Along with ideal nutrition, scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian is the key to your puppy’s enduring health and happiness. Your first visit will most likely be when your puppy is 8–10 weeks old.
GETTING READY FOR YOUR PUPPY’S VET VISIT
- Let the veterinarian’s staff pet your puppy and offer it treats.
- If you project a calm, upbeat attitude, your dog will likely be calm, too.
- Some experts recommend scheduling “just dropping in” visits so your pup gets used to the vet’s location.
THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
- You’ll be asked basic information, and a staff member may weigh your pup.
- You’ll be asked about your puppy’s diet and lifestyle.
- You’ll get to ask about your puppy’s care.
- The veterinarian will examine your puppy and may administer its first vaccinations.
- Schedule the next regular health check.
Make sure you ask your vet about any required or optional vaccinations that will provide the best protection against infectious diseases.
The vaccination series below is begun as early as 6 weeks old, with boosters given 3 to 4 weeks apart until puppies are 16 weeks old.
- Canine distemper
- Andenovirus-2 (Hepatitis)
- Canine Parainfluenza
- Canine Parvovirus
- Bordetella (kennel cough)
Your breeder or shelter should have informed you of your puppy’s worming schedule.
Your vet may ask you for a stool sample to analyze and will advise on the best treatment if any issues are found.
Your puppy’s immune system is vitally important to their well-being but takes time to fully develop. Initially, in the ﬁrst 24 hours after birth, protective antibodies will have come from their mother’s milk. This special milk, known as colostrum, provided protection for the ﬁrst 4 to 8 weeks of your puppy’s life. However, after this period, your puppy’s immune system is still relatively undeveloped and may not be able to protect their well.
Research has shown that feeding high-quality puppy nutrition that contains additional antioxidants for strong immunity in young puppies during this period of vulnerability.