For many pet lovers, there is nothing more exciting and fun than getting a new puppy! Your Animal Hospital of the Sierra veterinarian is your partner in making sure your puppy gets the best start possible. Our Puppy Wellness Program was created to make sure your new friend gets started off on the right paw because the first few months of a young dog’s life are critical to their development, future health, and well-being.
You should schedule your puppy to see the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt. Below is information on what you can expect when you bring your pet in for his or her initial exam.
Comprehensive Physical Exams
Is your puppy’s growth on track? Are there any telltale signs of current or future health issues? How large will my puppy get? These are all questions that can be answered by your veterinarian with a physical exam.
Puppies receive antibodies against diseases from their mother. These antibodies will neutralize vaccines given and not allow the puppy to develop its own immunity. The age at which these maternal antibodies wear off varies from puppy to puppy. For this reason, puppies receive a series of vaccinations given 3-4 weeks apart to become protected. The final puppy vaccine needs to be given when the puppy is over 16 weeks of age. Puppies receive core vaccines against distemper, parvovirus hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and rabies. Depending on your puppy’s living situation, vaccines for Lyme disease, canine influenza, Bordetella (kennel cough) and rattlesnake bite may also be recommended.
Intestinal Parasite Screening
It’s very common for puppies to have worms, and they can make your new friend very sick and weak. Some of these worms can also be passed to your human family members. Fecal testing for intestinal parasites is a must for puppies. Should your pet test positive for hookworms, whipworms, roundworms or tapeworms, treatment is at an additional cost but is generally very reasonable.
One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she is microchipped. Unlike collars, microchips stay with your pet for life and will make it much more likely your dog will be returned to you if lost. At Animal Hospital of the Sierra, we donate all fees collected from microchipping to the Eastern Madera County SPCA.
First Doses of Heartworm, Flea, & Tick Preventative
Fleas and ticks are not only unpleasant, they carry disease and can be very detrimental to a young dog’s health. Heartworm can be deadly, and while there is treatment available for dogs, it is expensive and hard for your pet. We’ll make sure your puppy is protected with their first doses of flea, tick and heartworm preventive.
Behavior & Nutrition Counseling
While it may be true that puppies don’t come with instructions, counseling with our veterinarians about the best housebreaking methods, the importance of socialization and basic training will set your pup up for success as a family member. We can also advise you on feeding schedules and options for optimum health.