Protection and Prevention

Puppy Vaccinations

The puppy will need to be vaccinated at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks.  (Your veterinarian's schedule may vary slightly.)   The series of puppy shots protects against canine diseases such as distemper and parvovirus.  The first vaccination should done by the breeder.  Your vet may want to check for worms, so I suggest that you take a small stool sample to the vet.

Annual Check-Ups And Heartworm Prevention

Your dog will require an annual health exams.  Discuss the appropriate vaccination schedule with your veterinarian. Many vets recommend year-round heartworm prevention.  Annual heartworm checks are needed even if your dog is on year-round prevention because the medication is not 100% effective.  Ask your veterinarian about kennel cough immunization.  Many boarding kennels and obedience instructors require it.   Discuss Lyme disease immunization.  If you live in a high risk area, your veterinarian may recommend immunization for Lyme disease and topical agents that reduce tick borne disorders.

Lost And Found: Microchips

I recommend some form of permanent identification for your puppy. A microchip can be inserted when the dog is 4 to 6 months old or when spayed or neutered. Lost or stolen dogs with tattoos dogs or microchips are more likely to be returned to their owners.  Ask your breeder and veterinarian about permanent identification for your puppy.

Preventing Food Aggression

Dogs sometimes become very protective of their food.  This is a natural instinct that can be a problem in the home.  Your puppy will learn to trust you around his food if you handle the food dish frequently during the first few months.  Take the food dish away from your puppy 3 or 4 times a week.  Talk to the puppy in a upbeat playful tone of voice for a few seconds and them return the food dish to the puppy.  If the puppy growls, scold him immediately and wait before returning the food dish to the puppy.  It may help to add more food before returning the food dish to the dog.  This lesson will protect your children as well as visitors.  It is still important to carefully supervise the situation.