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Puppy 101

There are few joys like owning a puppy. This joy does come with responsibility: to your dog, to yourself, to your family, and to your neighborhood. Puppies are blissfully ignorant about what is required of them. You must learn how to approach and guide your puppy so that he/she will become a good canine citizen - one with whom you will want to share your home.


Puppies should receive their first vaccinations by 8 weeks of age. If you obtain your puppy from a breeder, they may have already received their first vaccination. Keep in mind that as a puppy grows they will need boosters every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks old. Our veterinarians will customize a vaccine schedule for your puppy's specific life style. We use a combination vaccines that offers protection against several diseases with one injection; Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, and Leptospirosis. Rabies vaccines are always given independently of all other vaccines.

Intestinal Parasites

These parasites live in the intestines and your puppy should be tested for intestinal parasites as soon as possible. These parasites literally suck the blood and nutrients from the intestinal walls. They can cause vomiting, restlessness, and bloody diarrhea. An infection from intestinal parasites can severely weaken your puppy and make him a target for other forms of bacterial or viral diseases. Bring in a small stool sample from your puppy to the first visit and our staff will checked for intestinal parasites.


This is a deadly disease that is a serious concern for all dogs and puppies throughout the entire United States. Heartworms are transmitted by infected misquotes. The infection in the dog begins when the infected misquotes bites the dog and injects larvae into the tissue. These larvae then migrate through the dog's tissues into a vein, more to the heart, and become sexually mature. Adult worms usually make their home in the right atrium, the right ventricle, and the arteries of the lungs. Heartworms can block the flow of blood out of the right side of the heart and interfere with the mechanics of the heart valves. The only way to test for heartworm is through a blood test. Our veterinarians recommend year-round prevention in all patients no matter their lifestyle.

Spaying and Neutering

Our veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering to every pet owner. Spaying and neutering is best done by 6 months of age or before maturity. Spaying a female will not only eliminate the possibility of ovarian cancer, but will also significantly reduce the risk of mammary gland tumors or cancer later in your pets life. Neutering a male can help prevent prostate gland cancer, roaming, and aggressive behaviors. Overpopulation is the #1 killer of pets today. Shelters and rescue facilities are over run with animals. Please do your part to help the pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering your pet.

Training - Basic Potty Training

Your puppy will mostly likely not housebreak on their own. It takes a combinations of effort, understanding and direction on your part. Remember to be

consistent with and training routines and especially with potty training. It is through consistent training and repetitive exercises for several weeks that your puppy will become familiar with the routine. It may take up to 6 months before your puppy can be 100 percent housebroken, so don't get discouraged to quickly.

It is a natural instinct for puppies to sneak away to relieve themselves; therefore it is wise to begin by restricting you puppy's freedom in the house through a pet crate. At night, secure your puppy in the crate. Puppies are creatures of habit and if they learn that a whimper or whine will get your attention they will continue the unwanted action. 

Basic Potty Training Rules:

  1. Use a crate or cage when you cannot directly supervise your puppy. 
  2. Stay outside with your puppy so you can give immediate praise as they learn correct bathroom habits.
  3. Give your puppy ample time to do their business outside.
  4. After a successful bathroom exercise, play with your puppy and allow them to wander around the house with you.
  5. Follow a time schedule for food, water, and bathroom visits (remember dogs are creatures of habit).
  6. Do not reprimand your puppy for an accident unless you catch them in the act. 
  7. Be patient. The effort you put in now will last your dog's lifetime
  8. Be consistent with the rules. 
  9. Never lose you temper.

Resource: Puppy Own's Manual by Scott Mueller. https://bridgeportk9equipment....

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