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Animal Medical & Surgical Center

New Puppy Information

We would like to welcome you and your new puppy to our veterinary practice and pass along some advice that will make this a special time and a happy experience for the entire family.

SOCIALIZATION: The time between 6 and 14 weeks of age is very critical in a puppy’s social education and we urge that all punishment be avoided during this period. Instead, try to anticipate your puppy’s needs and show extra attention and praise when desirable behavior occurs. For example, most puppies will need to urinate or have a bowel movement shortly after eating and sleeping. Take them outside at these times and praise them when they eliminate properly. You'll be surprised just how smart your new puppy is! Puppies, like young children, hate to be left alone. The sounds of a radio or TV can provide comfort to a young puppy while you are away.

VACCINATIONS: Vaccinations are essential to keeping your puppy healthy and can be lifesaving. We advise a series of vaccinations that will increase your puppy’s immunity, providing protection against common and very serious diseases. Rabies vaccinations are for your pet’s protection, your family’s welfare and are required by law.

INTESTINAL PARASITES: 98 to100% of puppies are born with intestinal parasites. Puppies are normally dewormed twice between the ages of 3 and 6 weeks. Thereafter, the stool is checked regularly for reinfection. It is important to know that many of these parasites can be detrimental to your puppy and contagious to your family with serious consequences. After dogs reach adulthood, they are checked for intestinal parasites twice a year, once when they receive their annual vaccinations and again six months later.


  • 6 to 9 weeks: DHP-(Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza) Parvo #1, Intestinal Parasite and Giardia exam, deworming, heartworm prevention

  • 9 to 12 weeks: DHP, Parvo #2, and Bordetella #1-Intranasal.

  • 12 to 16 weeks: DHP, Parvo #3, Leptospirosis #1, Bordetella #2-Intranasal, and deworming

  • 16 weeks: DHP, Parvo #4, Leptospirosis #2, Rabies, Intestinal Parasite and Giardia exam.

  • At 6 months: Spay or Neuter

  • Every 6 months: Intestinal Parasite exam, deworming if needed, Bordetella booster if needed.

  • Yearly: DHP Booster, Parvo Booster, Rabies Booster, Leptospirosis Booster, Heartworm test.

Bordetella vaccinations will be continued every 6 months if your pet will be boarded or groomed. Lyme vaccinations are recommended if your pet is exposed to high incidence tick borne disease areas.

Three year vaccines are available for distemper, parvo and rabies after your pet has had 2 yearly vaccines first.

HEARTWORMS: Heartworms are long, white worms that live in a dog’s heart. Mosquitoes transmit heartworms and since Georgia has a year round population of mosquitoes, all dogs should take preventative medication all year long. An annual blood test is required in order to continue dispensing the medication.

DIET: Feeding your new puppy a balanced diet is very important. Puppies should have puppy food. This is most easily done by using one of the puppy growth diets available. An advantage of feeding your puppy premium foods is that they are more digestible and will result in less stool, therefore less clean up.

By the time most puppies are weaned from their mother, a quality puppy food will meet dietary needs for about a year, then we recommend switching to an adult formula. Fresh water should be available at all times. Milk or table scraps are not necessary and may cause diarrhea.

SPAY/NEUTERING: Approximately 6 months of age is the time to have your dog spayed or neutered. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, it will eliminate undesirable behaviors and health risks. Your pet will be more content and possibly live longer.

FLEA CONTROL: Recent advances in technology have made products available that are much safer and more effective than conventional methods. The “old days” of using flea collars, flea sprays, and flea dips are considered outdated. The new products can be tailored to fit you and your pet’s needs. Please consult with the veterinarian to find out which is bestfor you.

Owner Playing with Puppy with a Green Ball

We hope this information is helpful to you and trust that you will call if any additional information is desired.

Our staff is always available to answer questions about your pet’s health and well-being.

We have educational materials on many topics for further reading.

We look forward to helping you enjoy the happiness a new, healthy pet can give.

The Doctors and Staff of the Animal Medical & Surgical Center

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