Pet Advice Categories


A healthy diet, properly balanced in nutrients, is essential for the optimum growth and development of your puppy.

The best way to achieve this is to feed an all in one diet.

Hills diets are formulated to meet the needs of dogs during all stages of their life cycle, development and activity, and we strongly recommend them. All nutritional requirements for fat, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals are met and special attention has been placed upon avoiding unnecessary ingredients or those which may be harmful in large amounts. These diets should not be supplemented as such additions may upset the nutritional balance.

Hills Vet Essentials Puppy should be fed until 12 months of age. Once physical maturity has been reached we recommend Hills Vet Essentials Adult.


These are essential to prevent your puppy contracting potentially fatal diseases. The first vaccination is given from 6 weeks of age against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, and Leptospirosis (4 different strains). This is repeated in a second vaccination 3-4 weeks later to ensure full protection.

Your puppy should be kept away from any areas which other dogs use and any unknown dogs until 3 weeks after the first injection. After this, we encourage you to socialise your puppy with other dogs in gardens and public areas including around town to give them as early experience of traffic, car travel, people and noises as possible. Puppy parties are the ideal way to introduce your young puppy to other dogs and children. Ask our staff about Puppy Parties at Avonvale. Wider exposure to countryside, water courses and swimming should be restricted until 4 weeks after your puppy’s second vaccination (earliest at 13 weeks).

You will be given a certificate of vaccination once the primary vaccination course has been completed. As all these diseases are still very common, it is very important that your dog receives a regular yearly booster to maintain adequate protection.


A tiny microchip is inserted under the skin on the back of the neck by injection. This carries a number, which is unique to your puppy, and remains there for life. It is registered with Petlog and other pet databases so that if your puppy becomes lost he/she can be reunited with you as soon as possible. Unlike a collar or disc the chip can never be lost. This is a simple procedure and from April 2016 it became a legal requirement for puppies to be microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old.


The two main types of worms in dogs are Roundworms and Tapeworms.

Roundworms are a particular public health concern, in particular Toxocara canis which can be infectious to humans. These are white worms that look like pieces of string. About 40% of puppies have roundworms living in their intestine. Roundworm eggs are microscopic and cannot be seen in the faeces, however they can survive for a long time on the ground, particularly in parks and grassy areas. Good personal hygiene is essential.

If a dog has tapeworms, pale rice grain sized segments or flat ribbon shaped pieces may be seen moving in the faeces or around the dog’s anus. Often dogs become infected whilst grooming by swallowing fleas that are carrying tapeworm cysts. These cysts soon hatch into adult worms that start shedding the egg filled rice like segments we see in the dog’s faeces. These then infect fleas to complete the cycle.

WORM CONTROL: Puppies should be wormed at the time of their first vaccination and again at their second vaccination. Worming is then repeated at 4, 5, and 6 months of age and then every 3 months for life. Modern worming tablets cover a range of worms and are tasty and effective. They can be concealed in food and don’t usually cause any side effects. For more comprehensive protection including mites and lungworm, a monthly spot on treatment with Advocate is advisable. This protection is built in to our Junior Pet Club scheme.


Like all insects, fleas lay eggs which cause most of the problem. Even if your pet has just one flea, each female flea can lay up to 2000 eggs. These drop off your puppy into carpets, upholstery and bedding. Indoors, fleas will breed all year round. After the eggs turn into cocoons, they can lie dormant for up to a year. When the flea in the cocoon senses the movement and warmth of pets or people, the fleas jump out and are ready to feed.

  • Apply treatment monthly to prevent and kill adult fleas We recommend Advocate and Advantage. These ‘spot on’ treatments are applied to the skin at the back of the neck, are easy to use and very effective. They kill any existing fleas very quickly and give ongoing protection for 4 weeks. Advocate also includes roundworm, lungworm and mite treatment.
  • Where adult fleas have been present treat your home to kill flea larvae As well as treating your pet for fleas, vacuuming followed by environmental spraying with a specialised household spray is often required to break the life cycle of the flea. Our staff can recommend products.


We usually recommend bitches are spayed before their first season, at 6 months of age except for certain larger breeds; in which case we recommend before their second season. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, early spaying has been proven to result in a huge reduction in the occurrence of mammary tumours in older bitches and prevents life threatening uterine infections. This protection is dramatically reduced after the second season.

Dogs are castrated at 6 months of age before they start to develop male traits such as roaming, urine marking etc. This also reduces the risk of developing prostate problems, anal tumours and testicular cancer.
Our vets carry out both of these surgical procedures here in our fully equipped operating suite. Your pet’s anaesthetic and recovery is carefully monitored by trained nurses. Your dog should be able to go home that evening. Neutering can be done with 15% discount providing your pet has been vaccinated at Avonvale or is registered on our New Puppy Programme and is included at no extra charge with JUNIOR Pet Club membership.


The earlier you can introduce your puppy to new experiences and expected behaviour the better. Attend our Puppy Party, read our puppy socialising leaflet and don’t hesitate to call your Puppy Care Nurse at our surgery for tips and advice.

Gentle Handling

Head Ears Tail Paws/Legs/Belly
Neck Mouth Being lifted Collar/Harness/Lead

Meeting people

Children Babies/Prams Uniforms/Boots Men/Women
Glasses Poeple in hats Babies in prams People on bikes

Meeting Other Animals

Dogs Wildlife/Birds Livestock Rabbits/Guinea Pigs
Cats Ducks/Swans Horses Fish in tanks/ponds

Everyday Routine

Households/Equipment sounds Litter tray Cat basket Travelling in the car
Scratching surfaces Cat flap Groups of people Visiting the Vet Centre

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