Puppy Health Care Tips

Do you have a new puppy?

Greencross Vets are your partner in pet care and we’re here to support you with your new family member. It’s important that your puppy starts off on the right paw.

A new puppy brings a lot of excitement and joy to the family unit. It is often an eagerly anticipated event, and it can therefore be tempting to show off your new family member to everyone you know. Our best advice is that your puppy should have total peace and quiet in the first 24 hours. Try to encourage all family members to handle the new arrival quietly and gently, and allow them adequate periods of rest by themselves.

How do you house train your new puppy?

Developing a routine will assist you in housetraining your puppy. To minimise accidents, take them outside first thing in the morning, after every sleep, after being left alone for a long period of time, after each meal, and just before bedtime. Some obvious signs that your puppy needs to go to the bathroom include walking around in circles, sitting or whining at the door, and sniffing at the ground.

Of course, accidents will happen, but if you catch your puppy in the act, take them outside immediately. Never spank your puppy, rub their nose in accidents, or reprimand them after an accident has occurred. Just remember to praise them whenever they do the right thing – a tasty treat is a perfect reward.

Puppy School

Getting a new puppy is exciting, but it can also be a challenge due to the high levels of care and attention they need. Puppy school is a fantastic way to train and socialise your new pet and learn techniques on how best to raise a respectable pooch. Greencross Vets has got you covered.  Learn more about our puppy school classes.


The diseases that vaccinations protect against are serious and often hard to treat. Vaccinations are vital to your puppy’s health. Complete protection can only be achieved if all vaccines are given, and your dog is kept away from public areas and other pets until after their 14-week vaccine.

  • 6 to 8 weeks old – Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus
  • 10 to 12 weeks old – Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella
  • 14 to 16 weeks old – Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella
  • Adult dogs require annual boosters to maintain immunity

Your Greencross veterinarian will be able to tailor a vaccine program to your dog.

Learn more about vaccinating your puppy.

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Parasite Prevention


Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until they are 12 weeks of age, then every month after that until they are six months old. From then, depending on the product, worming your pet every three months will maintain effective worm prevention. Worming should be performed regardless of whether worms are seen in droppings or not, as many are too small to be seen with the naked eye. A high-quality all-wormer should be used and is available in a variety of forms. Speak to your Greencross Vet for more information about worming.


Heartworm prevention treatment can be started from 6 weeks of age (depending on the product), increasing the dose as your dog gets heavier. Annual injections, tablets or spot-ons are easiest. Dogs over six months of age must have a blood test for heartworm before commencing prevention medications. If your dog misses their medication for any period of time, please phone the clinic for advice. Learn more about heartworm.


All pets will be exposed to fleas at some stage of their life. Regular preventative treatments are the best way to keep infestations at bay. There are a number of prevention treatments available, such as tablets, monthly topical applications, flea collars and rinses. Contact your Greencross Vet to discuss the options best suited to you and your pet.


Paralysis ticks are found around bushes, scrubland and riverbanks mainly on the east coast of Australia. Traditionally, tick season is mainly August to January; however, ticks can be present at any time of the year. If you and your pet live in a tick-prone area, you should inspect them every day. Prevention can be difficult, so ask your veterinarian for more information as treatments vary depending on your pet’s level of exposure. No method of tick prevention is 100% effective, so you still need to manually search your pet on a daily basis.


There are many advantages of having your pet desexed, for example they will be healthier and less likely to roam and fight. In addition, several behavioural problems can be reduced with desexing, plus unwanted litters are avoided. There is no advantage in allowing females to have a heat or litter before considering desexing. We recommend talking with your local Greencross Vets as to the best time to desex your canine companion. Learn more about desexing your puppy.

Diet and Nutrition

Optimal nutrition is important, particularly during your pet’s growth period in the first one to two years of life, depending on the breed. Please ask our healthcare team for advice on feeding your puppy, as a complete and balanced diet is essential for a long and healthy life. Learn more about choosing the right food for your puppy.

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