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Puppy Care

What vaccinations does my puppy need and when?

Vaccines protect your puppy from dangerous viruses by helping build and strengthen their immune systems. Puppies under 16 weeks who are not fully vaccinated with DHPP, should not be walked in public areas including dog parks, sidewalks, pet stores and animal hospitals. Read more about flea meds.

There are 3 important core vaccines to remember: DHPP, Bordetella and Rabies.

  1. DHPP:
  • DHPP protects puppies from Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. It is commonly referred to as a ‘‘combo vaccine’’ or “Distemper vaccine”. DHPP vaccines are administered to puppies in a series of “boosters”.
  • Starting at 6-8 weeks old, your puppy should receive their first DHPP vaccine. DHPP should be boosted every 3-4 weeks until the age of 16 weeks (or 4 months) in order to build up immunity while your puppy is growing.
  • At 16 weeks, your puppy will be given a 1-year DHPP vaccine. Note: depending on when and where you got your puppy, you might begin the DHPP boosts at 7, 8, 9 or 10 weeks old. You should still follow the boost sequence, every 3-4 weeks, until the age of 16 weeks, when can receive their 1 year DHPP vaccine.
  • After the first year DHPP is given every 3 years.

2. Bordetella:

  • At around 8-12 weeks of age, puppies should receive their first Bordetella vaccine. Some places require Bordetella vaccinations. every 6 months. We vaccinate yearly.
  • Bordetella is a bacteria that causes kennel cough.
  • Your dog can still get kennel cough with this vaccine because there are more disease-causing agents besides Bordetella.

3. Rabies:

  • At 16 weeks, your puppy is ready to receive their 1 year Rabies vaccine.
  • This is required by law because Rabies can be fatal and contagious to humans.

What kind of routine treatments should I make sure my puppy receives?

There are 3 important routine treatments to remember for your pup:

  1. Flea Protection – Start when your veterinarian advises you to.Fleas in Southern California are especially resistant so for this area, we recommend year round treatment.Continue monthly or use a 3 month dose.Fleas can cause tapeworms and various disease, including Bubonic plague!
  2. Heart worm – This parasite can cause live worms to form in the hearts of dogs. Treating this disease can be very difficult but you can prevent it with heart worm preventatives. Most commonly this is a pill given monthly. Please ask your veterinarian about getting your pet on heart worm preventative as soon as possible.
  3. Fecal Testing & Deworming – When you bring your puppy in to their first exam, bring a fresh fecal sample, that way your vet can determine the best course of parasite control including deworming.

What kind of routine tests should I make sure my puppy receives?

  • Fecal tests reveal parasites that could be causing diarrhea, bloody stool, low appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Sometimes patients have no clinical signs of disease. Common parasites are Coccidia and Giardia. If untreated, these parasites can be life threatening. Test yearly as a precaution and whenever these symptoms arise.
  • Heart worm tests, when over 6 months old, reveal a cardiovascular parasite, which can be fatal. Once you receive a negative test, begin heart worm guard medicine monthly. Test yearly as a precaution.Dogs younger than 6 months can start heart worm treatment without a test.
  • Wellness exams should happen yearly, and whenever new symptoms arise. Your vet will examine your puppy’s ears, eyes, teeth, skin and overall health.

How do I potty train my pup?

Potty training is all about creating a consistent and positive spot for your puppy to use for pee and poo! If they are not yet ready to walk outside (too young and not vaccinated), you can create a designated area using pee pads or a sod of grass. It is your job to direct the puppy to his or her potty area.

Follow a schedule to direct them to potty after each meal, after each nap, and after play time until the puppy learns where to go on their own. When they are very young, you can implement potty time every hour to be consistent.

Do not punish your puppy while he or she is learning. Instead, redirect them to the correct area. As they go on their own in their designated area, praise them with a treat or extra petting. Be consistent and have patience!

Here is a great video on potty training that we recommend.