Puppy Care


Puppy Vet The Woodlands

We love puppies and cannot wait to meet you and your new furry family member!

We understand that you now have a new family member and we are here to help you. Dr. Dolan and Dr. Robinson have over 385 dog years of experience in caring for puppies. We know all the things that you did not even know you should know about being an informed, responsible and loving guardian to that puppy. We can answer all your questions about anything related to puppy care. Starting on the right foot is what will give you and your new fur baby have many years together.

First steps to provide the best care for your puppy!

Step 1: Schedule an appointment to see us so that we can make sure that your puppy is healthy and happy!

Step 2: Prepare for your first visit. The first vet visit is so important, and it is where we can discuss everything, we think is essential to your pup’s happiness and well-being. So, gather your questions, bring everyone in the family who will be taking an active role in the puppy's care, and plan on spending about an hour for your puppy’s first visit

Step 3: Come on in! We can not wait to make you part of the Creekside Animal Hospital Family! If you need some tips on getting you here to our practice calmly and comfortably, call us! We are here to help!

Below are some of the topics we will want to address at the first visit:

  •  Puppy vaccines
  •  Parasite Prevention- Heartworm preventative, flea/tick preventative, and deworming
  • Common signs of illness 
  • Puppy nutrition
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Puppy training- socialization, house training, and crate training

 Most of our recommendations are the same for all puppies. But our team, as we do with all of our patients, will consider breed, age, your lifestyle and any current health or behavioral issues to make the best recommendations that will be tailored to you and your puppy's needs.  

Puppy Vaccines The WoodlandsPUPPY VACCINES

Puppy vaccinations should take place every 3-4 weeks (starting at 6-9 weeks of age) during the first several months of life and continue with booster immunizations throughout adulthood. We will help you determine which vaccines are essential for your puppy’s lifestyle.

  • Rabies- a contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals that causes madness and convulsions, transmissible through the saliva to humans.
  • Distemper- A highly contagious viral disease of dogs. Transmission occurs by many routes (air, contaminated objects, etc.). The signs are variable since the virus attacks many body tissues (intestines, lungs, and nervous system). Distemper is one of the greatest disease threats to the canine population. (This is the D in the DHPP combination vaccine)
  • Hepatitis- A contagious viral disease of dogs. Transmission occurs by many routes. Some signs are fever, vomiting, listlessness, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Hepatitis may occur concurrently with Distemper, making diagnosis and treatment difficult. (This is the H in the DHPP combination vaccine)
  • Parainfluenza- A highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. Usually self-limiting, it can sometimes progress to severe bronchopneumonia. (This is one of the Ps in the DHPP combination vaccine)
  • Parvovirus- An infectious disease that causes severe gastroenteritis with vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs. This is usually fatal when not treated and can cost hundreds of dollars. The virus is everywhere and will attack any unprotected dog. (This is one of the Ps in the DHPP combination vaccine)
  • Bordetella- One of the causative agents of a highly contagious upper respiratory disease commonly called “Kennel Cough”. This disease is usually self-limiting but can cause severe bronchopneumonia. Due to the prevalence and the ease of spreading Bordetella, boarding and grooming facilities require semi-annual vaccination for this disease.
  • Leptospirosis- A bacterial disease, that infects domestic animals, wildlife and humans. The disease-causing bacteria is spread through the urine of infected animals and can survive from weeks to months in soil and surface waters.
  • Canine influenza (flu)- is caused by the canine influenza virus. Two strains of the virus have been identified in dogs: H3N8 and H3N2. The virus causes a respiratory infection in affected dogs. The virus is spread from one dog to another by coughing, sneezing, or barking and contaminated hands and clothes of people that have been around an infected dog.  

COMMON SIGNS OF ILLNESS

Young puppies are susceptible to illnesses and diseases that can be very serious, most of which are entirely preventable. Therefore puppy vaccinations are important. However, puppy vaccinations alone will not prevent all illnesses. The key to preventing illness is being diligent in monitoring your puppy's behavior for symptoms. If you observe any of the following symptoms in your puppy, contact your vet immediately:Puppy Vet The Woodlands

  • Lack of appetite
  • Poor weight gain
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen or painful abdomen
  • Lethargy (tiredness)
  • Diarrhea Difficulty breathing Wheezing or coughing
  • Pale gums
  • Swollen, red eyes, eye discharge, or squinting
  • Nasal discharge
  • Inability to pass urine or stool

These symptoms all indicate urgent or emergencies and require immediate veterinary care. Should you notice any of these symptoms, please call Creekside Animal Hospital immediately.

