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It’s Puppy Time! Several of our clients have been adding puppies into their families and we are so excited to see these new family members in our office for their wellness care! Puppies require a lot of time and attention to help integrate them into their new household. We will walk through a quick summary of our routine puppy care:

  • Physical exam
    • After acquiring your new puppy, a good physical examination is extremely important. During their physical exam, we are evaluating their vitals (heart and respiratory rate, and temperature) and several other physical parameters. Puppies can acquire abnormalities during growth & development or may have abnormalities that they were born with. It is important to identify if any abnormalities are present so that they can receive proper treatment and/or management at an early age. Most of our puppies are receiving 2-3 examinations before they reach one year of age.

  • Vaccination/Deworming
    • Vaccinations are immensely important for ensuring that they are protected against several serious viruses/diseases. Puppies typically begin their vaccine series between 7-9 weeks of age and will continue to receive boosters every 3 weeks until they are 14-16 weeks of age. There are core and non-core vaccinations which are discussed at the puppy’s first appointment. Rabies is a core vaccination that will be administered after 12 weeks of age. Rabies vaccination is also legally required by many states/individual cities due to its potential transmission to humans. A combination vaccine including distemper, parvovirus, and canine coronavirus is their second core vaccine. Noncore vaccinations are administered if the puppy is more at risk for specific diseases based ontravel/social situations – this includes Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Leptospirosis, and others. Intestinal deworming is provided multiple times throughout a puppy’s life and into adulthood. Puppies can acquire intestinal parasites from their mother during nursing/pregnancy and from the environment. Puppies will receive a broad spectrum dewormer to help treat for the most common intestinal parasites – roundworms,
      hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Fecal testing can also be performed to help detect the
    • presence of intestinal parasites and help guide a more specific deworming protocol.

  • Preventives
    • Puppies need protection against internal and external parasites and there are many products to help. Several products are actually labeled to administer starting at 8 weeks of age and can be started at their first puppy visit. External parasites most commonly include fleas/ticks and prevention may extend to mosquitoes, biting lice, and other external parasites depending on the product’s specific coverage. There are oral chewable, topical products, and collars which can range in their duration of coverage. Most products will protect puppies for 30 days at a time and are administered monthly. Your veterinarian will help guide you towards selecting the most appropriate and safe product for your puppy. Heartworm preventive is also administered in conjunction with a flea/tick product. Heartworm disease is transmitted to a dog when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. The heartworm larvae then mature to become large adult worms that will migrate to the heart and its associated large vessels. Heartworm disease is very preventable with consistent preventive. Oftentimes, heartworm preventives are combined with an intestinal dewormer as an added benefit. Products range from oral chewable, topicals, and even injections to help keep our dogs protected! Heartworm preventives are considered a veterinary prescription and can be acquired during your veterinary visit. Puppies will often begin on a monthly product and their weight will be monitored at subsequent visits. This is to help ensure that they receive the appropriate size of the product for their body weight each month.

  • Nutrition
    • Puppies need protection against internal and external parasites and there are many products to help. Several products are even labeled for administration starting at 8 weeks of age and can be initiated at their first puppy visit. External parasites include fleas & ticks and preventions may extend their coverage for mosquitoes, biting lice, and other external parasites depending on the product’s specific coverage. There are oral chewable, topical products, and collars which can range in their duration of coverage. Most products will protect puppies for 30 days at a time and are administered monthly. Your veterinarian will help guide you towards selecting the most appropriate and safe product(s) for your puppy. Heartworm preventive is also administered in conjunction with a flea/tick product. Heartworm disease is transmitted to a dog when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. The heartworm larvae then mature to become large adult worms that will migrate to the heart and its associated vessels. Heartworm disease is very preventable by giving heartworm preventive consistently. Oftentimes, heartworm preventives are combined with an intestinal dewormer as an added benefit. Products range from oral chewable, topicals, and even injections to help keep our dogs protected. Heartworm preventives are considered a veterinary prescription and can be acquired from your veterinary hospital. Puppies will often begin on a monthly product
      and their weight will be monitored at subsequent visits. This is to help ensure that they receive the appropriately-sized product for their body weight each month.

  • Potty training/house proofing
    • Potty training is vital for all puppies to learn – this will often take weeks of adjustment and learning a regular schedule. In general, puppies cannot hold their bladder for more than a few hours at a time when they are under 10 weeks of age, this requires them to be let out frequently for potty breaks. Utilizing treats or positive praise during training can serve as a reward.

    • Houseproofing is very important for keeping your puppy as safe as possible within the home. They are very curious and much more willing to ingest and chew miscellaneous objects which can be detrimental to their health. It can be helpful to section off portions of the home initially to keep a “safe zone” for the puppy to explore in. As the puppy gets older, they may be able to safely gain access to other areas of the house. Electrical cords can be a hazard for chewing and should be protected/hidden where the puppy cannot access them. Crate-training is very useful for puppies as a safe enclosed place within their environment. Crates can be utilized at bedtime and while you are away so that the puppy is not free-roaming.

    • There are numerous types of puppy-safe toys which can be helpful to keep your puppy engaged and entertained. A big favorite is Kong-brand toys which have a hollow center for applying treats/peanut butter and are relatively firm and difficult to destroy.

Our clinic offers a preventative care plan for puppies and kittens! Click over to our Pet Wellness Services page to read all about them, and call us for pricing!