New Puppy Care
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time! Besides getting the new bowls, collar, food, toys and a comfortable crate, starting your new pet off on the right paw with a visit to the veterinarian is very important. Dr. Katz will thoroughly examine your puppy from nose to tail. You will also be able to ask questions to Dr. Katz and our very knowledgeable technicians and assistants.
The vaccines commonly administered to dogs are
separated into two groups: core and non-core vaccines.
- Rabies is a dangerous, untreatable, fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It can infect all warm-blooded animals, including people. Vaccination against Rabies is required for dog licensing. Rabies vaccination i
s performed at 16 weeks of age in puppies and then again 1 year from the first vaccine. Re-vaccination is then every 3 years.
- DHPP stands for (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza). This vaccine encompasses 4 canine viruses that helps prevent against the infections that a dog can get from the environment or from another dog. Every dog should be vaccinated against DHPP as long as they do not have a history of allergic reactions to the vaccine. The DHPP vaccine is given to puppies as soon as they reach 6-8 weeks of age and then is given every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old or older. The next vaccine is given 1 year later and then re-vaccination is performed every year, although some owners choose to check titer levels instead of vaccinating. If your pet has already been vaccinated for distemper, we recommend a titer to see if adequate levels of immunity remain from the last vaccine. Evaluating this blood test ensures that pets will not be over vaccinated, but will remain protected.
- Bordetella is a bacterial pathogen that is a common cause of “kennel cough.” This vaccine is normally given as an intranasal vaccine starting at 3 weeks of age or older for patients if there is an increased risk of exposure as in cases of boarding facilities, doggy-day care centers, frequent dog park visits, or close quarters with other dogs. Re-vaccination is performed every 12 months depending on the potential for exposure.
- Canine Influenza is a flu virus that only affects dogs. This vaccine can be given to pets at 6 weeks of age and older, but must be boosted 2-4 weeks later for the full vaccination series. Dogs that are at risk are those who get boarded, go to dog shows, or are involved in any situation where close interaction with other dogs will likely occur and if a boarding facility requires this vaccine. Re-vaccination is performed every 12 months depending on the potential for exposure.
- Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorgeri. The bacterium is transmitted to dogs (and people) through tick bites (usually the deer tick, Ixodes Scapularis). The initial Lyme vaccine protocol is a series of 2 vaccines 3-4 weeks apart, starting at 12 weeks of age and older. This vaccine is recommended for dogs in high tick areas, heavily wooded areas and for those who go to hiking trails. Re-vaccination is performed every 12 months depending on the potential for exposure.
You will be asked to bring a stool sample so we can test it for intestinal parasites and giardia. These tests are repeated annually to make certain your pet has not come in contact with any parasites. Many parasites can be transmitted to other family pets or in some cases even human family members.
Helpful Training Advice
Training your new pup begins as soon as you welcome them into your heart and home.
Puppies take their cues from you and introducing them to new experiences at a younger age can lead to an easier time caring for them for the rest of their lives. For example, gentle handling of the mouth, ears and feet early in life can help make future exams, nail trims, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning a breeze!
We encourage you to drop by the hospital with your pup in between actual exams for a cookie and a kiss! A visit to the vet need not be a negative experience. This positive reinforcement helps young pups and even mature adults look forward to future visits.
Crate training is something to think of immediately upon bringing a new puppy home and can give your new pet a comforting, safe place to rest when you can’t supervise him or her. Obedience training is also recommended. You will be taught how to start with a basic “sit” command at your first visit to Katz & Dogs Animal Hospital. Our technicians will be happy to give you some helpful training tips. We can also share information with you about how to pick a reliable obedience instructor who will use positive reinforcement to help you with your new pup.
We will give you a puppy packet to take home with helpful pamphlets regarding numerous subjects. There is a wealth of information in it, including house training techniques, how to choose a dog food and the benefits of microchipping your pet. There is also information about why heartworm, flea and tick prevention are a necessary part of owning a pet.
Please call us to make an appointment for a visit with your new puppy. The team at Katz & Dogs Animal Hospital will guide you through the kind of preventative care you need for your pet based on your individual lifestyle.
We are always very happy to welcome new pets and their families to Katz & Dogs Animal Hospital. We feel it is an honor to be chosen by you to care for your puppy and look forward to working together with your family to help raise a happy, healthy and well adjusted furry family member.