A WHOLE day dedicated to puppies? Someone come over here and pinch us because this must be a dream.
National Puppy Day – That’s right, an entire 24 hours dedicated to fluffy, cuddly, curious, mischievous, joyful, angelic, roly-poly, PUPPIES! If you didn’t dream of getting a puppy wrapped up in a big gift box with your name on it as a kid, did you really live? Let’s face it, everyone loves puppies. That’s why we’re super excited to share this special day with you all! We know just how exciting (but also stressful) it is to add a four-legged friend to your family, so we’ve put together this guide to help ease you into puppy parenthood.
Quite possibly the hardest decision of your life may be choosing which puppy gets to go home with you? We know there are a TON of choices out there, but which pup will best fit your lifestyle? Our advice: do your breed research. Take into account that most puppies fit into everyone’s life with ease, but not every dog will do so as seamlessly.
Just like most of us, dogs have variety of needs. Doing your research on different dog breeds will help you secure a companion that will compliment your lifestyle.
When picking your pup, make note of these important qualities:
Dogs with higher energy levels may need access to a larger living space or an owner who has time to dedicate to lengthy walks/runs.
Take a look at the behavior characteristics of different breeds to see if your future dog’s genes show any particular temperament patterns. For instance, a shy or timid canine may be great for a one or two person household, but perhaps not a good fit for a home with excited children.
While any pooch appreciates a little aesthetic love, some dogs actually require mandatory grooming to avoid issues like fur matting, over-grown nails, or anal gland abscess.
While these are not the only qualities to research, they are helpful to be familiar with.
Taking Your Puppy Home
Before bringing that literal slice of heaven home, make sure you are properly stocked on all puppy necessities! This includes, but is not limited to:
- Potty Training Pads (Wee-Wee Pads)
- Puppy Safe Dishes
- Pet Carrier
- Pet ID Tag
- Puppy Safe Toys
- Sleeping Crate
Prior to walking into your home with the newest addition to the family, remember that this is a new environment for your puppy. Take it slow and introduce separate rooms and other family members with time. If you happen to have a dog or cat already residing in the home, wait until the excitement of being in a new space has worn off to set up a meet and greet. Dogs should be placed on a leash to avoid any unwanted behavior and cats should be allowed to approach a puppy within their own time frame. Trust us – the slower, the better when it comes to joining two fur-siblings for the first time.
Your First Vet Visit
Maybe we’re a bit biased, but this is our favorite part!
We know, we know, the vet can be an overwhelming place for a puppy, but trust us when we say we do everything we can to make sure your pet starts their healthcare experience on the right paw! To make the first visit stress free for you, make sure to check these off your list:
Medical History – Prior to walking into your pup’s first appointment, make sure you have their medical records handy. It’s important for us to know what vaccines they have already received or any treatments previously given to ensure we provide the most accurate, effective, and necessary recommendations.
Fecal Sample – It may be a little icky, but we need your puppy’s…err…waste in order to test for common intestinal parasites like Giardia and Coccidiosis. This is important as some of these may be transmitted from your pup to humans in your household. You can provide their sample in a simple doggie bag or disposable container of your choice. We can test fecal matter that is up to 24 hours old if refrigerated, but we always say: fresh is best!
Appointment Type – While the majority of first time puppy visits are to establish a relationship and customized vaccine schedule, sometimes we see little ones for illnesses or injuries prior to a wellness exam. If your pup is not feeling well, please let us know at the time of scheduling. Having complete transparency with us in regards to your pet’s health will let us assist you in the best way possible and ultimately help your fur-baby feel better sooner.
Got it? Great! Now you’re all set to begin your puppy’s first exam. Your doctor will thoroughly examine your pup, including their mouth, ears, eyes, paws, heart, lungs, skin, and coat. This time is the perfect opportunity to express any concerns you may have or ask questions about your pet’s development! Your doctor will not only evaluate your pet from a medical stand point, but can also provide you with lifestyle suggestions for diet and exercise.
During your appointment, we will most likely administer vaccinations. We use your pet’s previous medical history and current age/weight/health to assess what vaccinations should be given at the time of your visit.
9 Weeks ⇒ DA2PPV #1 – Bordetella Intranasal
12 Weeks ⇒ DA2PPV #2 – Canine Flu Combo #1
15 Weeks ⇒ DA2PPV #3 – Canine Flu Combo #2
16 Weeks ⇒ Rabies 1 Year
18-21 Weeks ⇒ Lyme Series – Leptospirosis Series
We will conclude your visit by giving your puppy their first flea, tick and heartworm preventatives, such as Bravecto (flea and tick) and Sentinel Spectrum (heartworm, intestinal parasites). Over the course of their growth and development, the dosing for preventatives will change with weight. So keep an eye on your pup’s scale to ensure maximum efficacy of their preventatives!
We hope this blog helped to meet all of your puppy needs! As always, we’re here to help! If you’re finding yourself with any unanswered inquiries, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The puppy experts are just a call or email away!
Heart of Chelsea + LES Animal Hospital