Regular Health Exams For Puppies Tips

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Are puppy vaccinations necessary for indoor dogs?

Are Puppy Vaccinations Necessary for Indoor Dogs?

If you buy a toy dog breed, you may be wondering if puppy vaccinations are really necessary. After all, your little Fifi will never actually set foot out the front door, so it isn't like she is exposed to constant viruses. Why bother with vaccinations when you aren't going for a walk around the block together?

Actually, unless you and your puppy are planning to take up permanent residence in a bubble, you should be sure you get the basic vaccinations. Your shoes, your coat, your purse, the kids' backpacks, grocery bags, packages and a whole host of other items are potential germ carriers. No matter how little and cute your puppy is, he or she will probably still be a bit of a chewer and could pick up germs from these things.

If you go on vacation or you have an emergency situation, such as a house fire, it is also important to have a dog with updated vaccinations. If you have to put your dog in a kennel at the last minute, you won't be allowed to drop it off without having a current Rabies, DHLPP and Bordatella shot. If you take your dog to the vet for smoke inhalation, you can certainly get treatment without an updated vaccination record, but your dog will have to be vaccinated during his or her stay to avoid getting a virus, which will add to an already stressful situation.

   
Are there any tips for pricing puppy checkups?

Pricing Puppy Checkups

You paid for your new puppy and he is settling in to the family as if he's always been there. Now comes the expensive part - vaccinations and preventative medications. Just like everything else, veterinary care costs are rising, so it is a smart idea to look into the price of puppy checkups at several different hospitals before you schedule your puppy's first appointment.

The main thing you will need to remember as you ask for price quotes is to be sure that you are not comparing apples to oranges. Be sure to find out exactly what shots will be given during each visit. Ask if the quoted price is the price of the entire visit or just the shot. Many times, hospitals will give a quote for vaccinations and will leave out the additional charge for an office visit that they are planning to bill you for on each trip for shots.

Another thing you will want to find out is whether the hospital will be giving the puppy heartworm and flea and tick preventatives on one of the visits. This helps you budget your money more effectively, since the medications can double the cost of a normal visit.

   
Are six month puppy checkups really necessary?

Six Month Puppy Checkups

Many veterinarians finish a puppy's first vaccinations with a reminder to come back at six months for yet another shot. You're probably wondering if this is really necessary or if the vet just wants to finance a lavish lifestyle. The truth is that while Parvo shots really can use a six month booster if your dog is exposed to a lot of other dogs, vets are usually trying to get you to come in with your puppy. Instead of lining their pockets, though, they are hoping to give your dog another check up before it reaches adult hood.

  • Six month old puppies have reached an appropriate age for spaying or neutering. Your vet can discuss whether having your dog fixed is the right option for you and will talk about the benefits of having this surgery. Of course, the fact that your puppy won't have an unplanned litter is an obvious benefit, but veterinarians and researchers have discovered that spaying and neutering pets early can reduce several types of cancer.
  • Your vet will probably pay special attention to your dog's mouth. Any teeth from puppyhood that didn't fall out may need to be removed, as will adult teeth that have grown in front of other ones.

   
Is there anything I should do to before I need veterinary care for puppies?

Veterinary Care for Puppies - Selecting a Vet

When you buy a new puppy, you are going to be taking quite a few trips to the vet for new puppy checks, shots and preventative medications. Since you will be spending so much time at the vet's office, it would be nice to find a vet you feel comfortable with. Before you need veterinary care for puppies, you should check out a few of your local veterinary offices to see which one you feel most comfortable with.

  • Call each office to find out about hours and services. Make a note of how friendly the receptionist seems on the phone. If he or she doesn't seem to be patient and helpful with a possible new client, customers may receive even worse service.
  • Go to each office. While staff probably won't give a tour of the building, you should be able to get a feel for the way things run by the waiting room. The area should be clean and welcoming and staff should be dressed professionally.
  • Ask for fee information and vaccination schedules for puppies. Some vets prefer to give several shots at once, while others give shots one at a time, which means you'll be making quite a few more visits to the office.

   
Do I need to worry about getting new puppy checkups right away?

Get New Puppy Checkups Right Away

When you get a new puppy, you may not be planning to visit the veterinarian's office for several weeks, especially if the puppy is up to date on vaccinations. However, a vet visit is about more than shots. New puppy checkups should always be done within 72 hours of getting a puppy.

One of the biggest reasons to get a checkup fast is that some breeders give very limited guarantees. You may need to have your puppy seen as quickly as 24 hours after you bring it home to be sure there are no problems to take advantage of your breeder's guarantee. While the breeder may just be concerned that the puppy could be exposed to illnesses or injured during a longer guarantee period, a puppy should really come with a much longer guarantee than this. Still, if that is what you have to work with, take advantage of it in case there are problems you aren't aware of.

Another reason to get a checkup right away is that the vet can look at your paperwork to make sure your puppy really is up to date on shots. He or she may notice that your puppy has a gap in shot records or hasn't received an important vaccination. A phone call from the office staff to the breeder's vet should verify whether the records are complete and you'll be able to get your puppy off to a healthy start.

   
Are puppy checkups normally really fast?

Puppy Checkups Shouldn't Be a Rush Job

You take your puppy in for its first puppy visit. Ten minutes later, you're both back in the car, feeling dazed and confused. What happened? Wasn't the visit supposed to take a bit longer? Unfortunately, few vets do the thorough puppy checkups that new owners expect to get.

  • If your vet barely takes the time to check your puppy's eyes, ears and teeth before giving him or her that first shot, you may want to request a more in depth exam. Ask to have your puppy's heart checked and request that the vet make sure that your puppy doesn't have a hiatal hernia. If you are concerned about knee dysplasia, request that the vet look for any problems with the puppy's joints.
  • While the vet should ask if you have any questions at least once during the visit, don't be afraid to ask them even if he or she doesn't make the offer to answer them. After all, unless you have a very unusual vet, you are paying for an office visit along with the shot and are entitled to a few extra minutes of your vet's time to be sure you know how to care for your puppy properly.

   
Do I need to seek immediate veterinary care for puppies?

Veterinary Care for Puppies

When their dog is sick, many people tend to wait a day or two to see if it gets better, especially if there is no blood involved. After all, dogs get viruses and upset stomachs from eating too much too fast just like people do. However, when you need veterinary care for puppies, delaying treatment is a bad idea.

Puppies are small and often much more sensitive to changes than adult dogs. A dog bone can give a young puppy diarrhea for several hours if it has a delicate digestive system. If it isn't drinking enough liquid, it could be dehydrated before 24 hours have passed. A more serious illness or a longer period of vomiting or diarrhea could lead to severe dehydration or even death.

When you have a sick puppy, make it as comfortable as possible and call your veterinarian for advice. He or she may want to see the puppy right away or may give recommendations like providing broth or pedialyte and waiting several hours to see if the puppy improves. If it is a Sunday and your vet isn't in the office, you still may want to give the office number a call. Most vets provide an emergency number for dog owners to call during the weekend.

   
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