Care of Your New Puppy
We recommend vaccinations against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP) beginning at 6-8 weeks of age. This vaccine should be boostered every 3-4 weeks until your puppy is older than 16 weeks of age. After this initial series, annual revaccination is recommended.
Rabies vaccination, which is required by law, is first give at 12 weeks of age or older, and is boostered in 1 year. Subsequent boosters are administered every 3 years.
Additionally we recommend Lyme vaccinating your pet. This vaccination is first given at 16 weeks and is boostered 3-4 weeks later. After this, annual revaccination is recommended
For puppies and dogs who will be entering a boarding situation or will be exposed to several other dogs (such as in an obedience class), we strongly recommend vaccination against “kennel cough” or Bordetella. This is an intranasal vaccine which should be given at least 5 days prior to the anticipated exposure, and boostered at least every 12 months.
We recommend microchips for all puppies as a source of permanent identifications. Microchips are small computer chips, the size of a grain of rice, that go under the skin of your puppy. In the even that your pet is ever lost, they are helpful to be able to return him/her safely back home.
Puppies are commonly infected with roundworms, hookworms, coccidia, whipworms and other parasites which live in the intestinal tract. These parasites can also be transmitted to you and your children. Occasionally one will see roundworms or tapeworms in the stool of an infected dog, but in most cases, the worms are not visible in the stool. For this reason, it is very important to have your puppy’s stool evaluated for these parasites. This involves microscopic examination for parasite eggs. We recommend monthly stool checks on puppies until two consecutive negative results are obtained.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Heartworms live in and near the heart and if left untreated can be fatal. We recommend a monthly oral preventative as well as an annual heartworm test. The monthly heartworm preventatives also have the added benefits of monthly worming your pet against common intestinal parasites
TRAINING AND GROOMING
Early training of your puppy is essential. One of the most important things that you can do for your puppy is to socialize it. Socialization for puppies is best between 8-16 weeks of age. During this time, it is important to make sure to expose your puppy to other dogs and people. This will help them later in life to not be afraid or aggressive when new dogs or people approach them. Also, starting to teach your puppy commands like “sit” or “stay” is best at this young age. Using positive reinforcement, like treats or toys, helps with these simply commands.
House training a puppy can be difficult. Consistency is the key to success. It helps to take them out shortly after naps or meals. Use a familiar area and reward them with treats and praise to reinforce desired behaviors. It make take as long as 3 to 4 months before they are completely trained. It may help with puppies that are still having accidents in the house to keep them on a leash if not in a kennel. This gives them time outside their kennel, but not so much space to roam that they can sneak off and get themselves into trouble. Then, if you see them becoming more anxious, or going to squat to have an accident you can easily bring them outside. Housetraining and puppy is not always an easy task; it requires patience, understanding and time.
We also recommend early association with grooming. Things like clipper noise, restraint, nail trims, brushing, and ear touching can be sensitive for the first few times. It helps if you start exposing puppies by handling these areas at a young age so it will not be stressful for them.
We strongly recommend spaying and neutering your puppy between 6 and 7 months of age. We recommend this for many reasons including reducing the incidence of mammary cancer, pyometra, and unwanted pregnancy in female dogs. In male dogs, neutering at a young age can decrease marking behavior, prostate enlargement, aggressive behaviors and roaming.
Congratulations! We hope that Canton Animal Clinic can provide lifelong care for your new puppy.