Thank you for trusting the staff at Superior Animal Hospital to care for your puppy. The following information lists some general recommendations and suggestions we have for your new pet.
Because your puppy will grow as much in the first year of its life as an average human grows in the first 20 years of life, proper nutrition is critical to meet the needs of such rapid change. We recommend:
1. Hill’s Healthy Advantage Canine Growth, or other premium puppy food, and water.
2. NO TABLE FOOD, bones, or scraps should be fed. These items can cause gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, excessive weight gain, intestinal obstructions, as well as behavioral problems.
3. Meals in measured amounts are fed 2 to 4 times a day, depending on the breed and age of your puppy. Feeding meals is helpful in positive reinforcement for housetraining.
Many fatal diseases can be prevented with timely vaccinations. We recommend:
1. Vaccination for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza (DHPP) given 3 weeks apart through 16 weeks of age. The first set may be given as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age. Typically puppies get 2 to 4 of these vaccines. This vaccine is required for surgery, puppy class and most boarding facilities. It needs to be boostered once in 12 months, then every 3 years.
2. Rabies vaccine after 12 weeks of age, many times on the last puppy visit. This vaccine is required by state law and is good for 1 year. Subsequent vaccinations are given every 3 years.
3. Lyme Disease vaccination given as early as 8 weeks of age, with a booster in 3 weeks, and then boostered annually. This is a core vaccine for all dogs in our area.
4. Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine is given to dogs that are boarded, attend puppy or training class, participate in dog shows, are regularly groomed, or hunt with groups of other dogs. The oral vaccine can be given as early as 4 weeks of age, with a booster after 8 weeks of age and then annually. The injectable vaccine is given as early as 8 weeks, boostered in 2-4 weeks and then annually.
***Please consult with our doctors to determine the most appropriate immunization schedule for your puppy.
Your puppy will receive a complete physical exam at the time of vaccinations. Exams help determine if there are existing congenital, hereditary, or developmental problems. We try to make the visits as informative for you and fun for your puppy as possible.
We recommend your female pup be spayed or male pup be neutered between 4 and 8 months of age. Small breed dogs generally are scheduled at 7 months of age to assure all of their baby teeth have fallen out. Large breed dogs are scheduled at 8 months to give the growth plates time to close. Alteration surgeries help avoid unwanted pregnancies, urine marking, heat cycles, as well as other medical and behavioral problems. We require the first DHPP vaccine be given at least 1 week prior to the scheduled surgery.
We recommend the Home Again Microchip for permanent identification. The microchip can be easily and painlessly placed under the skin at the time your pet is spayed or neutered.
All grooming procedures are best introduced when the puppy is young so it learns to tolerate being handled. Nails should be trimmed every two weeks. Brushing your puppy’s coat helps control shedding and improve skin condition. Ear cleaning can be done weekly with recommended products and techniques. Your puppy may be bathed as frequently as every 2 weeks if a mild shampoo is used. We recommend a soap-free, hypoallergenic shampoo for regular bathing.
Puppies generally begin losing their baby teeth at 15 to 16 weeks of age. To prevent bad breath, tartar buildup, tooth infections and loss, start at-home dental care today. We recommend:
1. Brushing your pup’s teeth daily using recommended products. Introduction to brushing the teeth develops the routine and increases the pet’s tolerance of touching around the mouth.
2. Feeding primarily dry food.
Parasites are a common problem with puppies. We recommend:
1. Checking a stool specimen microscopically (fecal exam) for intestinal parasite eggs at the time of your puppy’s first or second visit. If the pup has recently received deworming medication, we may recommend rechecking the stool in 2-4 weeks.
2. Giving heartworm prevention medicine (Heartgard Plus or Tri-Heart Plus) once-a-month year-round. These products are also effective in treating/controlling intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms.
3. Using Frontline, Vectra 3D or Nexgard once-a-month to keep fleas from overwhelming your pet and home. Fleas can be seen all year long, especially in late summer and fall.
4. Using Frontline, Vectra 3D or Nexgard once-a-month year-round in puppies because of possible exposure to ticks. This will help minimize the transmission of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease and Anaplasma. Puppies should also be vaccinated for Lyme Disease.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING:
Early socialization is extremely important for the behavioral development of your puppy. We offer a five week socialization class for puppies 8 to 16 weeks of age. Many past participants have stated that this was the best thing they ever did for their pet. Arrowhead Dog Training and Twin Ports Dog Training have puppy kindergarten classes as well as beginning and advanced obedience training.
Medical insurance for pets can be of great benefit to you and your pet. Packages through Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), Trupanion and PetPlan makes insurance a very affordable option and assures that you will financially be able to take care of any medical problems that may arise.
If you have any questions about your puppy, please call us at 715-392-6211.