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Your Very First Puppy - First Steps

There's every chance that right now that you're being pestered, or doing the pestering, in order for you to get your very first puppy. But before you fall in love with a gorgeous puppy, we have some essential tips for you, to make Your Very First Puppy a fantastic experience.

In this episode, Dr Chris Brown gives some fantastic advice on what to look out for when picking a new puppy, including avoiding puppies that are:

- Bossy
- Aggressive
- Shy and nervous

You can tell what a puppy will be like as an adult dog from what it is like as a puppy. Some other considerations before you should consider before choosing a puppy include:

- Size of your home. But remember, it isn't always a case of small dog being best for a small home. A Great Dane would be better for a smaller home than a Jack Russell!
- Grooming. Some dogs' fur need more attention than others and they can shed profusely.
- Exercise Requirements. Consider how much exercise will you be able give your new dog each day.
- Genetic Defects. Some dogs are more predisposed to certain health issues than others.

Once you have selected your puppy, it time for some fundamental steps to ensure it has a long and healthy life. Vaccinations are really important, as up until this point, their mum has been protecting them with antibodies in her milk. By giving them a vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks of age, you protect them from Parvovirus and Hepatitis Virus, both of which can be fatal.

Worming is another 'must do', so once you have your puppy home, worm them every three weeks until it is 16 weeks. You can follow up every three months after that.

In terms of what to buy your puppy, you should ideally purchase:

- Collar (with ID Tag)
- Lead
- Toilet pads
- Bowls
- Toys
- Treats
- Bed

Be careful, it can be very expensive getting started with your new pooch!

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.