Health care guide for newly adopted dogs

When adopting a new puppy there are certain steps you must follow in order to assure that it is healthy and clean.

I always recommend that you take a new puppy to your veterinarian within the first four days after adoption to have a general health check-up.

The veterinarian that examines your pet will determine a plan to provide a series of vaccinations.

As for food, I recommend feeding your puppy a commercially available, high-quality puppy food free of artificial colors, added sugars, “meals,” and “by products.” You can feed canned, dry or both types of food, depending your puppy’s preference. I like the combination of both canned and dry food.  Feeding him one food or a combination of foods with minimal variation can help to ensure your puppy’s digestive tract is not exposed to radical changes that could lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

Have your puppy eat three to four small meals per day (instead of one large meal) and try to slow down his rate of eating as much as possible to promote chewing and minimize whole-food gulping.

Puppies often carry gastrointestinal parasites, so it is important that your puppy have fecal testing to determine if there is an underlying parasite that needs treatment.  Broad spectrum de-worming is a good recommendation regardless of testing. Not all parasites respond to all medications, so knowing what is present in your dog’s system and choosing the appropriate treatment is vital. Parasites also grow inside your dog nails, here is a guide on how to make your dog love the procedure of nail trimming

Any necessary medications to treat illness(es) your puppy may currently have can also be determined at this first vet visit. As a general guideline, I would consider flea, tick and heartworm preventatives.

The vet you see will guide you as to if tail docking is appropriate for your puppy. Most puppies have their tails docked and dewclaws removed within the first few days of life.  If you are to pursue tail docking or dewclaw removal at this point, I recommend you combine it with a noiter procedure.

The fee associated with your puppy’s first vet visit depends on the services needed and can vary greatly pending your puppy’s overall health.