Welcome to your Dog and you!

This information is designed to remind you of the information you need with a new puppy and adult dogs.  If you have any questions about what is in this article or anything we may have missed then please ask a member of staff who will be more than happy to help.


Puppies require two vaccinations usually starting at eight weeks and then two weeks later for the second vaccination.  Puppies are then able to go outdoors one week after their second vaccination.   This starter course will then need to be ‘topped up’ yearly with a booster.  The vaccines offer protection against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza infection.  We strongly advise a further Parvo Vaccination at six months of age. You should visit the vets at least once a year, for a booster vaccination and health check.

Kennel cough vaccination is also a yearly vaccination and can be done at the same time as the booster, this covers against the commonly known kennel cough or Infectious Tracheobronchitis as it is properly known. Kennel cough usually causes a dry, hacking cough, runny nose and sometimes sneezing.

These diseases can be very serious and vaccination is recommended as preventative treatment.


Puppies are almost always infected with worms before birth and it is therefore wise to treat your puppy fortnightly until 12 weeks of age and monthly until they are six months.  In some heavily infected puppies we may recommend more frequent worming.  At six months, dog worming regimes can be relaxed.  It is usual to worm active outdoor dogs every three months.  Worm problems can affect your dog butalso some dog worms can also affect people especially young children and routine worming reduces these risks.


Prevention of these problems can be carried out by routine application of ‘spot on’ products.  There are many on the market and some are much less effective.  Ask our staff for the best option.  We recommend that all dogs are treated routinely from the time they go outdoors – earlier if they already have problems.

Some unusual types of mites can cause skin problems.  Should your dog be scratching excessively, ask one of our vets to check these things out for you.


It is important to identify your dog so that if any problems occur, we can reunite you as soon as possible.  Collars and tags are good ideas, ask at reception if you want a tag engraving for your dog (they are a legal requirement and you may be prosecuted if your dog is not wearing a collar and tag).  Identichips are much more permanent.  A small chip is injected under the skin and this chip is registered to you on a national computer system.  If your dog goes missing, then all RSPCA inspectors, dog wardens and vets should have readers and hopefully can reunite you with your dog quickly.  An identichip is also required for a Pet Passport.  If you intend taking your dog on holidays, ask our staff for any current offers on identichips.


Pets can now be taken to many foreign countries.  An identichip, rabies vaccine and blood test are required (see our separate leaflet).  Pet passports can be started from twelve weeks of age. Please be aware that some countries have diseases not seen in the UK.  Please consult the DEFRA website ( for information on these diseases.


Neutering a male dog can have benefits on behaviour; both dominant and sexual.  It also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer in later life.  The practice recommends neutering from six months of age.  Chemical neutering for 6-12 months can be achieved by application of an implant. This is temporary and can be beneficial in certain cases.

Spaying female dogs can be beneficial by stopping seasons and the inconvenience this can cause for your dog and yourself.  Female dogs also suffer with mammary cancer which is reduced drastically if spayed earlier rather then later and the likelihood of womb infections are stopped if spayed.  We usually spay female dogs from six months, before, or three months after their first season, however, please talk this over with one of our vets. There is contrary to belief no benefit from allowing your dog to have its first season or one litter.

After neutering, animals need less dietary intake, due to a change in hormone levels.  Please keep a check on their weight and ask the nurses for advice if you require it.  You can pop in to weigh your pet, often best done during surgery ‘quiet times’, just ask.


Puppies should be fed frequently; four times daily when small, reducing to twice daily by five months of age.  They should be fed puppy food not adult food as the mineral and energy balance is important for growing pups. There is a wide range of food available for puppies and adult dogs and there requirements vary depending on age, size, breed and lifestyle. Please speak to a member of staff for more information on which diet is suitable for your pet.


Dogs can develop joint problems if over fed or over exercised.  It is important to control feeding and exercise. The exercise requirement of your dog will depend on the age, size and breed, for example Bulldogs have a much lower exercise requirement than a Springer Spaniel. It is always worth researching a dogs exercise requirement before you purchase a puppy so you can ensure the dog is suitable for your lifestyle.


Your puppy will lose its ‘baby’ teeth usually from fourteen weeks to six months of age.  It is a good idea to try to get your puppy into the habit of regular tooth cleaning which will help to reduce tooth decay and prevent the need for dental operations that many older pets suffer with.


Like all your valuable possessions, your puppy can be insured against problems.  There are many insurance companies offering these services; independent of Ark Veterinary Surgery.  We recommend pet insurance since it can bring peace of mind that the best treatments can be administered without the worry of large bills.  You will usually settle your own vet bills and then claim them back yourself but for larger bills, a direct claim may be offered. Membership plans are available which will give you peace of mind and help spread the cost of treatment. Call or pop in for more details.  Click here for more details


The surgery has appointments for consultations; each appointment is a minimum of 10 minutes. You can make an appointment by phone or in person but if you are unable to make an appointment, please contact us so we can offer it to another Client.


The practice vets work a shared rota for emergency work.  This provides a vet on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year by way of a paging service.  If you have an emergency situation outside normal hours, please phone the surgery and follow the instructions.  The vet will then phone you back and either offer advice or make arrangements to meet you at the surgery.


Ark Veterinary Surgery aim to provide you with the highest standard of care and advice.  Like all businesses we charge for this service and our products.  Invoices are to be settled at the time of treatment.  If your pet has to stay with us for any treatment then we will be happy to provide you with an estimate of treatment costs – just ask!

If your animal is insured and the treatment they are having is over £250 we can offer to do a direct claim from the insurance company, we would ask that you pay the insurance excess and a handling fee if £20 if you choose this option at the time of treatment.

Finally, we wish you well in the years to come and feel free to contact us should you have any concerns.