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Where your pets feel at home

Where your pets feel at home

New Puppy Information

Vet shares how to keep your new puppy happy and healthy This page provides you with valuable information on how to keep your new puppy…

Vet shares how to keep your new puppy happy and healthy

This page provides you with valuable information on how to keep your new puppy happy and healthy for life. We know how many questions you may have having this new bundle of fur in your lives, so want to make life as easy as possible for you.  We have also created a personalised “First year of life” chart which we will go through with you during your first (free) registration check with us. This helps to lay out what you need to do for your puppy and when, guiding you through the options available for parasite control.

Call  3353 6999  to make your appointment.


At McDowall Veterinary Practice we use the most advanced and effective vaccines available. This allows us to vaccinate against some diseases every three years only, once your  new puppy has had its first annual vaccination.

Our puppy vaccination schedule is as follows:

 6-8 weeks of age : C3  – Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis.
10-12 weeks of age: C5 -Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Intranasal Bordetella.
14-16 weeks of age: C3 – Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis.
Yearly for life : C5/C2 – Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Bordetella.


Heartworm is spread between infected animals by mosquitoes. Left untreated, heartworm can be fatal. Heartworm prevention should start with your puppy’s first visit to the vet. There are lots of products on the market, you just have to decide which is easiest for you and your dog.

MONTHLY– Can be a tablet, chew or spot on treatment that must be given at the same time each month. These products may also treat some intestinal worms but be sure to check by reading the label or asking your vet.

YEARLY An injection administered by your vet once a year. This will provide 12 months of protection against Heartworm. We normally try to coincide this with your annual vaccination for your convenience. It can be given to dogs from 12 weeks of age.

We recommend monthly treatment with a milbemax tablet until six months of age, and then annual heartworm injections. This is the most cost-effective method of heartworm prevention as well as being the least likely to be forgotten.


Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm & Tapeworm are parasites that can infect your pet. Some of these worms can also infect people so it’s important to treat your pet regularly, especially if you have children. An “allwormer” tablet is required for this.

Be sure to weigh your puppy before worming, as dosage is based on body-weight.

Treatment should be as follows:

Every two weeks until 12 weeks of age.
Then every month until six months old.
Then every three months for life.


Fleas are parasites that may not be life threatening but are certainly a great source of irritation for your pet and, potentially, your family. The easiest and most effective treatment is a monthly tablet called Nexgard, which we have found to be very effective. There are a number of other products on the market, all with slightly different pros and cons which we would be happy to advise you on.


Tick control is most important from Spring through to Summer. The paralysis tick is the most dangerous of all as it can be fatal and symptoms progress rapidly. Symptoms include a change in voice, difficulty breathing and ‘wobbly’ back legs. If you suspect your dog is suffering from tick paralysis, you should seek Veterinary attention immediately. Regular and thorough checking of your animal is recommended throughout tick season, as early detection can prevent symptoms from developing. Monthly tablets, tickcollars,  and “spot ons” are all useful in the prevention of paralysis tick infection, but no treatment is guaranteed.


Puppies should be fed at least three meals a day until they are 12 weeks old. After that, two meals a day are sufficient. We have a large range of high-quality dry foods which can be supplemented with fresh food or raw bones. Raw chicken wings and bones help to maintain clean, healthy teeth. If possible, regular brushing is also recommended.


We recommend that all animals be desexed if you are not intending to breed them. This helps to prevent health problems later in life.  Usually desexing is done around six months of age. Desexing female dogs before their first season reduces by 90% their risk of developing mammary cancer later in life. For more information please see our blog on desexing.


This is a great way to socialise your puppy with other dogs and people, and learn some basic training commands. Pre-school is for dogs aged between 8 and 12 weeks. We run a puppy school for our clients starting on the first Saturday of the month.


With the rising costs of veterinary medicine it may be a good idea to consider pet insurance. There are many companies that provide this service. When comparing companies things to consider include:

  • Does the policy guarantee lifetime renewal? (Some cheaper policies may stop cover once your pet  reaches a certain age or decrease the level of cover as your pet ages.)
  •  Does the policy refresh the amount claimable annually?
  •  Does the policy place new exclusions or restrictions on cover at the time of renewal?
  •  Does the policy cover for hereditary and congenital conditions, or are there breed-specific exclusions?
  •  Does the policy have a limit per claim or per condition per year?
  • Does the policy cap conditions if they are chronic?

Please ask us to explain the benefits of this insurance cover to you at your next visit, or click on the icon.


What is a Microchip ?

A microchip is a permanent form of identification in the form of a tiny chip (about the size of a grain of rice).  We inject the microchip under your pet’s skin – just like a vaccination.  This chip has an identification number that is linked to all your contact details on a national registry.  This number is as unique as a fingerprint and is the latest technology available for lifetime identification of your pet.

Why Microchip Your Pet ?

Your pet can be identified anywhere in Australia, any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Your pet should still have a collar and name tag, but these are sometimes lost or become unreadable.  A microchip is there for life and the details are easily updated if you change address. The one-off cost is small in comparison to the heartache of losing your family pet.

Animal Management Act -1 July 2009

On 1 July 2009 it became compulsory to microchip all puppies born after 8 April 2009 before they are 12 weeks old.  This can be done during a consultation or at the same time as a vaccination. This is not replacing Council registration, this must also be done by the time your puppy is 12 weeks old.