Making the decision to adopt a puppy is a big step, and you’ll likely have a lot of questions. In order to have a happy, healthy pup, we’ve compiled a list of three common questions our vet techs hear from new dog owners. Remember — each dog is different, and your vet may recommend something different for your puppy.
The questions below are an excellent way to begin a relationship with your veterinarian.
#1 – What is the typical vaccination schedule for a new puppy?
Your vet will usually recommend a vaccination schedule for your puppy over the first 8-16 weeks of your dog’s life. Vaccines will help your dog be protected against common diseases.
Many states require a regimen of up-to-date vaccinations in order for your dog to socialize with other animals, or for dog services – such as daycare or grooming. Puppy vaccines are a jumpstart to your dog’s long-term well-being.
A typical vaccination schedule may include the following:
8 Weeks – First Distemper/Parvo Booster
12 Weeks – Second Distemper/Parvo Booster & Bordetella (Kennel Cough Vaccine)
16 Weeks – First Year Rabies Vaccine, Third Distemper/Parvo Booster
You should also ask your vet if they would recommend other common vaccines, such as Lyme and Leptospirosis.
#2 – When is the best time to get my dog spayed/neutered?
There are many benefits to having your dog spayed/neutered as a puppy. This article from the ASPCA’s website includes an outline of these benefits. So when is the best time to schedule your dog’s appointment?
While each dog is different, the average age to have your dog spayed or neutered is between the ages of 5-6 months. As many animal hospitals will book out appointments a month in advance, it is recommended to begin researching hospitals when your dog is 5 months of age.
Our vet staff is happy to suggest a local animal hospital equipped to perform the spay/neuter procedure as well as discuss the recovery process with you.
#3 When should I begin my dog’s heartworm and flea/tick prevention regimen?
Your vet will likely recommend beginning a heartworm and flea/tick prevention regimen for your dog starting between 8-12 weeks of age. At Beantown Bed & Biscuit, our vet staff will provide you with a New Puppy Packet which includes the recommended medication and dosing for your puppy at the second and third visits.
HeartGard Plus is a medication given to dogs once per month to help prevent heartworm disease, and to treat & control roundworm and hookworm infections. Heartworms can be transmitted to your dog through a mosquito bite and can be fatal if not treated. Roundworms and hookworms live in your dog’s intestines and are typically ingested accidentally by eating infected soil or stool.
Your dog will receive an annual blood test to check for potential heartworm infection prior to receiving the following year’s dose.
Flea/Tick medication is given to dogs to help protect your dog against fleas and ticks. Both fleas and ticks can have harmful effects for humans as well as your dog. Fleas and ticks can carry diseases such as bartonellosis, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and canine anaplasmosis. Some common medications for flea/tick protection are Frontline Plus and Nexgard.
The Beantown Bed & Biscuit vet staff can also help you address questions about your dog’s diet, sleeping schedule and house training. Book your puppy’s first appointment with us today!