Puppy Wellness Guide

Learn about the recommended care for puppies.

Questions? Call us at (415) 554-3030

Puppy Wellness Examinations
• Should begin at 2 months of age
• Frequency: Every 3–4 weeks
• Puppy vaccine boosters, deworming and other parasite preventives
• Training and socialization tips

Adolescent Wellness Examinations
• Should occur at 10 months of age
• Ensure your puppy is growing properly and maintaining ideal body weight
• Address any behavior concerns
• Discuss diet and nutrition

Annual Wellness Examinations
• Should occur at 16 months of age
• Adult vaccine boosters
• Nose to tail exam
• Discuss dental care, ongoing parasite prevention, nutrition, and lifestyle

DA2PP Vaccination: Protects against several potentially deadly viruses including Canine Distemper Virus and Parvovirus. Puppies require a series of vaccinations starting at 8 weeks of age, and continuing every 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. This is a vaccine that all puppies should receive.

Rabies Vaccination: Protects against Rabies, a fatal infection that can affect all mammals including people. All dogs in California are legally required to have this vaccination. It is given at or after 12 weeks of age. This is a vaccine that all puppies should receive.

Leptospirosis Vaccination: Protects against a serious bacterial infection that occurs from exposure to infected wildlife or contaminated water. We recommend this vaccine for most puppies. It is a series of two vaccinations given 3 to 4 weeks apart, starting at or after 12 weeks of age.

Bordetella Vaccination: Helps to protect against “kennel cough”, a contagious respiratory infection that commonly affects dogs. This is a vaccine that all puppies should receive, starting as early as 8 weeks of age.

Parasite Prevention
: Almost all puppies carry some type of intestinal parasites. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to people with serious health consequences. All puppies should receive regular monthly intestinal parasite deworming.

Flea Prevention*: Fleas are small parasites that live on the skin and generally cause itching and scratching. Fleas are commonly found in California and all puppies should be on a regular monthly preventive to control fleas.

Tick Prevention*: Ticks are parasites found all over Northern California, including in San Francisco. Their bite can transmit disease. All puppies should have regular tick control if their lifestyle is likely to lead to tick exposure.

Heartworm Prevention*: Heartworm is a parasite transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected mosquito. Heartworm disease is present throughout Northern California, as well as many other states. All puppies should receive a regular monthly heartworm preventive starting as soon as possible.

Additional Care
Spay/Neuter: If your new puppy is not yet spayed or neutered, this can be done once they nish their puppy vaccine series, usually between 4 and 6 months of age.

Microchipping: Microchipping increases the likelihood that your dog will be returned to you by 2.5 times if lost. Microchips are inserted using a needle, similar to a vaccination. We strongly recommend all pets be microchipped.

High Quality Nutrition*: By measuring the amount of high-quality puppy food that you feed, you will help ensure your puppy is growing and maintaining a good, lean body condition for optimal long term health.

Dental Care: Dental disease can be prevented through regular tooth brushing at home. This should begin as early as possible for puppies, using enzymatic toothpaste designed for dogs.

*It’s important to discuss your pet’s specific needs with your veterinarian, who can recommend the safest and most effective products

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