WHAT YOUR PUPPY NEEDS

New puppies should have an annual exam to boost vaccines, test for heartworm disease, and preventative care to keep them healthy.

Vaccines:

  • DHPP VACCINE Canine distemper, CAV 2/hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parinfluenza, (“distemper vaccine”). Starting at 6-8 weeks of age, puppies are vaccinated every 3 weeks until they reach 16 weeks old. The vaccine is given yearly or every 3 years, depending on your dog’s risk. These viruses are easily spread through the air and on hands and clothes. Therefore, we recommend this vaccine for all dogs.
  • RABIES VACCINE  This is given at 16 weeks of age, boostered at 1 year, and then given every 3 years. This fatal disease can be spread from wildlife to pets to humans. The vaccine is required by law in Florida at 16 weeks of age.
  • BORDETELLA (kennel cough) This is given starting at 8 weeks of age, boostered 3 weeks later, and then given every months to a year depending on exposure risk to your dog. If your dog goes to the groomer or dog park (where they are frequently around other dogs) it is recommended to be given every 6 months.

Testing:

  • HEARTWORM TEST: This is recommended for all dogs more than 6 months of age if not currently on heartworm prevention, and annually if on heartworm prevention. It is required to be negative for heartworm prevention to be dispensed.
  • FECAL TEST: A microscopic analysis of a stool sample to check for internal parasites. This is recommended for puppy’s first visit and repeated on his/her last puppy visit. Dewormer medication is dispensed as needed. Intestinal parasites can be fatal to puppies and contagious to humans. We recommend deworming ALL puppies.

Prevention:

  • DIET/FEEDING Puppies less than 6 months of age should be fed a premium diet formulated for puppies. This should be offered free choice along with fresh water at all times. Table food and milk should be avoided. Establishing an early preference for dry kibble will aid in good dental health throughout life.
  • FLEA PREVENTION Monthly topical or oral flea prevention is recommended.
  • HEARTWORM PREVENTION Monthly heartworm protection is available and recommended for all puppies and dogs beginning at 8 weeks of age. Dogs do get mosquito bites, which are responsible for the spread of heartworm disease! This disease can be prevented in dogs. Annual heartworm testing is required.
  • GROOMING All puppies should be introduced to coat brushing, nail trimming and tooth brushing at an early age so that these procedures will be readily accepted when truly needed! There are canine flavored toothpastes to help with compliance. Do not use human toothpaste,as dog/puppies swallow the product and it can be toxic. Dogs with continuously growing hair coats (such as Shih Tzu, Schnauzer, Poodle, etc) should be groomed every 6-8 weeks as needed.
  • NEUTERING  An ovariohysterectomy (spay) or castration (neuter) is recommended before 6 months of age for all puppies/dogs.  In addition, early neutering helps prevent mammary cancer and certain undesirable behaviors.