DISTEMPER: (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus): A puppy should start its Distemper vaccinations at 8 weeks of age, then be boostered every 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Puppy will need a booster 1 year later, and it lasts for 3 years.
RABIES: A puppy can receive its Rabies vaccine at or after 12 weeks of age.
LYME DISEASE: Puppies who are outdoors frequently and exposed to ticks may need the Lyme vaccination.
KENNEL COUGH: (Parainfluenza, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica): For puppies that will be boarded, at daycare, groomed, or exposed to many other dogs should receive a Kennel Cough vaccine.
LEPTOSPIROSIS: Puppies who are spending lots of time outside (camping or hiking), and are in contact with standing water (pounds, swamps, slow brooks) should be vaccinated against this bacteria.
CANINE INFLUENZA: Canine Influenza (dog flu) is a highly contagious infection occurring in dogs. This is a rapidly transmitted disease. It is spread through the air (coughing, barking, and sneezing) and on contaminated surfaces (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes). A vaccine is given and needs a booster when given for the first time. The vaccine is then repeated annually.
Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted through mosquitoes. Heartworm prevention (an oral tablet) is started at the first visit, given monthly and continued all year round. A blood test is done to assure that the puppy is free of heartworm larva, and then repeated annually with routine vaccinations.
A stool sample should be checked on the puppy to assure that there are no Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms, Coccidia or other intestinal parasites. Intestinal worms shed their eggs intermittently, so it is important to check several samples. Tapeworms in puppies may not be identified on this exam, so it is very important to report any worms that are seen on the feces.
Puppies should be fed a high quality puppy food. No matter what kind of food you choose to feed your puppy, look for the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) label on the bag. Any dog food that is labeled complete and balanced as regulated by AAFCO must, by definition, contain all the vitamins and minerals required for good health. Puppies can be weaned onto adult formula dog food by 12 months of age. Feeding dry (hard) food along with routine dental care helps to keep teeth free of tartar and decay. In most cases the same diet throughout a dog’s adult life is sufficient. Keep in mind, puppies need more calories than seniors, and older dogs may need nutritional supplements.
Light brushing with a toothpaste made for dogs should be started in puppy hood to avoid tooth disease and loss, and get the pet used to routine dental care. Several pet toothpastes are available (in poultry, malt and mint flavors) which many dogs love!
SPAYING AND NEUTERING
We recommend spaying female dogs and neutering male dogs at 6 months of age. There are exceptions to this and can be discussed with a doctor at your puppy visit.
GROOMING AND SKIN CARE
Puppies may be bathed as necessary. Ask us about veterinary approved shampoos for use in dogs. Human skin and hair products may cause skin irritation or sickness.
Microchipping is a form of permanent identification for lost pet recovery. It can be done during a routine vaccine visit or during spay / neuter appointment. Please ask us for more info.