Congratulations on your new puppy! Having a new puppy is very fun and exciting, watching as they explore, grow, and learn something new every day. Your first visit to the veterinarian with your puppy can be a little over whelming, so we wanted to list a few tips to help you raise your puppy healthy and happy.
Pet Food and Nutrition
It is very important that your puppy is on a high quality pet food. If your puppy is a large breed, he/she should be on a high quality large breed puppy formula. Feeding your puppy table scraps (human food) or excessive amounts of treats is never a good idea because your puppy will become overweight. Overweight puppies become overweight, unhealthy adults. We would be happy to find you an appropriate food for your puppy.
Intestinal Parasites and Deworming
Most puppies have intestinal parasites. They can actually be passed to the puppy from the mother or very easily from other animals through contact with feces. Parasites are also transmitted by ingestion of mice, rabbits or any other type of rodent. Intestinal parasites live in the puppy’s stomach or attached to the intestinal walls and feed on their blood supply. Your puppy may have parasites if they have a poor hair coat, vomit, have black stools, or have a pot-bellied appearance.
Another important note is that some parasites can actually be transmitted to humans. This is why regular deworming schedule is important. Deworming can begin when puppies are 4 to 6 weeks old, and something to ask about when picking up your new puppy. Puppies should be dewormed 3-4 times approximately 2 weeks apart to make sure that all of the life stages have been killed. A regular deworming program should also be in place for your dog when it is an adult.
External Parasites and Prevention
External parasites include fleas, ticks, lice, mange, etc that can be picked up almost anywhere. Most parasites can be seen by the naked eye. These parasites can carry many diseases, such as heartworm or Lyme disease, that can make your puppy very ill or be even fatal. We begin testing for these diseases once the puppy is a year old. Although testing does not begin until 1 year, you should start using external parasite prevention at as young as 6 weeks and continue to use yearly.
Ideally puppies should be vaccinated 3 times, 3-4 weeks apart to build up good immunity. We start vaccines at 6 weeks. In this set of vaccines we vaccinate for; Distemper which is a fatal neurological disease, Adenovirus which is a liver disease, Parainfluenza a respiratory disease, and Parvovirus which is a gastrointestinal disease. At 9 weeks of age we booster the previous set of vaccines and give the Leptospirosis vaccine which is a kidney disease and can be transferred to humans. At 12 weeks of age we booster the previous sets of vaccines to make sure they have a strong immunity against these diseases. They also receive a rabies vaccine. All of the diseases listed above are very serious and can be sometimes fatal. They still occur in unvaccinated animals in our area. If your puppy is not vaccinated at 6 weeks, we start the vaccine series as early as possible. After the initial puppy vaccine series they only need to be boosted every year.
If you plan to board your puppy or to take them to places where many dogs visit, he/she should also be vaccinated for bordetella (kennel cough) which is a very contagious respiratory infection. This is not part of the core set of vaccines and is an option to you on a yearly basis.
For a detailed list of what types of vaccines your pet should receive refer to Canine Vaccines.
Puppy Wellness Packages
These cost saving packages include everything your puppy needs for a healthy start including a comprehensive physical exam, vaccinations and so much more.
Your puppy should be spayed (female) or neutered (male) at six months of age.
It is very important that you spay your female pet because:
It is very important that you neuter your male pet because: