Who needs to call the shots?
Your puppy should meet your veterinarian as soon as possible after you bring him home, particularly if you have other dogs at home. If your puppy has any communicable disease not already evident, it is important to protect your family while you still have the option of returning the puppy to the breeder, shelter or animal rescue. To protect your puppy, limit his contact with other dogs and areas in which dogs have been until he’s completed his vaccinations.
Check with your veterinarian for a recommended schedule of vaccinations. Puppies generally get three sets of injections starting at eight weeks of age and repeating at two- to three-week intervals. They are vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus, bordatella and rabies.
Heartworm protection can be started immediately or at the 12-week visit when a puppy’s growth slows. This is also an appropriate time to discuss flea preventive programs.
Booster shots are administered every year at your puppy’s annual visit. Maintaining a regular vaccination routine and prevention is key to maintaining your puppy’s health – by the time your puppy shows symptoms of the disease, a cure is difficult.
Selecting a Veterinarian
Choosing a veterinarian is a lot like choosing a pediatrician. You want someone with great credentials, someone you can feel comfortable with, who’ll answer all your questions, and who genuinely cares about your puppy.
When selecting a veterinarian, consider the following:
Perhaps the most loving, responsible thing you can do for your puppy is to see that he receives timely health care from a veterinarian. It’s important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian right away, so he or she becomes a trusted partner in your puppy’s upbringing.