Congratulations on your new puppy! What an exciting time for the whole family. With this excitement also comes new responsibility. You will be learning a lot about your new addition in the next short while and we want to help you start off on the right paw. The first few months are critical in establishing the foundation of your puppy’s health. Puppy wellness visits are a series of consultations with our health care team. These visits prepare your puppy for a long healthy life and include comprehensive examinations, immunizations, parasite control, nutritional counseling, spay or neuter surgeries and microchipping.
Every time you and your puppy come to visit us, a veterinarian will perform a complete comprehensive physical examination. This is a nose to tail check allowing our veterinarians to evaluate any potential health risks or problems by assessing all body systems during the physical examination. We look closely for congenital problems and other possible issues that may arise as your puppy grows. These issues include, but are not limited to, heart conditions, retained teeth, retained testicles, eye abnormalities and umbilical hernias.
Your puppy will receive a series of vaccinations, typically at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. This is to ensure that they are protected against very serious and often fatal diseases. Your puppy’s immune system is vulnerable during the first few months of life. All puppies obtain antibodies and protection against illnesses from their mother’s milk when they are young but it is our responsibility to ensure that they receive continued protection through vaccination once they come home.
Puppy Parasite Prevention and Control
Many puppies have internal parasites such as intestinal worms yet show no outward signs of disease. In very rare circumstances, some of these parasites can be transmitted to people (the young, old and immune-compromised individuals are specifically susceptible). We will ensure that your puppy follows an appropriate deworming protocol. We will also recommend checking a stool sample so that our laboratory can check to make sure that your puppy is free of parasites, thus keeping them (and your family) safe.
Puppy Dental Assessment
Oral health is a huge concern for our pets, so we will be monitoring your puppy’s dentition during his/her first year of life. Our health care team is very knowledgeable in the area of dental development and trained to deal with issues pertaining to retained deciduous (baby) teeth, over-crowding and malocclusion(abnormal position of the teeth or jaw) that can cause serious issues as your pet matures. Managing these concerns early will help us to avoid costly treatment options in the future.
Nutritional Counseling for Your Puppy
No two puppies are the same. Each one has different genetics, lifestyle and rates of growth and development. Nutrition plays and integral part in your dog’s overall health. Proper nutrition can help prevent and /or modify many common ailments that may arise including dental disease, skin infections and osteoarthritis.
Puppy Spay and Neuter
Spaying and neutering procedures are typically performed around 6 months of age (16-18 months of age for large breed male dogs). It has been proven that spaying or neutering your puppy at this age will have positive effects on their health when they are adults. Mammary tumors (breast cancer), pyometra (infection of the uterus), prostate enlargement and infections are just some of the diseases that are reduced or eliminated by spaying or neutering your pet. Behavioral issues like roaming, territorial aggression and urine marking may also be averted.
Microchipping for Your Pet
Microchips are a great method of pet identification. They are the size of a grain of rice and can be easily inserted under your pet’s skin (between the shoulder blades) during a routine office visit or while under anesthetic (i.e. during a neuter or spay procedure). Microchips contain information about pets and owners so that in the event that your pet is lost, the microchip can be scanned and your pet can be returned home safely.