Puppy and Dog Health Care

A healthy dog is a happy dog. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your dog’s safety and health. Getting your dog immunized against the infections he is likely to encounter is one of the best ways you can keep you beloved pet healthy.

Dogs need to be immunized to protect them from succumbing to various canine diseases. What is actually injected into your dog are antigens, which the immune system fights off and “stores” in its memory so that should those antigens ever try to invade the dog’s body again, the immune system is already equipped to fight them. Each time we boost a vaccination, it builds off the memory from the previous time to increase the speed and intensity that the immune system can react. An example of an antigen would be a surface protein of certain bacteria. Since the whole, live bacterium is not presented, there is no risk of illness directly caused by the vaccine.

Vaccinations for puppies generally begin between 6 and 8 weeks of age. We plan on seeing puppies 4 times at 3-4 week intervals to maximize immunity by boosting vaccinations when the body has had an appropriate time to mount an immune response.  Rabies vaccine is required by law every year, and the first dose is usually administered at 12-16 weeks of age.

At the first visit, we like to evaluate the overall health of the dog as well as determining if there is any evidence of internal or external parasites present.

It is also best for your dog to be on a monthly regimen of protection from both internal and external parasites including heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Our office will be glad to assist you in providing a protocol tailored to your dog’s needs.

Regular examinations and vaccinations, tailored for the individual pet based on risk factors, age, and concurrent disease (such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc.) are recommended to identify disease processes early so they can be managed more easily, keeping your pet comfortable and happy for a long and healthy life.

We also provide complete care for a sick or injured pet.

Click here to view the Generalized Canine Plan for Optimum Health - printable PDF format.