PUPPY CARE - LOVE YOUR PUPPY? - TAKE GOOD CARE!
1. Vaccinations are the most important consideration with a young pup! Since most serious diseases like distemper and parvovirus affect the young, timely vaccinations are essential for their wellbeing (not to mention saving the cost of expensive treatments)! Vaccinations must start at 5-6 weeks of age (no earlier and definitely no later)! Use of proper vaccines is also important - only the newer high antigenic mass vaccines give effective protection against parvovirus in young pups. If you have any questions - call us!
2. Annual Medical Examinations, especially the adoption physical, are extremely important for your new puppy. Not only will we discover any major or minor health problems and offer solutions, but we'll spend time discussing nutrition, training, behavior, worms, and answer any other questions to help you raise your new friend. Because a dog ages 5-7 years for every human year, annual medical examinations are essential for early discovery of health problems. Early diagnosis and treatment will ensure a long, healthy, and happy life for your pet!
3. Nutrition is just as important for a puppy as for a human infant. Improper nutrition can stunt growth, affect mental development, and even cause many metabolic and bone diseases (such as hip dysplasia). Proper nutrition and feeding habits will add many healthy years to your pet's life! Puppies should be fed a measured amount of dog food 2 or 3 times daily, and any food left after 5 minutes should be picked up. Leaving food down the whole day (free choice feeding) is strongly discouraged, as it leads to poor habits, obesity, and metabolic bone disease that can be permanent! Types of food are critical. Cheaper foods are poor quality, and too rich of a food can cause problems also. Different breeds have different requirements, even as puppies. We can help you with these choices.
4. Exercise in appropriate amounts is important for your pup's physical and emotional development. But too much can also be harmful. Puppies should never be encouraged to run long distances - this can lead to bone malformations. And be very careful where you exercise your pup. We recommend the backyard only until the vaccination series is complete. Earlier trips around town and down the street can expose your pup to dangerous diseases before his/her immunity is fully developed. Puppies are not protected against distemper and parvovirus until approximately 2 weeks after the last vaccination!
5. Parasite control
will eliminate not only worms, but fleas and ear mites as well. These pests can cause diarrhea, stunt growth, and compromise the pup's entire immune system. Also, many of these parasites are contagious to humans. In fact, puppy round worms have been incriminated as causing serious illness in some children. Early diagnosis and veterinary treatment will prevent any problems.
6. Spaying/neuteringyour pet at 5-6 months of age will accomplish much: One, neutered pets will not add to the terrible dog overpopulation in this country; two, early neutering will prevent many terrible hormone-related diseases and cancers, such as breast cancer in the female and prostate disease in the male; and three, neutered animals roam less, fight less, and in general make better pets!
Reprinted with the permission of Kingman Animal Hospital