Jack Russell Terrier puppy black and white

Taking care of your puppy’s health

In the first months of life your puppy goes through an amazing transformation. By taking care of their health, and helping them form healthy habits at this stage, you'll build the foundations for a healthy future together.

Six tips to keep your puppy healthy

The are lots of simple things you can do in your early weeks together to keep your puppy healthy. Here are some top tips from Royal Canin’s vets and nutritionists.

1. Learn to read your puppy’s body language so you spot if they might be ill.

2. If you feel something isn’t right, or your puppy doesn’t seem their usual self, speak to your vet.

3. Make sure your puppy gets the right nutrition from a specialist, well-balanced puppy diet.

3. Give your puppy plenty of opportunities to sleep and rest quietly during the day, as well as at night.

4. Dogs enjoy company, so spend time with your puppy and remember to interact and play with them.

5. Always follow your vet’s recommended vaccination and worming schedule.

Build your puppy’s immunity with tailored nutrition

It's vital for your puppy's long-term health and wellbeing that they develop a strong immune system during the first months of life. Our formulas are scientifically developed to support their long-term healthy growth.

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Vaccinations and worming

Puppy vaccinations and worming are most effective when they are given at fixed dates with boosters. Your vet will be able to provide you with the most appropriate vaccination and worming schedule for your puppy.

Dachshund puppy being examined by a vet

Should I sterilise my puppy?

Sterilising your puppy means you won’t be able to breed from them as it stops the production of sperm or eggs. But it does offer a variety of health and behavioural benefits as well as preventing unwanted litters.

In male dogs, sterilisation is called neutering and in female dogs it’s called spaying. Both involve your puppy being anaesthetised and having a small operation by a vet.

The benefits of puppy neutering and spaying

Male dogs

  • Reduced risk of testicular and anal gland tumours and prostate enlargement.
  • Male dogs are less likely to mark their territory in your garden.
  • Your male dog is less likely to rove, make urine markings or be aggressive.
Black Labrador Retriever puppy lying down outside in the grass

Female dogs

  • Prevents mammary gland tumours.
  • The symptoms of being in heat are removed or reduced.

Shiba Inu puppy sleeping on a sofa


  • Prevents sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Female dogs are no longer attractive to male dogs.
  • No unwanted litters.
Australian Shepherd puppies playing outside in snow
Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy being carried outdoors by owner

When to have your puppy neutered or spayed

The usual time for sterilisation is when puberty begins. For females this is usually between four and nine months, and for males it’s between seven and 10 months. Small dog breeds tend to reach puberty faster than larger breeds, so it’s best to ask your vet for advice on the best time for your puppy.

Changing your puppy’s diet after sterilisation

After a puppy’s been neutered or spayed, they tend to gain weight more easily because they have a bigger appetite but are less active. Being overweight can cause various health problems, so it’s important to adjust your puppy’s diet.
Food designed for sterilised dogs has fewer calories and a higher fibre content to help your puppy feel full without gaining too much weight. Ask your vet for advice on your puppy’s new diet, and switch to it progressively a week before their operation so they can get used to it.

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Further reading
Puppy West Highland White Terrier sitting on an examination table in a vets office.

When to spay a female dog?

Corgi puppy laying on the floor with a cone

Should I neuter my male dog?

Labrador puppy black and white eating from red bowl

The right nutrition to help your puppy stay healthy

Your puppy’s diet is one of the most important factors in their long-term health and wellbeing. It influences everything from the strength of their bones and immune system to their digestive comfort and coat health.
As your puppy grows towards adulthood and beyond, their nutritional needs will change – especially over the first year. To help give them the best chance in life, it’s important you give them the right diet, in the right quantities for their age and individual needs.

Feeding your puppy

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Nutrition tailored to meet the specific needs of puppies of different ages, sizes and breeds.

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