Puppy health

Welcome home puppy

Here are a few things you can do to make your puppy feel at home right away

  • Keep visitors to a minimum during the first few days.
  • Before they arrive home, set up a warm, safe place for them to sleep.
  • Give them a few toys to chew on … your shoes will thank you!
  • Start toilet training from the moment you bring them in the front door by showing them where they need to do their ‘business’, ie outside and praising them when they do it right. Accidents will happen but they learn very quickly if you are consistent. You can also get puppy training toilet mats from some speciality pet stores.

Puppy vaccinations and worming

One of the most important things you can do for your new pup is to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date. Make an appointment to see your vet and fill them in on your pup’s vaccination history.

By the time your pup reaches you he/she may have already had the first series of vaccinations, so make sure you have a copy of your pup’s vaccinations certificate to show your vet - they will be able to tell you what to do from there.

Your new puppy will typically require a course of three vaccinations at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks but check with your vet as to the recommended vaccinations for your new puppy.

As a guide, puppies should also be wormed every two weeks until they reach three months of age and then for life with an intestinal allwormer. Heartworm protection is needed for the lifetime of your dog. It is important to speak with your vet about the most appropriate treatments for your puppy.

Puppy toilet training

Toilet training is the first milestone you’ll want to achieve with your new addition to the house. It is important to start toilet training from the moment you bring them in the front door.

Choose a private place in your garden or an outdoor area that is relatively quiet and take your puppy to this place every morning, after every meal and nap, before bed and when you get home. When they do go to the toilet there, make sure to reward them with a cuddle or food. Accidents will happen but they learn very quickly if you are consistent.

Puppy diet

A puppy dog may be tiny but their food intake needs to be big to match their incredible energy output! Puppies should be fed a small amount of quality food at least four times a day.

This usually comprises of a mixture of high quality commercial puppy food (wet and dry food) but best to always ask your vet or breeder on what diet they recommend for your pup.

The food needs to be a puppy specific commercial product that is designed for the high energy needs of a growing dog.

The diet of a pup is very important – much like with a new baby you want to ensure you are feeding your puppy the right foods and nutrients to help ensure they grow up healthy and strong.

Generally your puppy should stay on this type of product until he/she reaches 12 months of age, but check with your vet about the best feeding routine and product for your particular dog

Never feed a puppy the following:

  • Cooked bones
  • Adult dog food
  • Chocolate
  • Cow’s milk
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Puppy play & exercise

Puppies get bored easily, and it’s when they’re bored that they start to show signs of destructive behaviour.

It will vary depending on your puppy’s age and breed, but most puppies need a minimum of 20 minutes of daily play plus an additional 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day.

It goes without saying that you should not even contemplate bringing a puppy home if you cannot commit to giving them the daily love, attention and care they require.

Things you should know

The information provided is general information only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Medibank Private does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information, representations or advice contained. To the extent permitted by law, Medibank Private accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by readers of this website as a result of or in connection with the information contained on this website (whether by way of negligence or otherwise).

Pet Insurance

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time prior to 30 August 2023 and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representative (AR) Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259, AR 286089 (Medibank).

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time on or after 30 August 2023, and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by PetSure and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s AR, Medibank.

Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing, or choosing to continue with the product. PDS and Target Market Determination available at medibank.com.au/pet-insurance.