Puppy Info

A happy puppy has five key welfare needs.

1. Environment

It is important that you keep your puppy healthy and comfortable while at home as well as when out and about.

  • A comfortable, clean bed
  • Safe car travel
  • Keep your dog safe from hazards and poisons, see www.pdsa.org.uk


2. Diet

Dogs of different ages have different nutritional requirements which means you will need to feed your dog a different diet when it’s a puppy, adult or senior dog. For example, puppies need more calories since they’ve got so much growing to do. Puppies are usually ready to eat solid food when they’re about five weeks old. Speak to your vet about the best time to move your puppy on to an adult diet – this can vary with the breed.


3. Behaviour

Training is a great way to keep your puppy active, both mentally and physically, more information at pdsa.org.uk/dogbehaviour

Playing with your puppy with appropriate toys will be mentally stimulating for your puppy, so it will be more likely to be happy. Take your puppy for walks once it is fully vaccinated. You can begin to increase the length of walks from six months of age. Socialisation is one of the most important things you can do for your puppy. Let them meet people and other animals gradually and experience lots of everyday sights and sounds, especially in the first few weeks of life.

4. Companionship

Puppies need plenty of company. Plan to spend one-to-one quality time with your puppy, activities such as; walks, playing games and grooming.

Make sure your puppy is properly looked after when you’re going on holiday. You can book them into kennels, or a friend or professional ‘pet-sitter’ could look after them. A good kennel won’t allow dogs to board if they haven’t been vaccinated, so ensure your puppy’s vaccinations are up to date.

5. Health

Maintain your puppy’s health and seek vet advice if your pet becomes ill or is injured.


When should my puppy be vaccinated?

The first vaccine can sometimes be given as young as six weeks of age, and the second is usually given two to four weeks later. Your vet will advise you how long you have to wait before your puppy can mix with other animals.

Currently dogs are commonly vaccinated against the following diseases:

  • Canine distemper (‘hard pad’)
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • Kennel cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza



How often should booster vaccinations be given?

Your puppy should receive a primary vaccination course. Over time, your dog’s immune response fades, so the initial vaccination course should be followed by regular ‘booster’ vaccinations. They’re often given every year, depending on the vaccine.