Bringing home a puppy is always an exciting time. You’ve got a cute and cuddly new family member who is just too irresistible to resist. Soon after you’ve introduced your new friend to everyone, it’s important to set up an appointment with a veterinarian. Make sure to bring any health information that the shelter, breeder or seller provided you with, such as records of vaccinations. Also, bring a fresh stool, so the vet can test for the presence of intestinal parasites.
What To Expect During Your Puppy’s First Exam
During a puppy exam, our veterinarian will weigh the puppy, check their temperature, test for heartworms and check their pulse. In addition, the veterinarian will listen to the heart and lungs and examine internal organs by palpating. Your puppy’s nose-to-tail exam will include an inspection of the ears, eyes, teeth, gums and genitals. Based on your puppy's history and age, we will discuss the series of vaccines required and vaccinate your puppy with core vaccinations, such as canine parovirus, canine distemper, bordetella and rabies.
Our veterinarian will also recommend the routine administration of heartworm prevention to protect your puppy from heartworm infection.
Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering puppies by six months of age. It’s particularly helpful to have your female puppy sterilized before her first heat cycle. The benefits of having this procedure done on your female puppy include prevention of cancer of the reproductive system, prevention of uterus infections, reduction in the chance of breast cancer and unwanted pregnancy.
Neutering a male puppy will prevent prostate cancer, testicular cancer and reduce roaming. Plus, a puppy exam will give you a good opportunity to learn about recommended nutrition, daily oral home care, and behaviour for your pet’s optimal development and health.
We also offer microchipping. Microchips are inserted under your puppy’s skin between the shoulder blades and contain a unique identification number. If your puppy gets lost, the finder or shelter can have the chip scanned and provide the location of your companion. You’ll get a phone call from the lost pet service center.
Pet owners can also shop our online store for puppy collars, food, toys, grooming supplies, toothbrushes and toothpaste. As a matter of fact, we offer over 3000 pet products online. Even refill your pet’s prescriptions. Orders over $50 ship for free.
Pet licensing is a Municipal Code in Toronto that requires all dogs and cats to be licensed and wearing a tag. Richview Animal Hospital can help you license your pet with the city of Toronto.
Puppy Vaccination Schedules
In their first year of life, puppies require a lot of care and attention. A series of vaccinations is given in the first year to help ensure a healthy beginning. At every vaccination appointment, a full physical examination is performed by the doctor to make sure that your puppy is growing and developing properly.
Below is the recommended Puppy Vaccination Schedule:
8 wk - Full Examination + distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza & parvovirus
12 wk - Full Examination + distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus, bordetella & leptosporsis for high risk pets
16 wk - Full Examination + distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus & rabies (1yr vaccine) & leptosporsis for high risk pets
1 yr - Full Examination + distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus & rabies (3yr vaccine) & leptosporsis for high risk pets
The protection provided by the vaccine will gradually decrease over time. This is why your pet will need boosters at regular intervals.
Why do Puppies Require Boosters?
A puppy that is nursing will receive maternal antibodies passed through its mother's milk. These maternal antibodies will protect the puppy from disease during its first few months, gradually declining in efficacy over time. These maternal antibodies will interfere with any vaccinations given and make them ineffective. Puppies need to be given a series of boosters within their first 4 months of life to gradually stimulate the production of the puppy's own antibodies while minimizing the interference of its maternal antibodies.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines work by preventing infection and decreasing the physical symptoms of disease. Vaccines contain altered viruses or bacteria (these altered states don't cause disease). At the time of vaccination, your pet's body will produce antibodies in response to the introduction of these altered viruses. These antibodies will destroy any disease causing viruses or bacteria that are subsequently exposed to your pet.
Why Do Puppies Need Vaccines?
The instinctual social behaviour in dogs increases their exposure to other animals. This, in turn, increases the risk of disease. Many diseases that dogs can get from other dogs are serious. Some are fatal or can seriously jeopardize good health. Fortunately, there are vaccines made available that can greatly decrease the risk of contracting disease. The best way to treat disease is to prevent it altogether. Along with a full physical exam, vaccinating your pet is an effective way of preventing disease and illness.