Puppy Care for new parents

We feel that your initial visit with your new puppy is very important. Since a lot of information will be covered, we have written down some points you may wish to remember.

Congratulations on your new puppy!

Vaccines: DA2PP or DHPP: (Distemper, Hepatitis or Adeno2 virus, Para influenza and Parvo-virus). This vaccine is given in a series and is one of the most important things you will ever do to protect your dog’s health. The first DA2PP is given at 6-9 weeks of age, and is then repeated every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old.  

Leptospirosis:  is a bacteria spread by wildlife and ingested by dogs drinking out of puddles. It can be contracted by people so it is a human health concern. It is given in a series of two injections 3 weeks apart followed by a yearly booster.

Bordetella: This vaccination is given to prevent contagious tracheobronchitis or “kennel cough.”

Remember to keep your puppy out of public parks, boarding kennels, doggy day cares and places with large numbers of dogs until this initial series of vaccines are completed.

Spaying and Neutering:  We recommend that female dogs be spayed at 6 months of age (prior to their first heat cycle). Small breed dogs are prone to retention of primary teeth, so we recommend spaying at six months of age which allows us to identify and extract retained primary teeth without scheduling a second anesthesia. Female dogs spayed prior to their first heat cycle enjoy a 99% reduction in the incidence of mammary (breast) cancer.

Male dogs should be neutered to prevent prostate disease and minimize certain behavioral problems. Again six months of age is a good time to perform this procedure so we can check for retained primary teeth at that time and remove them if indicated.

Heartworm Disease:  Heartworm disease is a serious illness that can rob your dog of its health and even its life. Heartworm larvae are transmitted by infected mosquitoes that bite the dog and deposit heartworm larvae on the dog's skin.  The best way to protect your dog is to prevent heartworm disease by giving a monthly heartworm preventative. There are several different types of heartworm preventatives that we carry.  Heartworm medication should be given once every 30 days for the life of your pet.  A heartworm test should be done at least once a year.

Flea and Tick Prevention: We recommend starting your puppy on a flea and tick preventative. Pets can acquire fleas and ticks any time they enter an infested area, which can include parks or areas frequented by other pets. In general, flea shampoos, dips, and collars are ineffective for long-term control. We carry several veterinarian recommended flea/tick products that are used monthly for prevention.

Pet Identification: We recommend some kind of identification for all pets. We offer HomeAgain microchip permanent identification available here. This is given by a simple injection during an office visit.  Another identification which we highly recommend is ID tags that are on their collars at all time with your contact information.  These can be purchased at your local pet stores.

House Training:  The basic concept is to not allow your puppy the opportunity to make mistakes. Get your puppy in a routine and take them outdoors to the designated area frequently and shortly after each meal. Praise yourpuppy lavishly after performing. Punishment for making mistakes is not usually helpful. If you catch your puppy in the act of voiding in the wrong place say “NO!” or “YUK!” then take the puppyoutdoors. “Potty pads” may be a good alternative for toy dogs with condominium lifestyles. These are available at pet supply stores.

Feeding: Feed your puppy the best quality food you can afford. Poorly balanced diets can result in obesity and a shortened life span. High quality food is more easily digestible. Therefore, you use less and it also helps to decrease the number of times your dog goes to the bathroom. We recommend feeding Orijen dog food. Orijen is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, grain free food. Orijen foods are made from fresh free run regional poultry, eggs, meats, fish. Puppies should be fed three times a day until they are at least 6 months old and then fed twice daily thereafter.

Dental Care:  Appropriate dental care may be the most important thing that you can do to improve the qualityand longevity of your dog’s life.  For long term dental health a combination of home care (brushing) and periodic professional cleanings is recommended. Now is the time to gradually train your puppy to allow you to handle his/her mouth. Since your puppy is still teething, simple handling of the mouth is all that is recommended until six months of age. Brushing the teeth should begin after six months of age and should be done daily. Remember that only the outside surfaces of the teeth need to be brushed. Soft bristled brushes, finger-brushes, gauze or a dedicated wet washcloth around one’s finger are all acceptable. Try to make it a fun and positive experience with plenty of praise and treats. Dental diets are also available. Please feel free to ask about these diets.

Chew toys:  Avoid chew toys that are very hard or that are less than 3 inches in diameter. The rule of thumb isthat a chew toy should be soft enough to bend or be able to indent with your thumbnail.  Rubber chew toys are ideal. We do not recommend real bones as they have the potential tofracture teeth, as do nylabones.  Avoid fabric toys that can be chewed up and swallowed.  Puppies like to chew on almost anything! Be very careful of what your puppy is allowed to chewand swallow as intestinal foreign bodies requiring surgical removal are most common in dogsunder one year of age.

It is our goal to provide you with the highest quality services and information so you can have the best possible relationship with your dog.

Please call us if we can help you in any way with your new puppy! Aloha from Surf Paws Animal Hospital located in the Hawaii Kai Towne Center plaza.




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