Keeping your dog happy and healthy

Our vets and veterinary nurses have put together this handy section to provide a quick and easy guide to the health care required by your dog to keep them fit, healthy and active.

acupuncture for pets at Charter Vets in North Devon

Socialisation of puppies

The first 18 weeks of your puppy’s life are the most important and with some hard work in those few weeks you will shape your dog’s behaviour for the rest of its life.

The Charter Dog Training Academy offers a positive reward based training programme as well as the opportunity for your puppy to meet and play with other puppies. You will receive a leaflet with your puppy’s first vaccination, or alternatively telephone 01271 866770 or email for more information.

Click here for more helpful advice on socialising your puppy as well as other canine behaviour advice.


The initial course of vaccinations can begin from 6 weeks of age and can be completed as early as 10 weeks old. After that an annual booster is required.

The diseases covered by the vaccinations are:

  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis

For information about why vaccinations are so important click here.

Worming for puppies

On collection of your puppy check with the breeder if they have administered any worming or flea preparations prior to you taking your puppy home. This enables us to be sure when your next worming dose is due.

We recommend using a monthly spot-on product (imidacloprid and moxidectin*), which can be applied from 7 weeks of age in puppies. You will receive a free dose at your puppy’s first vaccination. Spot-on worming* should continue monthly until your pet is six months old.

This will treat your pet for one month against:

  • Roundworms
  • Lungworms
  • Fleas
  • Ear mites
  • Fox mange mites

For more information about worming your dog, click here

Worming for dogs from 6 months

For pets using a monthly spot-on (imidacloprid and moxidectin*), we recommend a tapeworm product at 6 months of age. This should be repeated every 6 months.

For pets on other flea control products we recommend a tapeworm every 3 months.

Recommended Tapeworm product: Drontal Plus Dog

Please speak to one of our healthcare team for your personal parasite diary.

Flea treatment

If fleas have been seen on your pet then there will be eggs distributed around your house. We recommend INDOREX household spray.

This can size is enough to treat an average 3 to 4 bedroom house and lasts for up to a year. This also kills adult fleas for up to 2 months.

For more information about fleas click here.


For animals requiring Tick protection we recommend the use of a flea and tick collar (Imidacloprid and Flumethrin**) in addition to spot-on treatments (imidacloprid and moxidectin*).

Other good options for flea control without inclusive mite and worm control include:

  • Monthly spot on Advantage (imidacloprid***) – fleas only
  • Flea and tick collar (imidacloprid and flumethrin**) – Fleas, ticks larvae and lice, and last’s up to 8 months (5 months in swimmers) – . The action enables the collar to release controlled doses of two active ingredients over long periods of time through the innovative collar technology.
  • Monthly spot-on – Fleas and ticks (do not use on cats or if you have a cat at home) – (imidacloprid and permethrin****)

Veterinary licenced products are the most effective, but must be used at the correct time intervals and correct dose for your pets body weight.

This information has been provided by Bayer the makers of: Advocate*, Seresto Collar**, Advantage***, and Advantix****

For more information about ticks click here.


Neutering has many benefits for male and female dogs. Neutering stops dogs from having unwanted puppies and reduces their chances of developing illnesses. In female dogs it reduces the risk of breast cancer and prevents a potentially life-threatening condition called a pyometra (a serious infection in the womb). In male dogs neutering protects from testicular cancer and diseases of the prostate gland.

  • Males – can be castrated from 6 months of age. The testicles are completely removed.
  • Females – can be spayed from 6 months of age or midway between the first and second season. The uterus and ovaries are completely removed.

All dogs undergo a free pre-operative check-up to ensure the time chosen for their neutering operation is appropriate as each dog is different and will mature at differing rates.

Micro-chipping and identification

Every year more than 300,000 treasured pets go missing. Pets can go missing for a variety of reasons: they become scared during and run away the firework season or a heavy thunderstorm, wander too far from a new house and being naturally inquisitive, can easily become lost whilst investigating different noises or smells.

Having a microchip implanted is quick, simple and very cost effective. It will give you peace of mind if your dog does become lost, you will have more chance of being reunited faster. You also avoid the possibility of your dog being rehomed or kept in a shelter.

Since 2016, it is compulsory for every dog owner to have their dogs microchipped. Not all microchips are the same and in the past pets have had to be re-chipped, due to chips not functioning. There are some really cheap micro chips on the market and promotions run at rehoming centres, we have taken the decision to not use these budget chips and in favour of one that we hope should last for the lifetime of your pet without problems.

Here at Charter Vets all registered dogs receive a complimentary Charter pet tag, on which is engraved our telephone number. This means, should anyone find your dog, lost or hurt, they have a 24-hour number on which to contact us. We will coordinate any emergency treatment necessary and take care of your cat until we can contact you.

Do I really need a tags for my dog’s collar?

In the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or on a tag. Your telephone number is optional (but we would recommend this). You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.

You do not legally have to put your dogs name on the tag. Unfortunately dog theft is a real danger and if the thief knows the name of your dog this may help them pass on the dog to unsuspecting new owners because the dog responds to its name. We would recommend, you do not put your dogs name on the tag. All pets registered at Charter Vets receive a free emergency pet tag (which you can get engraved).

Older dogs

Once a dog has reached 7 years of age they enter their ‘senior’ years. Changes start to occur and body systems and organs such as the brain and kidneys start to work less effectively. Many people shrug this off and put it down to old age, when in fact there is a lot of help and support we can give your dog through these years.

Please contact any of our surgeries for more information or to arrange a ‘senior’ health assessment with one of our nurses.

Behaviour Advice

  • Click here for toilet training advice
  • Click here for socialising your puppy advice
  • Click here for advice on dealing with separation anxiety

Ear cleaning

Outer ear disease in dogs is very common. Keep ears clean and fresh with our recommended ear cleaner “Malacetic” every 2-4 weeks, wiping out the excess with cotton wool or wet wipes.


Older pets with anything but the shortest hair can get matted, familiarise your dogs with being groomed from a young age. Most dogs love it.

Dental care

Regular brushing with dog toothpaste as least weekly but even better daily, is the best way to keep your dogs teeth clean and breath fresh. Hills t/d dog food can also help keep teeth clean.

Professional Pet Care

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Pet owners trust us to look after the needs of their beloved companions. We are committed to delivering the very highest of veterinary care and affection.

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