Dogs and Puppies

Our services and advice for dogs


Puppies and dogs are at risk from a number of diseases that can result in permanent health damage or even death. However, vaccination and regular boosters can prevent these diseases.

In new born puppies, provided that the mother is immune, the antibodies in the mother's milk are usually sufficient to protect the puppy during the first few weeks of life. This form of immunity does not last very long, and when it decreases, vaccination becomes essential.

The first (primary) vaccination is usually given in two doses, the first dose at around the age of 6-8 weeks and the second about 2-4 weeks later. Your puppy will be fully covered one week after their second vaccination.

Yearly booster vaccinations are essential to maintain good immunity. Remember that your dog's visit to the veterinary surgery for an annual booster is also a good opportunity for a thorough examination and health check.

Until your puppy is vaccinated, it should:

  • Not be allowed to mix with unvaccinated dogs
  • Not be walked in areas where other dogs have been
  • Be taken out and about often in 'non-doggy' areas, being carried if necessary to avoid contact with other dogs and soiled areas.

Did you know, all routine vaccinations are covered under the Pet Health Club. Find out more here.


Dogs are commonly affected by two types of worms - tapeworms and roundworms.

Some worms can pass from pets to people, most human infections cause only minor symptoms but some cases can lead to serious conditions such as blindness and epilepsy.

Lungworm is being seen much more frequently in dogs in this country now than in the past. Lungworm can be caught from slugs and snails, which means that young, curious dogs are the most likely to be at risk. Lungworm can severely affect breathing and blood clotting. It can also lead to paralysis and is sometimes fatal.

Puppies should be wormed regularly please ask the practice about the best regime for your puppy.

Under the Pet Health Club, you will receive year round worm treatments! Find out more here.

Flea Control

Regular flea control is an essential part of looking after your puppy. Fleas may cause irritation, skin conditions and spread tapeworm.

A variety of safe and effective products are available for treating your puppy and house, which can become a breeding ground for fleas.

Regular treatment should help prevent a flea problem from occurring. Ask us for advice on which treatments are most suitable for your puppy.

Under the Pet Health Club, you will receive year round treatment for fleas! Find out more here.


Microchipping has been compulsory for all dogs from April 2016.

We normally microchip puppies a when they come in for their second injection at 10-12 weeks old.

Having your puppy microchipped gives you the best chance of being reunited with them should you lose them.

We use high quality Tracer ® microchips which are registered on the Petlog database. The microchip is the size of a small grain of rice and is inserted into the scruff of your dog’s neck, in a very quick and simple process.

The Pet Health Club believes that microchipping is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership. That is why it is included as part of the plan. Find out more here.



Both dogs and bitches are usually neutered between six and twelve months of age although the operation can be carried out at any time after this age.

What to expect

Your dog will come in as a day patient in the morning and go home in the afternoon. This will involve a period of starvation the night before.

Both male and female dogs will have a general anaesthetic. Male dogs are castrated through a small incision near to the scrotum. Bitches are neutered through an incision mid line on their belly.

The stitches are usually in place for fourteen days and lead exercise is advised during this time.

Possible complications

Every anaesthetic has a small risk associated with it but your pet will have a general health check on admission and complications are very rarely encountered.

Spaying your bitch


  • Stops unwanted pregnancies
  • Stops biannual season
  • Prevents a life threatening condition called pyometra that a quarter of entire female dogs get after the age of 10 years
  • Decreases the incidence of mammary cancer (breast cancer)


  • Unable to reproduce
  • More prone to weight gain

Castrating your dog


  • Decreases territory marking and sexual behaviour
  • Decreses chances of wandering
  • Eliminates risk of testicular cancer
  • Decreases chances of prostatic problems, perineal hernias and anal adenomas
  • Can aid the treatment of aggression


  • Unable to reproduce
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Coat changes in specific breeds

As a member of the Pet Health Club you can receive 20% off neutering. Find out more here.

