Congratulations on your new puppy!! Hopefully your new family member will bring you years of pleasure and companionship. With the pleasure also comes the responsibility of caring for your new puppy. The care of your pet is a job to be shared by your family and your veterinarian. We believe the most effective way to maintain your pet's health is to prevent disease from happening. Preventative medicine is possible through the use of vaccines, good nutrition, laboratory testing, dental care and spaying/ neutering.
VACCINES are injections given to your dog to prevent certain diseases from happening. Vaccines must be given at just the right time to be fully effective. Some of the diseases we currently vaccinate against are:
1) Distemper- a virus that causes neurological, respiratory, intestinal disease and frequently death.
2) Parvo- a contagious and often fatal intestinal virus.
3) Leptospirosis- a serious bacterial disease of the kidneys and liver that can be transmitted to people.
4) Bordetella (kennel cough)- a contagious upper respiratory disease.
5) Lyme- a tick transmitted disease that affects the joints and kidneys.
6) Rabies- a deadly neurological disease that can be transmitted to people.
INTESTINAL PARASITES (worms) are probably the most common diseases of dogs. There are several types of parasites that live in the dog's intestine and can cause a variety of illnesses. Usually these parasites can not be seen by the naked eye and the stool (feces) must be examined under the microscope to detect their presence. Some of these worms can cause illness in humans, especially children. We recommend checking your dog's stool for worms every six months. If your dog has worms it can usually be easily corrected.
HEARTWORM is another common disease of dogs. It is transmitted to dogs through mosquito bites and is very coommon in Maryland. The disease is difficult and expensive to treat, but is very easy to prevent with several very safe and effective monthly medications.
SPAYING/NEUTERING is a very important part of maintaining good health. If you do not intend to breed your dog it is definitely in its best interest to spay/neuter. Spaying a female dog will prevent unwanted pregnancies and disease of the uterus. Early spaying is our best preventive for breast cancer. Neutering a male dog will prevent most forms of prostate disease, lower the risk for several types of tumors and hernias and reduce inter-male aggressive behavior and roaming tendencies.
All puppies will benefit from puppy classes. Even if you are an experienced dog owner, your pup will benefit from the socialization.
The American Veterinary Society for Behavior advises: In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first deworming. They should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class.
Below is a list of some puppy classes in the area. Not all trainers and facilities on this list have been evaluated by our staff; therefore, it is important to apply your own judgement when selecting a trainer for your dog.
1) The Coventry School (Columbia)
Offers a variety of classes including puppy kindergarten, basic obedience, nosework, and more. Also offers day camp, day training, and private training.
2) Tecla’s K9 Academy (Elkridge/ Ellicott City)
In addition to both group puppy classes and puppy academy, also offers classes in obedience, agility, and nosework.
3) You Silly Dog (Baltimore) www.yousillydog.com
4) My Fantastic Friend (Ellicott City) www.myfantasticfriend.com
5) Unleashed Joy (Woodstock) www.unleashedjoy.com
6) MD SPCA (Baltimore) www.mdspca.org/programs/behavi...
Flea and Tick Protection
We have a wide variety of preventatives. Every dog has a unique lifestyle, call our office to see what preventative works best for your dog!