Are you thinking of getting or giving a puppy this Christmas?  Owning a puppy is a wonderful experience and should be a happy one. A new puppy quickly becomes a family member and most owners want to ensure that it is healthy, and that the best is done to ensure it stays healthy.

Here are a few tips from the vets at City Vet to help with this fun process.

1. Pick a puppy that suits you.

Do not buy a puppy until you are entirely happy with it.
Type of pet: Consider the type of pet that is most suitable for your family, garden, home and lifestyle.
Cost: Consider the cost of its bed, kennel, food, veterinary health care including vaccination, worm and flea treatments, neutering and pet insurance.
Indoors or outdoors – If you are house proud, keeping your dog outside may be preferred, or a small breed dog might be more suitable.
Sex – The sex of your pet is of some importance, however, the best veterinary advice is to neuter both male and female dogs at about 6 months of age. This reduces many potential health problems, unwanted puppies and behavioural problems, especially in male dogs.
Responsibility – Despite parents insisting that is to be a child’s responsibility to mind a new pet, the reality is caring for the pet is an adult responsibility and is rarely properly done by a child unless the parents have taken a very active role.
Size – Choose a size of dog that is suitable for your home. Remember a cuddly puppy you’ve fallen in love with can quickly grow into a large dog you didn’t plan for or can’t cater for

2. Never buy a puppy from a ‘puppy farm’.

Always insist on seeing its mother and its bed before you buy.

3. Toilet training.

Toilet training causes the biggest problem for new puppy owners.

4. Diet

A good quality balanced diet is important to develop a strong and healthy body.

5. Wormer

Treat with an effective wormer every two weeks until twelve weeks, from then every month until six months and every three months for life.

6. Vaccinations

Ensure your puppy is fully vaccinated, the first vaccination can be given as early as 6 weeks of age.

7. Exercise on a leash

Always keep your dog on a leash for safety reasons.

8. Microchip

A microchip place under the skin helps it to be returned if it strays or is stolen.

9. Pet insurance

Pet health insurance is now available to cover the cost of treatments

10. Naming your puppy

Don’t leave it too long to name your puppy as the sooner you name your pet the sooner he or she gets used to answering it. Naming your puppy should be part of the fun and the puppy’s personality often leads to the perfect name.  Did you know that the most popular puppy names this year include Max, Molly, Lucky, Bailey, Misty, Lady and Patch?