A LIFETIME OF CANINE WELLNESS

With proper preventative care, your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life as a part of your family. This handout lists what you can expect at each appointment here at Animal Hospital of Ovilla.


6 weeks of age
Comprehensive physical exam
Possible vaccinations based on risk assessment:
DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo virus) (1st of 4)
Intestinal parasite exam
Precautionary intestinal parasite treatment (1st of 3)
Initiate flea/tick preventative
Initiate heartworm preventative

9 weeks of age
Pediatric development consultation
Possible vaccinations based on risk assessment:
DHPP (2nd of 4)
Bordetella (respiratory disease) vaccine
Precautionary intestinal parasite treatment (2nd of 3)

12 weeks of age
Pediatric development consultation
Possible vaccinations based on risk assessment:
DHPP(3rd of 4)
Leptospirosis (1st of 2)
Canine influenza (1st of 2)
Rabies
Intestinal parasite exam
Precautionary intestinal parasite treatment (3rd of 3)
Insert microchip for identification

16 weeks of age
Pediatric development consultation
Possible vaccinations based on risk assessment:
DHPP (4th of 4)
Canine influenza (2nd of 2)
Leptospirosis (2nd of 2)

4-6 months of age
Pre-anesthesia bloodwork
Spay or neuter

10 months of age
Comprehensive physical exam
Intestinal parasite exam
Intestinal parasite treatment if warranted

Beginning at 15-16 months of age
First semi-annual visit
Comprehensive physical exam
Intestinal parasite exam
Intestinal parasite treatment if warranted
Heartworm/blood parasite detection test
Possible vaccinations based on risk assessment:
DHPP
Bordetella
Leptospirosis
Canine influenza
Rabies
Refill flea/tick preventative
Refill heartworm preventative
Professional dental cleaning

Second semi-annual visit
Comprehensive physical exam
Intestinal parasite exam
Intestinal parasite treatment if warranted
Blood screening test
Refill preventatives (if purchasing six months at a time)


Getting Your Puppy Started Off Right

When you bring a new puppy into your home there will inevitably be a period of adjustment. Your goals are to help your puppy to quickly bond to its new family, and to minimize the stress associated with leaving its mother, littermates, and former home. If there are already dogs in the new home the transition may be a little easier, as the puppy is able to identify with its own kind. Another option for easing the transition would be to get two puppies together. However, most puppies, especially those obtained before 12 weeks of age, will form attachments almost immediately to the people and other pets in the new home, provided that there are no unpleasant consequences associated with each new person and experience.

“When a puppy enters our home, the family becomes the new social group.”

Dogs are a highly social “grouping-living” species that in the wild is often referred to as a pack. Packs have a leader that the other members follow and look to for “direction.”  In fact, each individual in the pack generally develops a relationship with each other pack member. When a puppy enters our home, the family becomes the new social group. Therefore it is essential for the puppy to learn its limits, including which behaviors earn rewards and which behaviors have undesirable consequences. Allowing behaviors that are pushy, disobedient or inappropriate may lead to problems that will become increasingly difficult to correct. Control must be achieved at the outset by the proper use and timing of rewards and by directing the puppy to display appropriate responses, rather than using punishment or physical techniques that can lead to fear and anxiety.

When is the best time to begin training my puppy?

Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age. In reality, this is a poor time to begin training. The dog is beginning to solidify adult behavioral patterns, challenge behavior is emerging, and behaviors that they have learned in puppyhood may need to be changed.

“It is best to begin training a puppy as soon as you bring him into your home.”

It is best to begin training a puppy as soon as you bring him into your home. One important task to begin early is to establish your role as the leader. This can be done by rewarding desirable responses, training the dog to obey commands, avoiding the reinforcement of behaviors that are initiated by your dog and training the dog to accept some simple body handling techniques. Puppy training classes that begin as early as 8 to 9 weeks of age will ensure both early socialization and early learning.

Are physical techniques necessary for gaining control?

Although there are many physical techniques that have been advocated for gaining control, not all of them are correct. It is the owners’ attitudes, actions, and responses to the new puppy (along with the puppy’s genetics) that are the most important determinants in the puppy becoming well-mannered and responsive, or becoming assertive, stubborn, disobedient and “domineering”.

“Training should focus on teaching the dog what you want, rather than disciplining what you don’t want.”

Dog training literature has often discussed using scruff shakes and rollover techniques to discipline puppies. However, these physical techniques do not mimic how dogs would communicate with each other and such handling by a human could lead to fear, anxiety and even retaliation. Training should focus on teaching the dog what you want, rather than disciplining what you don’t want. This makes a positive learning environment for the puppy to grow up in. There may be a number of advantages to teaching your puppy to assume subordinate postures  (on their side, on their back, hands on neck, hand stroking the top of the head, hand grasping muzzle) but this does not mean that they teach your dog to be subordinate in its relationship to you. Having an obedient, well behaved, dog that enjoys handling and accepts restraint should be a focus of puppy training, but needs to be accomplished through reward based training, avoiding punishment or confrontational based training techniques and gradually accustoming your dog to enjoy handling. (See our handouts on ‘Puppy – Handling and Food Bowl Exercises’).

More Coming Soon!