Bringing Home Puppy: What's Next?

There are fewer things in life sweeter than a new puppy. The soft fur, big paws and sweet breath…there’s nothing better!

But what do you do after you’ve picked out the name, purchased the supplies, puppy-proofed the house and brought home your bundle of joy? In honor of National Puppy Day on March 23, we’ve compiled a health care guide just for new puppies and the parents who love them.

Preventative Care

Preventative care—including regular exams, blood screening, vaccines and flea control—is a vital component of your puppy’s long-term health and well-being.

A traditional core vaccination schedule will protect your puppy from several diseases, including distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus and rabies. These vaccines should be given once every three weeks until the puppy reaches four months of age. Revaccination should occur at one year of age and every three years thereafter.

We also strongly recommend:

Bordetella: This intra-nasal vaccine protects against kennel cough. Revaccination should occur every six months, especially for dogs that frequent boarding, daycare or grooming facilities.

Leptospirosis: This re-emerging disease is potentially fatal to both dogs and humans. The vaccine is given in two doses the first year, followed by an annual booster.

Additional vaccines may include:

Rattlesnake: This vaccine stimulates the dog’s immune system to generate protective antibodies against rattlesnake venom. It is given in two doses the first year, followed by an annual booster. 

Lyme: This vaccine may be recommended for dogs that are highly exposed to ticks. The vaccine is given in two doses the first year, followed by an annual booster.

In addition, we strongly recommend all puppies receive a series of deworming treatments and a fecal examination to screen for intestinal parasites, such as giardia and coccidia.

We know giving your puppy the best possible head start can be daunting, so we are happy to offer puppy care packages—a series of appointments with our doctors and technicians to ensure all questions, concerns and vital information are covered.

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