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Congratulations on your new puppy! Thank you for choosing us to help protect and care for your new addition to your family.
Our puppy health program is designed to help get your new fur baby started on the right path to a long and healthy life. The first few months are a critical period in your puppy’s development, and we can give you the support and tools necessary to help him or her grow into a well-mannered, healthy dog, including information and advice on nutrition, training, behaviour, and socialization.
Puppies typically require 3 visits about 1 month apart, to complete their vaccinations and deworming. We recommend scheduling your puppy in for his or her first exam as soon as possible. During your puppy’s first appointment, you will receive a complimentary puppy kit with a bag of Hills Healthy Advantage Puppy food, a socialization kit, house and crate training tools, as well as information on preventative healthcare.
Until your puppy has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases. We will vaccinate him or her against Rabies, Distemper, and Parvovirus, among other diseases.
We will also request a fecal sample to be tested and treated for parasites, which are common in young dogs. Most puppies have roundworms, which are intestinal worms that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal signs (although dogs can have worms without showing any symptoms). It is important for puppies to be treated for roundworms, not only to rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms are a zoonotic parasite, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your puppy is treated, you can keep your entire family safe from these and other parasites.
We recommend spaying or neutering your pet at six months of age. Spaying your female dog helps prevent uterine infections and decreases the risk of cancer, especially doing it before their first heat. Neutering your male dog prevents testicular cancer as well as other prostate problems. It also reduces undesirable behaviors caused by high levels of testosterone.
Bringing your pet in for an annual diagnostic and wellness checkup can help reassure you that your dog or cat is healthy or help us detect hidden diseases or conditions early. Early detection can improve the prognosis of many diseases, keep medical costs down, and help your pet live longer. Many dogs are good at hiding signs that something is wrong, so subtle changes in their health or behaviour might be easy to overlook. And, depending on the disease, some pets don’t show any symptoms.
During your pet’s health exam, we will perform a physical assessment, checking your dog from nose to tail. We will also discuss your pet’s lifestyle and risk factors to develop a tailored healthcare plan for your pet. For example, we will determine appropriate vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, nutrition, as well as address any particular concerns. We will recommend performing a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases. Diagnostic testing provides us with a baseline to know what’s normal for your pet and enable us to keep track of any changes.
Once your dog turns 7 years of age, we recommend a minimum of a senior annual wellness exam to address needs specific to aging pets. Dogs age quicker than humans, so it is even more crucial for our companion animals to receive regular exams. In addition, the risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age.
Many illnesses do not show any outward signs until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early. It is also a lot easier and less costly to prevent disease than to treat it which is why regular checkups are essential!