Puppy Wellness Check: 8 Important Post-importation Health Tips in Nigeria

Puppy wellness refers to the totality of your puppy’s physical, emotional and behavioral health.

Wellness is the hallmark of your puppy’s wellbeing. The wellness tips listed in this blog post will assist you in maintaining your puppy’s overall health. Keeping your puppy healthy is crucial to helping it live a long, happy, and pleasant life. If we have recently imported your puppy from South Africa into Nigeria, the information listed below is especially important.

Maltese in Nigeria
A happy puppy

General Post-importation Puppy Wellness Check Tips

  1. Sleeping Area – Ensure that your puppy’s sleeping area is warm. If your puppy is cold, she will keep you up at night!
  2. Vaccination – Make sure you follow up on your puppy’s vaccination. In most cases, your puppy would have been given one or two shots of inoculation before delivery to you from Pet Lovers Nigeria. It is your responsibility to ensure that you keep your dog’s vaccination up to date. Veterinarians administer distemper vaccination (DHLPP/DHPP) shots at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age. After which, the vaccination becomes annual. This vaccination shot protects your puppy from four different diseases. These diseases are the acronym for the DHPP vaccine, which stands for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
  3. Deworming – Remember to deworm your puppy once every two weeks until three months. Afterwards, deworm once monthly up until she is one year old and after that, once every three months.
  4. Food – Feed your puppy good, quality food formulated for puppies with at least 30% protein. Do not feed or give your puppy Eba or any form of table waste, cereal, Pro Nutro, cow’s milk, chocolate, and or calcium supplements.
  5. Eating Times – Puppies need to be fed three times a day. Endeavour not to overfeed your puppy.
  6. Clean Water – Your puppy must have access to clean drinking water at all times.
  7. Changing Food – Note that a change in the brand of food may upset your puppy’s tummy. You may experience this for a day or two. Please keep an eye on your puppy to see if she develops diarrhoea or stops eating. This is especially important if your puppy has just arrived from overseas. A gentle switch to a new dog food brand is recommended. This is done by introducing small portions of the new food mixed with the old food brand. Increase the portion of the new food brand gradually.
  8. Diarrhoea is usually a watery or jelly yellow or greenish stool and may result in your puppy not eating. It may lead to dehydration which you should make attempts to prevent. Consult your vet immediately if symptoms persist.

Kitten & Puppy Wellness Check For Your New Pet

Vaccinations

  • Puppy — Vaccination schedule for your puppy should be from 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks old, and thereafter annually.
  • Kitten — Vaccination schedule for your kitten should be from 9 weeks, 12 weeks old and thereafter annually.

Dogs and cats in Nigeria should be vaccinated against Rabies at 12 weeks and then ANNUALLY according to the State Vets. Remember that there is no cure for Rabies, and Rabies kills humans and animals. If there is an outbreak and you cannot prove that your animal had vaccinations, the State vets may euthanase your animal on the spot!

Deworming

  • Every 3 – 4 weeks until 6 months of age, then every 3 – 4 months as an adult – treatment according to age and weight of the puppy/kitten.
  • If your pet has worms (you may not always see it iin their feaces), they may develop slight diarrhoea after deworming, but there should be no blood in it, the animal should not be ill/off food and the diarrhoea should pass withiin 12 – 24 hours.
  • Puppies do have occassional bouts of vomitting/diarrhoea , but they should not be ill/off food, and there should not be any trace of blood in the diarrhoea /vomit and it should pass withiin 12 – 24 hours – remeber they are like babies – dehydration kills them! Rather have them checked by a qualified vet if you have any concerns.

Flea And Tick Treatment

  • Every 4 weeks, administer with a safe and effective treatment according to the puppy’s / kitten’s weight and age.
  • Frontline Spray – can be used on 2 day old puppies/kittens
  • Frontline Plus – this can be used from 8 weeks of age
  • Revolution (cats) – from 6 weeks of age (This does not kill ticks, but does ear mites – common problem in cats)
  • Ex Spot (Dogs) – from 2 weeks of age (also repels flies)
  • Fiprotec (cats) – from 12 weeks of age

The difference (and often the price difference) between products usually relates to the product efficacy (what percentage of flea/tick burden it will kill after the treatment) and product safety margin (how easy it is to poison/kill the animal with the product).

Diet

If you ever change a puppy’s/kitten’s diet, do it gradually over a period of 5 days by phasing the one diet in and the other out (mixing). This will prevent intestinal upset.

All puppies should be on a puppy diet suitable for their breed, age, and size. Puppy/kitten diets have a different energy/protein and calcium formulation to make sure the growing puppy/kitten has all the nutrients available for correct development and so avoiding problems as an adult.

Large breed puppies (who will be over 25kg as an adult i.e. boerboel, german shepherd, etc) need to be on a LARGE BREED PUPPY diet. This will control their growth so that they reach their adult weight at around 12 months and not at 6 months, so as to avoid strain on their immature joints. This will help prevent joint problems later in life. Many dogs are euthanized at an early age due to weak joints, especially hips. By feeding the correct diet, you can try and prevent this from happening.

I hope these puppy wellness checks/tips will provide you with valuable insights into effectively caring for your new addition to your family.

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