Congratulations on your new puppy!
This is a very exciting time in your life, and we know you want to give your pet the best care possible. Animal Medical Care recognizes that for your puppy to be healthy and happy, we need to work with you as a team. We look forward to seeing you and your new pet and developing a lifelong relationship.
Like babies, puppies need frequent care. This calls for frequent visits to the vet during the first few months of life. Animal Medical Care is here to partner with you to provide all of the care and support your puppy needs to grow into a happy, healthy dog. Here is a handy checklist that we can both use to make sure we do everything we need to for your puppy.
Step 1: Vaccinations
Vaccinations are ideally given at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks of age.
Vaccinations are key to preventing several fatal diseases: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, Bordetella, and rabies. To be effective, a series of vaccines must be given to puppies and, thereafter, at least annually. In addition, several other vaccines may be appropriate based on your pet’s situation.
Step 2: Worm & Parasite Treatment
At least two treatments of de-wormer at your puppy’s first two visits, followed by an ongoing heartworm and parasite prevention treatment.
Worms and parasites are very common in puppies, who can become infected either in utero or through their mother’s milk. When you bring in your puppy to meet us, we recommend a fecal exam to determine whether he or she has worms. If possible, please bring a stool sample. The sample will be examined under a microscope to detect worms and other gastrointestinal parasites.
Even without a fecal examination, we also recommend that your puppy is given a safe and effective deworming product two times, three weeks apart. The de-wormer has no side effects and treats several of the common worms.
In addition to checking for and treating any worms throughout your dog’s life, it is also extremely important to provide preventative treatment for heartworms. At Animal Medical Care, we’ll help you determine the best way to both prevent worms and treat them should your dog become infected.
Step 3: Microchipping
Microchipping your puppy is the best way to ensure that you will be reunited in the event you are separated. Animal Medical Care inserts a small chip through a simple, non-surgical procedure that can be scanned for information. You register your information with a service, and if your pet is found by someone, any vet facility can scan for the chip and track your information.
Step 4: Spaying/Neutering
Recommended at approximately four to six months, depending on lifestyle and breed.
Spaying or neutering your pet will help control the overpopulation problem and also prevent certain health and behavioral problems. At AMC, we go to great lengths to make sure this procedure is the safest it can be and pain-free for your dog.
Step 5: Flea & Tick Treatment
Flea and tick prevention and treatment are essential to your puppy’s health. Prescription medications are highly effective, but any flea and tick treatment should be given with caution to avoid adversely, and sometimes severe, reactions. AMC will advise you on the best treatment for your dog in addition to proper timing, dosage, and application.
Step 6: Establish a Nutrition & Exercise Routine
Nutrition and exercise are the basics of taking care of your new pet. How you feed and exercise your puppy depends on his or her individual circumstances. Puppies generally require more frequent meals in smaller quantities than adult dogs. Puppy food should be higher in fat and fed for the first 12 to 18 months, depending on your dog’s breed and size. Puppies also require plenty of play and exercise for muscle development.
Step 7: Develop a General Care Routine
General canine care on a routine basis contributes to your puppy’s overall well-being. General care includes trimming nails, cleaning ears, bathing, grooming, brushing teeth, and providing durable safe toys.
Step 8: Socializing & Training
Socialization and behavior training is the key to raising a well-behaved dog. Animal Medical Care is here to guide you on the best way to train your puppy so that you can maximize good behavior and minimize the bad. Training your dog does require some consistency and work, but the rewards are well worth it.
Step 9: Prepare for Hazards & Emergencies
Safety and emergency preparedness help you avoid hazards and handle a situation in the event of an emergency.