks are not only very annoying for both you and your puppy but can be quite dangerous as they can cause severe anaemia and allergies, with ticks also causing paralysis and even death. While there are a lot of products on the market, not all of them are safe for use on puppies so always read the instructions carefully. Topspots (spot-ons) are probably the easiest and most effective. To prevent reinfestation be sure to clean all bedding regularly and treat your house and areas most frequented by your puppy appropriately.
Puppies need to be vaccinated at 6 – 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and then 16 weeks of age to be protected against Parvovirus, Distemper, and Hepatitis, with Kennel Cough often added to the last two. These vaccinations slowly build up your puppy’s immune system and then need to be followed up with yearly vaccinations to continue to help protect against these diseases.
De Sexing, Microchipping and Registration
It is strongly advised to get your puppy desexed at around six months of age. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, this will help prevent cancers such as prostate and mammary cancers developing and will make your puppy less likely to try to get out looking for a mate, and get into fights. Desexing creates a cleaner, much more content puppy, and also makes lifetime council registration more affordable. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice which is implanted under the skin in the fleshy area between the shoulder blades. By law, all puppies need to be microchipped and registered. Your puppy also needs to be registered with your local council, but you have until they are six months of age because it is a cheaper lifetime registration fee once your puppy is desexed. Putting a tag with your contact details on your puppy’s collar is also required by law, and will increase the chance of a speedy return.
Only bath your puppy when necessary as overbathing strips your puppy’s coat and skin of oils, and can leave it dry and itchy. Using a soap free shampoo, however, it is possible to bath your puppy once a fortnight with no problems. A soap free shampoo will also not interfere with flea treatment. Brushing, combing and clipping needs depend on your breed of puppy. Short-haired breeds need a weekly brush, whereas long coats need daily attention. Ears should be cleaned weekly being careful not to insert anything into the ear canal. Nails need regular trimming, being careful not to cut the quick.
At Kellyville Pets, our first priority is the long term health and happiness of our puppies.
The steps we take to ensure this are that every pup has a minimum of the following:
- Micro-chipping and up to date Vaccination
- Up-to-date Flea and Worm prevention
- Pre and Post Veterinary Consults
- 14 day Health Guarantee
- A well informed owner
We believe it is a family decision to bring a puppy into the household, as you are essentially adding a new family member. An animal should never be given as a surprise, so we strongly recommend that the new owner be present and a part of the decision.
Owning a dog can be very rewarding, however before you make such a big decision, you should need to be aware of the following points:
- Dogs require annual vaccinations and minimum yearly check ups.
- Dogs need to be wormed every 3 months, and have a flea/tick prevention program.
- Dogs can suffer from heartworm and require regular treatment.
- Owning a dog will incur ongoing costs for food, vet bills and other essentials for the life of the dog.
- Different breeds of dogs have different nutritional requirements and there are many premium foods specifically designed to fullfill this.
- All dogs require ongoing training. Puppy pre-school is highly recommended for socialisation as well as training.
- Dogs require regular exercise and stimulation; minimum weekly for small dogs, or minimum every second day for large or active dogs.
- Dogs require shelter that keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Dogs are highly intelligent and social animals and require mental stimulation in the form of toys and games as well as social interaction with other dogs and humans alike.
- Dogs cannot be left unsupervised for long periods of time and this needs to be taken into account when going on holiday.
- Dogs have a varied lifespan depending on size and on average live up to 15 years
If all of this does not sound right or does not seem doable for you and your family, then it might not be the right time for you to take home a puppy.
Further information on diet, hygiene, worming, vitamins, Vets and much more is available from the team at Kellyville Pets
At Kellyville Pets, we encourage responsible pet ownership.
FACT SHEET © Copyright 2014 Kellyville Pets - The information in this brochure is meant as a guide only. Kellyville Pets take no responsibility of any description for any consequence and or result that may eventuate as a consequence of any information obtained from this brochure.