The first few days

Your puppy will be a little scared initially, coming away from his mum and his litter mates. It is important to let him settle in to her new surroundings, but soon he will have be a fully fledged member of the family and start to explore…

His first vet’s visit…

Not as scary as you may think, we are happy to give your new puppy a full check over. Vaccination is highly recommended, the main diseases we protect against are distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis. Vaccination can be started from six weeks of age, with the final part of the primary course being given at 10 weeks old (or 4 weeks after the first part if your puppy is over eight weeks when the course is started). An annual booster is vital to maintain immunity, and we send free reminders to jog your memory when the time comes. These can be sent via email or post.

Sometimes puppies come with a few ‘free gifts’ such as fleas, worms and ear mites. Don’t worry though, we are able to help get rid of these visitors safely and effectively. We will even give you a free wormer to get things started!

Puppies are naturally inquisitive and tend to get into trouble without much effort! To give you peace of mind, we are able to provide four weeks free insurance with Petplan. There are no catches, no strings. It is genuinely FREE. Cover is instant for illness or injury (free insurance is not available for breeders)

We are now vaccinating all dogs with the new Lepto 4 vaccination. This vaccine provides 2 and a half times the cover of previous Leptospirosis, so your pet is protected against far more strains of this serious illness. More information here

His second vet visit…

Usually done three to four weeks after the first visit. We will give a second health check, and if all is well, administer the second vaccination. At this visit we recommend the placement of a microchip. This is injected just under the skin, but, should your dog go missing and end up in an animal home or injured at a vets, then scanning for the chip gives us your details very quickly. We offer a free microchip with a course of puppy vaccinations including your life membership of the national pet database.

Free 5 month health check

As your puppy approaches five months old, we will write to invite you to our Pontefract surgery for a free healthcheck with one of our fully qualified veterinary nurses. This gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have, and allows us to make sure your young dog is settling in and progressing normally. We can also advise on worming and flea control, insurance, weight control and neutering.


This is normally done for males from seven months old, and females from six months of age. Both spaying and castration are done as day patient procedures, pets normally admitted between 08am and 9am, being discharged in the late afternoon or early evening of the same day.

Spaying bitches removes the risk of unwanted and phantom pregnancies, and also removes the risk of potentially fatal pyometra (a severe uterine infection). Spaying prior to the first season markedly reduces the risk of breast cancer also (bitches that have had three seasons run a 26% chance of breast cancer)! Check out our pages on keyhole surgery for the latest techniques for your bitch.

Castrating dogs reduces the urge to roam looking for females, can reduce aggression and removes the risk of testicular cancer in later life. It also reduces the risk of some prostate problems, and some growths around the anus in later life.


We strongly recommend pet insurance to give you peace of mind and to give your pet the best veterinary care available. Veterinary care has advanced very rapidly in recent years, to the extent that technology such as ultrasound and MRI scanning is now readily available. Medicine and surgery has also advanced with new treatments being developed every year. This advance in veterinary medicine can mean that treatment costs may be large, and a good insurance policy is vital to cover this.

Three broad types of policy are available.

1. Annual Policy

This will cover treatment upto your chosen financial limit (for example, £3000 per illness) or for twelve months, whichever comes first. This means that for long term illnesses, your insurance would run out after twelve months. After this point the condition would be classed as ‘pre-existing’ so would not be covered if you were to change insurance company or by the existing policy.

2. ‘Pot of money policy’

This type of policy usually gives a high amount of cover for a condition. This money lasts as long as it takes to be spent. For example, if you have a £7000 ‘pot’ and your dog needs intermittent treatment for arthritis, it will probably take some years to spend your ‘pot’. However, if your dog needs an MRI and spinal surgery, you will rapidly run through the ‘pot’ when cover would end.

3. Lifetime policy

This policy will cover an illness up to your chosen level of cover each year. For example if you have a limit of £3000 per illness, and you spend £3000 on diabetes in year one, then you will be given another £3000 worth of cover for diabetes in the following policy years. Cover therefore is for life.

To see the value of insurance for your pet, have a look at these interesting cases.