Puppy Care Recommendations

Your new puppy needs special care, and at PetVet Animal Health Center you'll find the special care that your new addition deserves.  We'll be right by your side each step of the way with sound advice about vaccinations, parasite prevention, appropriate diets, and any other concerns you may have.  While much of that advice can be found here on our website, we encourage and welcome you to call us or come by and visit us if you have additional questions, or if you just want to meet us and see what we're all about.

Routine Examinations
Routine examinations are especially important for puppies.  They grow quickly and problems can arise quickly.  Because puppies, like any newborns, have very new immune systems and very few energy reserves too draw on compared to adults, they can go from being healthy to being very sick in a hurry.  

Our routine puppy exams include all of the following.  
  • We'll check his mouth and teeth for any early oral or dental abnormalities.  These are common in puppies and may respond better to treatment if detected early.
  • We'll check her eyes, ears, and nose.  Puppies are susceptible to ear infections and eye problems just like adults.  
  • A thorough exam of your puppy's coat and skin will reveal any potential external parasite problems (such as fleas, ticks, mites, lice, etc).  
  • We'll listen carefully to his heart and lungs at each visit.  
  • We'll check her abdomen for any abnormal lumps or bumps (such as hernias). 
  • His joints will be examined for any evidence of developmental abnormalities.  

We want to make sure that your new puppy gets off to the best start possible, and regular exams that detect problems early are an important part of that.

We recommend puppies receive their first exam at about 3 days old.  They should then be examined every 3 weeks until they reach 15 to 16 weeks of age.  

Whatever age your new puppy is when you purchase or adopt it, you should set up a visit with your veterinarian within the first 2 or 3 days you have the puppy.  We can then develop an appropriate care plan for your new puppy that includes proper exam intervals, vaccinations, and parasite prevention.

Parasite Screening
As we mentioned above a thorough exam of your puppies coat will help to reveal any external parasites.  Common external parasites we see in puppies include:
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Mites (mange)
  • Lice (not common, but they do occur)

Your puppy also needs to be checked for internal parasites.  These are primarily intestinal worms, but puppies may also contract coccidia, lungworms, and for older pups, heartworms.  

Stool exams should be performed regularly during the first 16 weeks of your puppy's life to make sure that any intestinal parasites are identified and treated.  Hookworms, roundworms, and coccidia are very common in puppies and if left undiagnosed and untreated, can cause much more severe disease in puppies than in adult dogs.  Treatment is easy in most cases, but the infection must be identified first.

Parasite Prevention
Once any existing parasites are identified and treated, the next step is to prevent their return.  We'll get your puppy set up with an effective parasite prevention program.  One of our favorite products is Trifexis. One tablet once a month provides prevention for heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and fleas.  If other preventives are needed we will incorporate those into a complete prevention program as well.  

Vaccinations
Routine vaccinations during the first 16 weeks of your puppy's life are extremely important to getting her off to a good, healthy start.  We'll consider the vaccines your puppy has already had, if any, and then develop a vaccination plan that will provide the protection she needs.  Below is a list of some typical vaccines that may be included for your puppy:

Core vaccines - these vaccines are considered to be important for all puppies.
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parainfluenza vaccine
  • Adenovirus Vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine

Other recommended vaccines - these are vaccines that we recommend for most puppies. There may be some cases where these vaccines would not be necessary.  This is decided on a case by case basis.
  • Leptospirosis vaccine 
  • Bordetella vaccine
  • Influenza (H3N8 - canine flu) vaccine.  For more information on Canine Influenza, click HERE.

There are other vaccines that may be used in select situations, but for most puppies, the vaccines listed above are adequate.

Microchip Identification
We urge you to consider permanent identification of your puppy with a HomeAgain Microchip.  Microchip implantation is quick and easy and can be done at any of your puppy's regular visit.  For more information on the benefits of a Home Again Microchip, click HERE.   

Diet
Your puppy's diet is important.  A good diet will meet all of your puppy's nutritional requirements and allow for a healthy rate of growth.  Appropriate nutrition is particularly important for large breed dogs because they experience a very rapid growth rate.  Most pet food companies make puppy diets specifically intended to meet the requirements of large breed puppies.

PetVet Animal Health Center recommends iVet diets for puppies.



Our Basic Recommendations at a Glance

6 Weeks Old
  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Deworming
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea prevention

9 Weeks Old
  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Deworming
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea prevention

12 Weeks Old
  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Bordetella vaccine
  • Deworming
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea prevention
  • Microchip Placement

16 Weeks Old
  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Deworming
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea prevention


Flu vaccine is recommended for puppies that will be boarded frequently, go to daycare, or spend significant time at a dog park.  This can be added to the 12 and 16 week visits.

We recommend spaying or neutering at approximately 6 months old.  In some large breed male dogs, this may be postponed for several months depending on concerns about hip dysplasia.

Call or e-mail today to set up an appointment for your puppy!

334-826-5100



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