Time for a health check
At six months, it is advisable to make a vet's appointment for your puppy so they can provide a thorough health-check. Your vet will want to make sure your puppy is on track with his development and growth, so will check his weight and provide a general health assessment.
Before you set off to the vet's, put your puppy on a secure collar and lead. And if you're travelling by car, make sure he has a safety harness on. Try to encourage your puppy to go to the toilet before you set off, and take a poop scoop and bag with you just in case.
By now, grooming, training and playing with your puppy will have made him enjoy being handled, but take along some tasty treats to encourage him to behave at the vet's. This will reassure him and help him learn that a trip to the vet can be a positive experience, for hi,m and for you.
What to expect
Your vet will weigh your puppy to make sure he is growing at the correct rate and advise you if any changes to his feeding amounts are required. The vet will look carefully at your puppy's eyes, ears, paws and teeth. By this age your puppy's adult teeth should be coming through. His baby teeth will usually fall out naturally to make room, but if this is not the case your vet will make a recommendation on what needs to be done. They will also check with you what de-worming and flea control regime you have in place, and recommend any future treatments that might be necessary.
What should I be feeding?
Your vet will be interested in what food you are feeding your puppy and will advise you on any changes that may be necessary or recommended. He or she may recommend that you switch to a high quality food. This simple procedure is one of the best things you can do for your puppy's long-term health. If you have a male puppy, any territorial habits, including the tendency to want to roam and fight other dogs will be prevented. In female puppies, neutering helps reduce the risk of womb infections and mammary tumors.
Something else that you might consider is microchipping. This tiny, invisible device is easy to fit and will give you the peace of mind that your puppy will be easy to find if he gets lost.
If you haven't already, now's a good time to consider pet insurance. It can be reassuring to know you're covered for any health problems your puppy might have in the future. Just make sure you read the small print before you buy, and check it's the right policy for you.