Dupont Veterinary Clinic’s
We wish to welcome you and your new dog to our clinic! We understand how important your dog is to you, and we are committed to providing you and your pets with excellent care.
The material in this packet is oriented toward puppies, but most of it applies to older dogs as well, so you may find it useful if you have a new dog of any age. The information here is an overview. Please click the links in the sections below for more detailed information. Also, check out our website puppy page for more information.
We are a multi-doctor practice, and are made stronger by the differences in training and background between our veterinarians. As a result, some of our doctors may differ slightly with regard to the practices outlined in this packet. Please feel free to ask us questions about these or any other issues you have involving your pet!
PUPPY HEALTH CARE
Physical exams are as important as any vaccines we give!
Every new puppy should have a full physical examination after adoption and then with each set of vaccines, to make sure that she/he is in good health, and to discuss preventive medicine, and any questions you may have. Thereafter we recommend checkups at least every year. These exams are as important as any vaccines we give!
Puppies require a variety of vaccines in their early months to protect them from serious disease. After the puppy reaches adulthood, its vaccines are updated at intervals to ensure continued protection.
Puppies receive two primary vaccines: the rabies vaccine, required by DC law at 12 weeks of age, 1 year later, then every 3 years; and the distemper vaccine, protecting against a variety of deadly viruses (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus). It is also updated at intervals through a dog’s life. There are several other vaccines which may be appropriate for your puppy depending on its environment and degree of interaction with other dogs: Bordetella (“kennel cough”), Leptospirosis, and Lyme. You and your vet can discuss these additional vaccines during your initial visit. For more detailed information on vaccines and the diseases they help counter, see the vaccine page on our website here.
This test is a check for various intestinal parasites, and is recommended for all puppies, and then every 6 to 12 months for older dogs. These parasites can be harmful to puppies, and sometimes people, so it is important to bring in samples regularly and give any deworming medication as directed.
A small, fresh stool sample can be brought in a plastic bag or other container. It is checked for various intestinal parasites. Tapeworms and roundworms may also be seen in the stool or on the puppy’s anal area. Because some intestinal parasites can cause serious disease in humans, please test regularly and give deworming medicine and regular monthly heartworm pills as directed. Also, encourage children to wash their hands, keep them away from areas that may be contaminated by feces, and clean up feces in the yard to avoid environmental contamination and reinfection of dogs. Detailed information about the more common types is available on our website here.
Heartworms are blood parasites that are carried by mosquitos from dog to dog. They literally live in the heart and can cause heart failure and death.
A blood test for heartworms is recommended in 1-year-old dogs and then every year thereafter, and monthly pills are recommended year-round to prevent heartworm infection. This medication can also protect against common intestinal parasites. They are started at 8 weeks of age. More information about heartworms is located here.
FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION
DC is unfortunately home to a thriving population of fleas and ticks. We have several monthly products that are very effective in killing them, usually before they can transmit diseases to your dog.
We recommend this procedure for our patients for health and behavioral reasons as well as population control.
It is often done when a dog is 6 months old. Spaying female dogs before their first heat cycle prevents pregnancy and uterine infection, and minimizes the risk of future mammary (breast) cancer, which is common in dogs. Please discuss this procedure and the best time for your particular dog with the veterinarian.
Puppies should be fed 2 to 3 times a day until they are 6 months old, and then twice a day thereafter. Larger breed puppies in particular should not be allowed to get overweight, as this can predispose them to joint problems such as hip dysplasia. You can switch to adult dog food at 1 year of age. Vitamin supplements are not necessary if a commercial dog food is used. Most fruits and vegetables are great snacks; however,
***NEVER GIVE DOGS GRAPES, RAISINS, CHOCOLATE, MACADAMIA NUTS, ONIONS, GARLIC, OR ANY ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED FOODS (XYLITOL). If your puppy eats any of these, call the clinic immediately! ***
Treats are generally recommended, for training, enrichment, and bonding with your dog, but they should not constitute a large percentage of the diet, as they may be high in fat, nutritionally deficient, and may upset the balance of a good diet. We recommend the following dog food companies because of their understanding of pet nutrition and their quality control: Science Diet, Royal Canin, Iams, and Purina (their Proplan line, specifically).
All puppies and all puppy owners can benefit from dog obedience training, either private or in classes. We consider the training and education of the puppy and its owner to be absolutely vital to its ultimate health and wellbeing.
Our tips on housetraining, crate training, and socialization are on a separate handout in this puppy pack, along with a list of local trainers and classes. Please click on the following links to read our house-training handout, our crate-training handout, and our training/socializing handout.
Please feel free to discuss any behavior issues, including house training and separation anxiety, with the veterinarian. Many dogs become fearful and anxious at the animal hospital. We encourage you to drop in with your dog any time you are nearby, for us to give your dog a treat!
If your dog is lost and is taken to a shelter, it will automatically be checked for a microchip, and if it has one, you will be called.
We inject this tiny transponder under the skin and register your dog for life with a 24-hour hotline. We strongly recommend this safe, easy method of permanent identification. You must keep the registry informed if your phone number changes! Check out our microchipping webpage for more information.
A doctor or technician can discuss routine home-care of nails, teeth, and ears. Visit this page to learn more about brushing your dog’s teeth. Please call us if you have any further questions!