Preparation for phobic events

Preparation is crucial if dogs are to get through events such as firework displays and thunderstorms with minimal fear and stress. The first step is to identify/create a safe place for the dog to hide when he or she is frightened. Ideally this should be created well in advance of the predicted event. The best room in which to create a shelter is one which is naturally quiet, if possible located towards the centre of the house, and with minimal numbers of windows.

Creating a Refuge:

Install a Dog Appeasing Pheromone (aDAPtil) diffuser in the home, ideally close to or inside the dog's hiding place. The diffuser resembles a plug-in air freshener. The smell (which cannot be detected by humans) produced mimics the chemicals produced by the mothers of new-born puppies to calm them and encourage relaxed feeding. aDAPtil diffusers can be purchased from your local Robson & Prescott branch or from the hospital. Make sure you read the enclosed instructions carefully - most importantly the diffuser must be left operating 24 hours a day. If possible, install the diffuser a couple of weeks before the peak of the fireworks season to produce the most powerful effect. aDAPtil make dogs feel more relaxed, confident and better able to cope with a stressful event.

Put lots of old blankets for your dog to dig and burrow in, preferably in a corner where the dog has already tended to dig and hide. Include an old, unwashed piece of clothing, like a woolly jumper, as the familiar scent will provide some comfort even when you are not there. A dog crate or cage with an open door, covered with blankets makes a great 'cave-like' den.

Close the windows and draw the curtains. If possible the curtains should be of heavy material to block all light especially flashes and to dull all noises from outside. Old blankets can be used temporarily if the curtains are not of a suitably heavy material.

Bowls of water and food should be provided at all times, even if the dog does not appear to show much of an interest.

Leave a few special treats and chews in the hiding place - chewing can help to reduce tension. However, some dogs are not interested in treats at these stressful times so don't worry if these are ignored and do not try to force the issue!

Moderately loud rhythmic music with a good base beat is an effective way to mask the firework noises from outside. If your dog is used to the sound of radios and music, then a hi-fi or iPod speaker can be placed in the room at a loud but comfortable level. Of course a little respect for your neighbours will be appreciated!

Your designated hiding place MUST be accessible to your dog at all times; make sure that your dog cannot be accidentally trapped either inside OR outside of the 'safe room'.

Get your dog used to going into the hiding place 2 or 3 times a day during the run up to peak fireworks season and giving him or her some food or a favourite treat. This will help to build a positive association with this area.

On the day:

If possible, try to give the dog a good long walk during daylight hours. Avoid exercising phobic dogs after dark as they are more likely to be exposed to the things that frighten them. Well-exercised dogs are more likely to relax in the evening.

Make sure that the dog has no opportunity to bolt and escape if a sudden noise occurs. Make sure that all gates, fences and doors are secure and that he or she is on a lead at all times when out and about.

If your dog is not prone to tummy upsets and you know that a firework display is imminent, give your dog a large, stodgy, carbohydrate-rich meal in the late afternoon. Pasta, mashed potato or overcooked rice are ideal and will help to make him or her feel calm and sleepy as the evening draws in.

If your vet has prescribed any medication to be given to help to control the signs of anxiety this should be given exactly as directed - in advance of the onset of darkness or the start time of the fireworks if this can be predicted.

If the dog is really terrified then doggy earplugs can be used. These can be purchased from pet stores. These MUST NOT be pushed too far down the ear and MUST be removed and thrown away after use.

When the noises start:

Lead your dog to the hiding place if he/she does not make their own way there.

Do not be tempted to get cross with him or her and remember never to punish them for being frightened.
It is equally important not to try to soothe the dog. This reinforces his opinion that there is something to be frightened of and may even reward him for being fearful.

Ignore the dog while he or she is looking frightened. If he begins to relax, he can be rewarded with attention and affection. A game and food treats can also be given if he shows an interest.

Ignore the noises yourself and try to appear happy, relaxed and unconcerned. If there is another pet in the household who is less fearful it can be useful to engage them in a fun game - the fearful dog may be encouraged to join in.

For any further information or advice, please contact your local practice and speak to one of our friendly staff. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

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