Getting a new puppy can be daunting for more reasons than one, and it seems to be so overwhelming that you almost regret your decision. Don’t fret! Let’s take it one thing at a time, starting with why vet care is critical to a puppy’s health and wellness.
We want to help guide you through this challenging time with this info-packed article to start you in the right direction. Let’s get started and talk about veterinary care. It is something that should be practiced from the start to form a great foundation to last a lifetime. Our pets depend on us to ensure they are cared for entirely, and taking them to the vet regularly is critical to their well-being.
Choosing a Veterinarian
A little research goes a long way. Take time to inquire and choose a veterinarian with values and practice in line with yours. Asking fellow pet owners to talk to you about their experiences is a great way to get some non-bias insight. Don’t forget to check online reviews!
Another great idea is to “interview” different practices. Ask them if you can stop in for a visit and speak to some of their staff. Whether you got your puppy from a breeder, shelter, or rescue, they can certainly give you a great referral to a veterinary practice that they have a close working relationship with. Once you establish with a vet, it’s time to set up their first visit straight away.
Vaccines should be at the top of the priority list, and your vet will cover all the vaccines necessary for establishing critical immunity to several deadly, and completely preventable, diseases. Remember, do not take your new puppy to any place, private or public, frequented by other dogs until they are fully vaccinated.
Puppies have very compromised immune systems and are susceptible to many diseases, viruses, and bacteria. Some vaccines require follow up booster shots, so it is imperative you do not miss those. Moving forward, some vaccines actually can carry immunity in a dog for years and years. Hence, they are not necessary every year, preventing over-vaccination. However, the only way to know this is if you complete a pricey blood titer test.
Your vet can administer this test to gauge the protection a vaccine still provides. This will tell if your dog requires a yearly booster vaccine or not.
Another critical preventative topic to cover with your vet is parasites. External parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes -which can transmit deadly heartworms- can all be 100% prevented. Especially here in Brevard County, treatment should be used year-round to ensure an outbreak and subsequent health issues associated.
There are many options to consider, such as oral pills, topical treatments, and collars. Internal parasites, a variety of worm species, are an extremely common occurrence in puppies. It’s common practice and advisable to have them dewormed, in most cases, more than once, to avoid harmful side effects like malnutrition, weakness, diarrhea, and even death in extreme cases.
Your vet will also perform a full physical examination. They will be on the lookout for any abnormalities that may be genetic, from injury or abnormal growth. Their heart, joints, abdominal cavity, spine, eyes, ears, nose, and even those cute soft little paws will all be touched and explored to ensure there are no issues and determine if any action should be taken.
Additionally, spay/neutering should be discussed with your vet. Unless you are a part of an established and experienced breeding program, this option should be seriously considered. After your dog has physically matured- bone/joint growth and the endocrine system have reached its peak development- it is a great option to consider.
Many life-threatening conditions to include certain cancers, tumors, and infections can be avoided entirely by having your pet spayed/neutered. Not to mention the thousands and thousands of animals contributing to the pet overpopulation all across the United States. It is an epidemic that can be prevented simply by responsible pet ownership and spay/neutering. It is an elective surgery with its host of risks.
Be sure to speak with your vet about what the healing process looks like so you can schedule it during a time you can completely tend to their needs. While you are at it, this is the perfect time to ensure your new pup gets microchipped!
In closing, it’s safe to say that veterinary care is a must if you are a pet owner, and choosing the correct path is critical from the start. Be sure to make and keep at the very least, a yearly wellness visit, and any corresponding follow up or booster appointments.
Talk to your vet about what to do in the case of emergency and the fastest, most effective way to contact the office or on-call vet if necessary. Take time to enjoy this era of vulnerability in your puppy’s life and how you are gifted extra moments you and your puppy receive because of it.
Did you add a puppy to your family recently? Tell us about him or her below!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, in 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, bonded, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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