Your New Puppy

Life can be bewildering for a new puppy; they need gentle reassurance and time to settle into your family’s way of life. They need a warm, comfortable place to sleep; their own bowl; some toys; a collar with an identification tag and, we recommend, a microchip (permanent identification injected under the skin at the back of their neck).

A new life is a big responsibility and there are a few important things that you need to be aware of that will ensure your puppy will grow up to be a healthy and content adult.

Husky Pup Watercolour Tuggeranong Vet Hospital


Your puppy needs to be vaccinated against a number of different diseases from an early age. These include Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus. These diseases can be easily prevented with a safe and effective vaccination – the C3.

Your puppy needs a vaccination at 6-8 weeks, at 12 weeks and finally at 16 weeks of age to maximise the effectiveness of the vaccination.

If your puppy is likely to go into boarding kennels, or to obedience training, it’s a good idea to consider upgrading to a C5 which includes coverage against parainfluenza virus and Bordetella both being causes of Kennel Cough. This can be done at 12 weeks of age.

Some vaccinations such as Kennel Cough need to be repeated annually for life to ensure continued coverage against infection, whereas others such as C3, can be given as a triennial vaccination when dogs come in for their first adult vaccination.

The vaccinations are also a great opportunity for us to get to know your new puppy, and make sure they are 100% fit and healthy.


Puppies are especially susceptible to a number of different intestinal worms which can cause weight loss, intestinal bleeding and lethargy. These include roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and whipworm. 

Puppies need to be wormed more regularly than adult dogs. We recommend fortnightly worming up until 12 weeks of age.  After this, dogs need intestinal worming every 3 months for life. Working dogs or dogs on rural properties generally need more frequent worming programs (every 6 weeks). 

It is a good idea to use an intestinal all-wormer such as Drontal or Milbemax which can be bought over the counter.

Heartworm is not a very common disease in Canberra, however, dogs travelling to the coast, or up to Sydney are at a greater risk of infection. Infection is passed by mosquitoes, so contact with other dogs is not an important factor in the spread of heartworm. Prevention of heartworm is easy, but if infected, treatment is complicated and the disease can be fatal. 

We recommend starting heartworm prevention from 6 months of age with the SR-12 injection (lasts 9 months for the first injection, then 12 months for subsequent injections). Alternatively, a monthly heartworm tablet is available from 12 weeks of age. We also offer products that combine protection against heartworm and intestinal worms in a monthly tablet or spot-on treatment.


Puppies have very particular nutritional requirements for the first 12 months of life. It’s important that their diet consists of at least 80% of high-quality premium puppy food. Try not to feed a big variety of foods as this can make your puppy fussy with food. It is okay for dogs to eat the same dry food every day for their whole life.

To summarise, we have provided a checklist for you below.  Please do not hesitate to ask any questions at your appointment and remember to have fun and enjoy your new family member. 

Your Puppy Health Checklist

6-8 Weeks

10-12 Weeks

16 Weeks

6 Months

Tuggeranong Veterinary Hospital Puppy Patient

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