Puppies are just like babies--adorable, helpless, and totally lovable. Just like human babies, you need to take some precautions to keep your new puppy safe from harm. Here are some tips for protecting your new puppy.
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to certain illnesses that can be prevented by the use of vaccinations. The first of these vaccinations is usually given at around six to eight weeks of age. It's a combined vaccination that protects your pup from four common diseases--canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, para-influenza, and the parvovirus, or parvo, as it's commonly called. This is call the DHPP vaccination. Your pup should get a booster shot of DHPP at around 9 weeks of age, and your vet may also recommend other vaccinations depending on your pup's risk for those certain diseases.
After twelve weeks of age, your pup will be given the rabies vaccination as well as another DHPP shot. Then you won't have to worry about vaccinations until your pup is around 15 months old, when the vet will give them all again. After that, you only have to come back for annual rabies and DHPP boosters, though the rabies may be given less frequently.
Other preventive care
In addition to vaccinations, your vet will recommend treating your pup for heartworms, a potentially deadly parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes and attacks your pet's heart and lungs. Dogs under six months are not typically tested for the disease, but simply given medication to prevent it. Older dogs will need to have tests done to rule out the disease before preventative meds can be given.
Your vet will also recommend treating your pup to prevent flea infestation and he'll recommend having your pup spayed or neutered by the age of six months. This will not only help prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it can actually help keep your pet healthier, too.
A healthy pup is a happy pup, and prevention is definitely easier and less expensive than trying to cure a sick dog. Check with your vet to see what he recommends for your new puppy, and be sure to visit Bark Busters to find out about training for your new pet. To speak with a trainer, call 1-866-418-4584 or type in your postal code on the main page to find the trainer nearest you.