At the first new puppy visit a general health exam is done on the pup along with whatever vaccines, fecal etc the puppy is due for. Also everything from crate training, heartworms and prevention, to teaching owners how to restrain/train their pups to handle common occurrences they will face throughout their life (like ear cleaning, nail trims and giving medications) will be discussed. This is also a good time for owners to let us know if they have any concerns or fears about raising a new pup (don’t be embarrassed, trust us we all have had our own experiences raising puppies, we know first hand its not all easy) Also most owners quickly learn that every pup is unique and sometimes what worked for your last pup may not work for your new one. We also strongly recommend staying away from places that other dogs frequent with your pup where there is no proof of current vaccines to enter ie pet stores or dog parks until your puppy is over 4 months old and current on all vaccines.

Puppies can start receiving shots at 6 weeks of age, and they need a series of shots much like a human baby until they are over 4 months old. This is because their immune system is not fully developed until they are that old. They are born with immunity from their mom and have to have vaccines every 2-3 weeks until they are over that 4 month of age mark. Sometimes this means that your pup will be at the vet 5-6 times depending on when vaccines were given to start before their immunity is good for a year. They will then need to come back only to be spayed or neutered and  to be weighed monthly for heartworm/flea prevention until they reach their adult size (both are sold based on the weight of the pup).  Plus we like to see the pups for good visits (just to be weighed and to get loved on by the staff to keep them thinking the vet isn’t a bad place) . Then yearly well dog exams, heartworm test, vaccines and fecal exams are recommended to make sure your dog stays healthy.  We also strongly recommend your dog never being off of monthly heartworm or flea and tick prevention.

Once your pup reaches his or her senior years (this age can be discussed with one of our doctors since it can very with your pups size and current health status)  we strongly recommend adding  yearly lab work (to check their red blood cells, white blood cells, and organ function) to their yearly physical, heartworm test, vaccines and fecal.  Just like in humans their health can change very quickly day to day and since animals can have all the same ailments as humans it’s important to have baselines (values) when a pet is seemingly healthy to compare to when a pet is sick, as well as to follow values as the pet ages (ie check and see if a kidney value is slowly going up or is it staying the same over time)