One of the most challenging aspects of taking care of your puppy is trying to determine if his behavior is normal (scratching, whimpering, whining) or if you should see the veterinarian. Unfortunately, this is something you’ll need to learn about your new dog. However, you should still make sure you have a good vet picked out so you’ll know what to expect when you visit the office for a checkup.
Shopping for a health-care provider for your puppy is no different than searching for any other family doctor. You'll want to do plenty of research and consider the following when choosing a vet to deal with your puppy’s health:
We recommend taking your pet to the veterinarian within the first three days he's home to ensure he's fit. The visit will likely include:
Make sure there are no surprises by having your little one neutered or spayed as soon as possible—provided you don't want to become a breeder. The surgeries can be done by the time puppies are 6 months old and involve a fairly quick recovery time. Benefits to such surgeries include:
Fleas are nearly invisible parasites that will cause your puppy to itch. They can transmit disease, pass on a tapeworm, or even cause anemia, especially in vulnerable youngsters. Furthermore, they can infiltrate your home and bite people. Fleas are hard to spot with the naked eye, but your puppy will exhibit symptoms such as scratching, biting, and gnawing of the skin. By the time you actually see the fleas, you likely will have a full-blown infestation. If you suspect your puppy is harboring unwanted guests, wash him in a bathtub and rub your hands up and down his coat to look for flea "dirt," dark dots that are actually flea excrement. Drop tap water on the dots. If the color red develops, you've got a problem.
Some believe that you can rid your puppy of fleas by feeding him onion or garlic. And though he might eat these foods, they might actually produce a toxic reaction. Furthermore, feeding puppies brewer's yeast or applying it to the skin will have no effect on fleas.
Scientists have developed both topical and oral prescription medications that prevent fleas from biting and reproducing. They are administered once per month. Here are the facts about these types of treatments:
As with humans, preventative care is the best way to ensure your puppy lives a healthy, happy life. Schedule visits with your vet as he or she deems necessary, and your puppy will be all set to be your best friend for a lifetime.