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At what age do I need to start my puppy on vaccinations?
Puppies should be started on vaccinations for distemper, parvo virus, and hepatitis at weaning and they should be boosted every
3 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. If the puppy is going to be in an area where leptospirosis may be a problem, then we incorporate that into the last 2 vaccines that are given at 13 weeks and 16 weeks old. A thorough examination is also done at.
each visit to make sure there are no problems developing as your puppy is growing.
When does the puppy get rabies vaccination?
By law puppies need to be 16 weeks old to receive their initial rabies vaccination. Sometimes we will give it at the same time we give the final distemper series. On a small pup or if the vaccines have made the puppy feel bad during the series, we will wait and give it a couple of weeks after we finish the distemper parvo series.
What about worming my puppy?
If worm checks are not routinely being done, then I would recommend deworming with a broad spectrum wormer every 2-3 weeks. The wormer should be labeled for round worms and hook worms at least. It would be even better to use a dewormer labeled for whip worms also.
If we are checking them on vaccine visits for worms or if they are on heartworm preventative once a month then I may alter the time interval of deworming.
Can humans be infected with puppy parasites?
Yes! Some of the species of worms that puppies have can infect humans. That is one reason we try to keep the puppy as worm free as possible.
Is there any other disease I can catch from the puppy?
Giardia, which is an intestinal protozoa, can cause diarrhea and vomiting in puppies and in humans. We like to send at least one fecal sample to an outside laboratory that can check for the immature forms of this organism and we do a fecal sample here that can pick up the other form of the organism. If we find either, then there is a treatment that can be given that will take care of the problem in the puppy. We do not charge extra for the fecal samples we do here when we are doing the puppy shot series. There is a fee for the sample we send to an outside laboratory but it is well worth the investment and the peace of mind for the puppies health as well as the humans in the family.
What type of food should I feed my new puppy?
Puppies need to be fed a high quality puppy chow until they are 9-12 months old. If the puppy is going to be a large breed adult then he/she needs to be fed puppy food formulated especially for large breed dogs. It is better balanced for their muscle/bone growth with the proper ratio of energy, protein and minerals. If it is a small breed, then put it on a formula for small breeds. If the puppy has trouble chewing the hard food, you can soften it with water for 15-20 minutes before feeding.
Is it ok to give table food to my puppy?
It is best not to start giving them table food of any type. The puppy food is especially formulated for their needs and human food it not. Some of the foods we eat will actually cause digestive upsets (diarrhea/vomiting) in puppies. In addition, some puppies will refuse to eat their own food in favor of human food and then it is very difficult to get them retrained.
What about spaying and neutering?
If you are not planning on raising puppies from a female or using the male for breeding then I would recommend spaying/neutering. On females I recommend spaying anytime after they are 4 months old and I would do it before they come in heat (usually by 6-9 months old) if possible. On males, unless it is a large breed, the surgery can be done as early as 4 months. On large and giant breeds, there may be some advantages to waiting until 18 months unless there are behavioral problems that would make neutering earlier advantageous). Waiting until 18
months may give better muscle development in the hip area on large and giant breed dogs which may help prevent hip dysplasia.
Is pet insurance a good thing for me to have?
1. Trupanion at www.trupanionpetinsurance.com
2. Purina Care without Preventive Care at www.purinacare.com
If you have any questions concerning pet insurance, I will be glad to discuss it with you when you visit with your new puppy.