If you have recently welcomed a new puppy into your home, congratulations! The first weeks after adopting a puppy are an exciting and busy time. In addition to learning about your puppy’s temperament and enjoying his early explorations, this is also an important period for making positive healthy choices on behalf of your new pet. Decisions you make now, including pet vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, and dietary management can have a profound effect on your pet’s long-term well-being. Our puppy veterinarian at University Veterinary Hospital in Berkeley is here to assist with your puppy care.
The first step for good puppy care is to schedule an appointment with our Berkeley puppy veterinarian. He will perform a full physical exam, de-worm your puppy and place your puppy on preventative heartworm and flea/tick medication. These medications are safe for young animals and our vet will make specific recommendations based on your puppy’s current age and wellness needs.
Pet vaccinations, specifically the puppy shot series, lay the foundation for long-term good health. Early vaccinations are very important. After a pet is weaned from his mother’s milk, young pets are susceptible to serious illnesses, including parvo and distemper. For young puppies, these illnesses can be difficult to treat and especially deadly. Until a pet’s immune system has fully matured (around 18 to 22 weeks of age), the puppy shot vaccination (DHPP) series is the best way to protect your pet. Our puppy veterinarian recommends starting the shot series between 8 and 10 weeks of age and continuing the series every three to four weeks until reaching 18 to 22 weeks of age.
In addition to the puppy shot series, other vaccinations are also important. All dogs are legally required in the state of California to be vaccinated against rabies. Depending on your puppy’s expected lifestyle, our puppy veterinarian may also recommend vaccinations against bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough, which is easily transmitted at doggy daycare, grooming and boarding.
Our puppy veterinarian strongly recommends spaying and neutering puppies before they reach six months of age. The decision to spay or neuter a pet is a personal choice; however, doing so offers important health benefits. Spay and neuter reduces the risk for certain health problems, including cancer, and also helps to eliminate certain behavioral problems.
Dietary management is very important for growing dogs. Large breed puppies, for example, need to be fed a special dog food that will keep their growth steady. Periods of rapid growth are dangerous for large breed puppies as this quick growth can increase the risk for developing hip dysplasia. All puppies will benefit from a nutritious, balanced diet.
Our veterinarian for puppies is happy to answer any questions you may have about puppy care, including spay/neuter, pet vaccinations, dietary needs, and general training or behavioral concerns.
This is a vet hospital with a heart, truly.