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Lifetime Canine Care Plan

July 10, 2017 by admin0
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A dog can be a person’s best friend, which is why it is so important to be extra vigilant in the care of your pup. From eating right to exercising frequently, and from getting vaccinations to receiving proper training, your dog requires a lot of special attention if you want to ensure that he lives a long, healthy and happy life. One big way that you can make sure that your pup sees old age is to follow a standard health care plan set forth by your dog’s veterinarian.

 

While each dog’s medical schedule is going to vary based on breed, size, age and individual needs, this canine care plan can give you an idea of what to expect once you adopt your life-long friend.

 

8 Weeks

your puppy first vet visit - plan for his healthCongratulations on your new puppy! At 8 weeks, your puppy is ready to come home with you. However, before you introduce him to your home, family members and other pets, take him to the veterinarian first. You should already have an appointment scheduled at this point so that your puppy can get his very first wellness check and receive his first weight and body conditioning score.

 

You can also expect…

  • Internal parasite screen
  • DAPP vaccine
  • First preventative medications
  • Heartworm medication

 

Your vet should also discuss with you proper training techniques, dietary and nutritional needs, what type of behavior to expect from your puppy, housetraining techniques, proper grooming, parasite management and appropriate toys for your pup based on his size and breed.

 

12 Weeks

At this point, your pup will have been with you for one whole month. Congratulations! No doubt your vet will want to discuss with you how house and behavioral training is going, as well as if you have any questions or concerns regarding your pup’s growth. Additionally, you can expect the vet to give your dog his second comprehensive physical exam and again receive a weight and body conditioning score.

 

You can also expect…

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Second DAPP vaccine
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm medication

 

16 Weeks

At 16 weeks, your puppy is likely growing rapidly, becoming more curious and learning to enjoy the great outdoors. As a result, his 16-week checkup will focus on his diet and include an additional vaccine—his Lyme vaccine. Of course, he will receive his standard comprehensive exam as well as a weight and body conditioning score.

 

You can also expect…

  • Nutritional assessment
  • Third DAPP vaccine
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm medication
  • First Lyme vaccine

 

18 Weeks

In order to ensure that your dog does not contract Lyme disease, you will need to schedule an appointment two weeks after he receives his first dose of the vaccine. At this appointment, he will simply receive his second dose of the vaccine—no exam required!

 

4 to 6 Months

At this stage in your puppy’s life, he or she is becoming a teenager. And, like with most teenagers, his or hers reproductive organs are starting to develop. Now is the time when you want to neuter them. While it is not necessary to neuter your pup, it is recommended, especially if you are not a licensed and certified breeder. Additionally, if you adopted your pet from a shelter, most shelters require owners to provide proof of spay or neuter within six months of adoption.

 

You can also expect…

  • Presurgical blood draw
  • Spay or neuter
  • Pre-surgery dental exam (any remaining baby teeth may need to be removed)
  • Third Lyme vaccine
  • Flea and tick medications

 

1 to 4 Years

Happy Birthday to your pup! Now that he is a year old, you can space out his visits to once a year. At his yearly checkup, he will receive a comprehensive physical, a weight and body conditioning score and a nutritional assessment. At this point, your dog should be big and healthy, and at least halfway to his full grown size. Your vet should be able to tell you what more your dog needs to develop properly, if anything.

 

You can also expect…

  • Blood work (junior early detection profile)
  • DAPP vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Heartworm/tick disease screen
  • Heartworm and flea and tick medications
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Additional vaccines (optional)
  • Dental scaling and polishing

 

5 to 8 Years

 

Your puppy is a puppy no longer, and is actually a middle-aged canine. At this point in his life, he is susceptible to more illness and injury, which it is so important that he see the vet a little more frequently and that you keep up with his yearly and tri-yearly (DAPP) vaccines. Your vet will request that you bring your dog in twice a year at this point for a semi-annual physical exam, a weight and body conditioning score and a nutritional assessment.

 

You can also expect…

  • Blood work (standard early detection profile)
  • DAPP vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Heartworm/tick disease screen
  • Heartworm and flea and tick medications
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Additional vaccines (optional)
  • Dental scaling and polishing

 

8+ Years

Your pup has officially made it to old age at this point. A whopping 56 years old in human years, he has been able to receive the senior discount for a whole year now! After you celebrate, schedule his bi-yearly checkups. Every six months, your vet will conduct a thorough physical exam and nutritional assessment, as well as provide a weight and body conditioning score.

 

You can also expect…

  • Blood work (senior early detection profile)
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Limited vaccines, and only as necessary
  • Heartworm/tick disease screen
  • Heartworm and flea and tick medications
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Dental scaling and polishing

 

While it is always important to consult with your veterinarian about what, exactly, your dog needs to live a long, healthy and fulfilling life, this guide can help you to know what to expect in terms of healthcare for your puppy. If you are considering adopting a puppy or adult dog, only do so if you are prepared to keep up with a healthcare schedule similar to this one, as veterinarians designed it to ensure optimal health for all dog breeds.

 

Bookmark this page and share it on social media so that you can find it more easily when it’s finally time to take home your new pet. For ongoing tips for caring for your canine at every stage of his life, subscribe to our email newsletter; include your puppy’s age and details regarding its breed for reminders about when it’s time to visit the United Veterinary Center.


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