Welcome to 2017! The New Year for most marks a time of new beginnings and a clean slate. For some it also means the start of a new relationship with a new puppy brought by Santa. For those who are lucky enough to have received such a warm and wiggly Christmas gift, now is a perfect time to review some puppy care instructions.
Start with an Exam
The first step to caring for a puppy is getting a good physical exam. If you have not already done so, schedule an appointment for a complete physical. This is a great time for first-time puppy owners to ask any questions they may have regarding care. It also helps to determine if there are any genetic or congenital issues of which you may not be aware. During this first visit, your veterinarian and vet staff will discuss vaccine protocols, flea and heartworm preventative, proper times to spay and neuter and schedule any follow-up visits.
Start Out Anti-Social
We recommend avoiding dog parks and other areas where strange dogs may be until your pup has completed a full series of vaccines. Although no vaccine is 100% effective, you pup will not be fully protected until he or she has completed a full series of vaccines. Diseases like parvo virus are very stable outside the host body and can be prevalent in the soil for years and still cause illness. Simply follow the recommended vaccine protocols and all should be fine for your dog.
Start Good Habits Early
It is much easier to start good training habits than it is to break bad ones. If you have any questions regarding training, we recommend consulting with a reputable dog trainer. As your family veterinarian, we can help with simple training tips, but a good professional trainer is going to be your best source of information.
This is by far one of our favorite times of the year because we love seeing all the new Christmas puppies. We want to help you get them started on the right path to health and wellness so you can have a long and happy relationship together. Contact our office today so we can help answer any questions you may have or help schedule you an appointment.