Dog Puppy Care - Practical Puppy Care Tips For Health & Longevity

How will proper puppy care impact the life of my dog?

It's the foundation of everything. The first round of vaccines, proper nutrition—all that's discussed at the time of them being a puppy. So it's a good place to start and get a good foundation for health in the long term.

Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

Why is it important to start good puppy care on day one?

Again, it's a good foundation for the rest of their future. We want to make sure that they're dewormed, talk about nutrition, calorie-rich foods, all of that.

How soon should I bring my puppy in to see a veterinarian for their first exam?

The first exam and the first round of vaccines, dewormer - all of that - is usually anywhere from six to nine weeks old.

What are the most common health problems in puppies?

So puppies can have congenital issues like cleft palates, et cetera. But honestly, the most common ones that we find are intestinal parasite infections. It's usually a pretty easy fix, but if they're having GI signs, et cetera, you need to bring them to the veterinarian. Also, we sometimes have puppies come in and they're not vaccinated and they've been exposed to things like parvo. So these are issues that we want to address long-term.

What are some signs and symptoms of illness in my puppy?

GI signs, especially with intestinal parasites, will be vomiting and diarrhea. Although in puppies, we definitely want to rule out more serious things like parvovirus. A lot of times puppies will eat things that they're not supposed to and they can get obstructed.

What are some signs of a healthy thriving puppy?

Very active, is always willing to eat, drink, urinate, and defecate at home. Those are the kind of things you look for at home.

When should I start training my puppy?

Day one. Training should happen on day one. No play biting, definitely teaching things like sitting, staying, laying down; all of that can really build obedience. And if you can't do that yourself, there are trainers out there that can help.

What will you be looking for when first examining my puppy?

Just his overall physical appearance. How does their coat look? How's the abdomen? Is it really distended? This might tell me maybe the dog has intestinal parasites. I'll do a fecal sample as well to look for those intestinal parasites and then overall, just well-being and activity levels.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Puppy Care - FAQs

Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

What vaccinations does my puppy need?

From day one, your puppy should absolutely receive what's called DATPP. That's distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. And from then, every three weeks, they'll receive that same vaccine, plus some later on.

Are those different than core vaccines?

The core vaccines are DATPP, distemper, adenovirus, parvo, and parainfluenza, and rabies. There are some other non-core vaccines that we recommend later on.

What are the non-core vaccines and why does my puppy need them?

The non-core vaccines (at least the ones that we administer here) are leptospirosis and bordetella. We especially recommend the bordetella vaccine for dogs that go to dog parks or boarding facilities. That's for kennel cough, which is a respiratory condition. And then leptospirosis is a bacterium they can get out in the environment, especially around water, and that can really affect their kidneys. So we'll vaccinate against that.

How often does my puppy need to go to the veterinarian for puppy vaccination?

This is really important. So you'll start them between six and nine weeks and then every three weeks after that, up until their fourth-round—especially for that parvovirus vaccine. We definitely don't want them to be exposed to unknown environments or unvaccinated dogs even three to four weeks after their last puppy vaccine.

Are there any risks associated with vaccinations?

On the whole, everything that we're injecting into an animal does come with associated risks. Most of the time it's perfectly benign and actually helps much more than it hurts. The leptospirosis vaccine, in particular, often causes a mild vaccine reaction with some swelling or pain at the injection site. Thankfully, that’s a pretty simple fix. Just call your veterinarian, and they can prescribe pain meds as needed.

Does my puppy need vaccines even if I keep them inside?

I would say absolutely. By law, the core vaccines DATPP and rabies should be given. But I also recommend the other ones that I mentioned, such as lepto to prevent kennel cough.

What if I miss one of my puppy's vaccines?

We like to stick to those three weeks in between, as it really helps with immunity. But if you've gone a little time passed that, it's not a big deal. If you go much past five weeks, we may have to reconsider this whole time period of boostering certain vaccines.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

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