Puppies ready to go home in April (Updated 3/26/20)

PUPPY Health


Water and Food

  • Unless crated, water should always be available. Some puppies like to play in their water bowls so they may dry up quickly. Consider a water dispenser that will only need to be refilled every few days. 
  • Currently feeding Royal Canin Small Puppy.  At 8 weeks, they are being fed mash twice a day and dry kibble is always available. The mash is simply the kibble put thru a blender. The powder is then mixed with hot water to make a pasty mash. Gradually the mash will switch to plain kibble mixed with hot water so it is soft.  

Veterinary Care

Puppies should be examined by your vet within 2 days of joining your family. This ensures the puppies health and allows you to ask questions. Should leave appointment with plans for at least 3 things: vaccinations, flea/tick control and worm/heartworm prevention.


  • Please check with your veterinarian because vaccination protocols can vary. We currently give DHP at 5 weeks and DHPP at 7, 10, 13 and 16 weeks. (DHPP= distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus).
  • Puppies are not considered protected until 2 weeks after the 10 week vaccine.
  • Rabies is given as early as 12 weeks.
  • I also encourage getting Leptospirosis, Bordetella, flu and possibly Lyme vaccines in their first year.
  • Routine vaccines are usually boosted every 1-3 years.
  • More information at https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-shots-complete-guide/


  • Grooming should start right away to get puppies used to baths, blow dryers, brushing and nail trimming.  When playing with puppies take a moment to tickle their toes, look in ears, raise lips to look at teeth. This can make them comfortable with grooming in the future.
  • Bathing frequency can be every 2-3 weeks depending upon how dirty the puppy gets. I usually bathe adults monthly. Mild puppy shampoo diluted in water is the easiest to use and makes it easier to make sure all soap is rinsed out. Next I towel them off and use blow dryer on warm to get them dry enough to stop shivering.  Some dogs instinctively roll all over towels and dry themselves. 
  • Nails have been clipped weekly since around 3 weeks. Clip nails as needed, maybe weekly when really young. Infant nail clippers work well at first and then small clippers.
  • More info at https://www.asca.org/the-australian-shepherd/about-aussies/grooming/
  • Also, many videos available on YouTube to learn how.

Flea and Tick Prevention

  • This is more than just a bug nuisance issue! It really important for your dog’s health because fleas and ticks carry diseases and worms. This is how to prevent infection.
  • Again, speak with your vet as there are many ways to do this. 
  • My routine (2019), is to start topical fipronil at 8 weeks and repeat monthly. Will switch to oral Nexgard when puppy is over 4 pounds. Once 6 months old, I switch to Bravecto every 3 months.


The puppies receive pyrantel pamoate at 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks. Ivermectin is added at 6 and 10 weeks for heart worm prevention. Stool testing is done at 7 weeks. Ask your vet for the long-term worm and heartworm strategy.