► I HAVE A PUPPY...NOW WHAT?
First and Foremost: Vaccinations.
• YOUR PUPPY'S FIRST VISIT: The way your puppy perceives its first visit to the veterinarian will greatly influence the way the puppy will respond here for the rest of its life. Puppies are sensitive to emotional cues from their owners. How you react to new situations tells the puppy how to react as well. Do not coddle, coo, make sympathetic noises or soothingly pet the pup, or you will teach it to be worried and concerned, instead of cheerful and matter-of-fact. This tactic also works in other new situations such as trips to the park for socializing with children and adults, puppy kindergarten classes, or when other dogs or strangers approach. Please know that a dog that is relaxed and confident in any situation is an ideal pet, and an ideal veterinary patient as well.
• GETTING YOUR NEW FRIEND OFF TO A GOOD START: Many common diseases, including distemper, are deadly to your dog. During the initial day of nursing puppies receive antibodies against certain diseases from their mother's milk. These protective antibodies are gradually lost between 6 and 16 weeks of age. Your puppy should be vaccinated several times during this period. Some diseases may be carried by rodents and wild animals, as well as dogs. They can also be carried into your house on your hands, shoes or clothing. Even if your dog is not in contact with other dogs, it is still at risk!
When a puppy is 16 weeks of age or older, it will also receive a rabies vaccination.
If you take your dog hunting or camping, if you live in the country, or if you can see deer fromyour yard, your dog should be protected again Lyme disease, which is usually carried by deer ticks. This requires an initial series of two vaccinations spaced a few weeks apart, and yearly boosters threafter. The shots may be started when your puppy is 12 weeks of age.