PARASITE PREVENTION

Parasite prevention is something that you must think about for the entire life of your puppy. We provide all of our patients in and around The Woodlands area with the utmost care and treatment protocols that prevent the presence and spread of worms in and around your home and family.  It is very important to understand that worms in dogs can cause severe medical issues and health conditions if left untreated.

Some of the most common ways to contract worms in dogs include:

  • Drinking contaminated milk from the mother during nursing
  • Rolling in, sniffing, eating, stepping in or licking contaminated soil
  • Mosquito, flea and tick bites and ingestion
  • Coming into contact with an infected dog or another infected animal
  • Consuming or coming into contact with an infected animal’s feces or vomit

Puppy parasite prevention includes:

  • Fecal Exams- recommend at least 2 fecal exams for all puppies to detect evidence of intestinal parasite and other microscopic organisms like giardia and coccidia.
  • Deworming- most puppies have some type of intestinal parasites (Ex: hookworms, whipworms, roundworms).  A broad-spectrum dewormer is administered for all puppies.
  • Heartworm prevention-  Heartworm Disease is transmitted through infected mosquitos.  Infected mosquitos are found indoors and outdoors all year long. Puppies should start taking heartworm preventative at 6 to 8 weeks. As your puppy grows, the dosage of medication will be increased. Your puppy’s weight should be checked every month. 
  • Flea and tick preventative- flea and tick preventative should be given all year-long.

Heartworm and Flea/Tick preventatives must be given in the prescribed manner continuously for the rest of your dog’s life. 

puppy food The WoodlandsPUPPY NUTRITION

Food is a huge part of responsible puppy care. After all, your puppy's body is growing in ways that will directly impact his or her quality of life for many years to come. You must choose a puppy food that has been specifically formulated for young and growing dogs. Always look for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that ensures the puppy food you choose meets or exceeds nutritional requirements for growing canine bodies. There is an ongoing FDA investigation on the relationship between feeding grain-free diets and certain heart diseases in dogs.  Since there is no definitive answer yet, we recommend feeding diets that contain grains, unless it is otherwise recommended to you by your veterinarian. Your puppy can be transitioned to adult dog food when they are 9 to 12 months of age. Large breed dogs should stick with puppy food until they reach 1 year of age.

HELPFUL TIPS:

  • Diet Change: When transitioning to a new diet, do not abruptly change your pet’s diet unless instructed by your veterinarian. Transition to the new food over 7-10 days by reducing the current food in 10% increments as you are replacing it with the new diet. A sudden change in diet can put stress on the GI system and cause diarrhea.
  • Table Food: Do not share food from your plate and it is strongly recommended that you do share any human food with your puppy. There are foods that we eat that can be toxic to your puppy. While it is not dangerous for them to eat most of what you eat it is a tough habit to break. What is your expectation of your dog's behavior while you are eating? If they begin to think that they should always share in your food, they will beg for it while you and your family are eating. Begin early training with your puppy. This may involve crating or asking the puppy to stay outside of the dining room/kitchen until it learns proper behavior.
  • Free Feeding: Do not be tempted to always keep your puppy’s bowl full. Leaving food out all the time can lead to problems, especially if you have a puppy or adult dog that does not know when to stop. This can lead to obesity and conditions associated with obesity. It is best to make food available for 20-30 minutes and then pick it up if your cat does not eat it.  This will help with potty training since there is a direct core-relation between feeding and potty breaks.

SOCIALIZATION AND TRAINING BASICS

Puppy Care in The WoodlandsYour puppy is cute right now and can do no wrong in your eyes, but later the cuteness may wear off if he is lacking in puppy training and manners and not well socialized.  The number one cause of death for family pets is euthanasia because of behavioral problems. Most of these pets are discarded because they were not trained correctly.

Socialization- is one of the most important aspects of puppy care. Puppies will go through some critical developmental stages as early as 8-12 weeks. It is super important that your puppy experiences safe and varied socialization during this time involving people, dogs, and various situations.  While many owners feel that they have the experience necessary to provide good socializing, there is no substitute for a puppy class with a veterinarian recommended trainer.

House Training- This can be the most difficult part of training your pet. The more effort that you put in now the happier you will be later. For the best chance of getting your new puppy house trained as quickly as possible, we suggest using a unique food reward to reinforce the correct behavior. When your puppy uses the bathroom outside, praise him or her and immediately give a treat. Don’t wait until your puppy comes back to the door or inside, as this will cause him to think he’s being rewarded for coming inside, not going to the bathroom. Another aide would be to use bells attached to your backdoor, so your dog can tell you when he needs to be let out. there are some great videos on YouTube.

Crate Training -Crate training has become the most popular form of house training. This is a method used to confine the puppy in a small area when it is not being watched so that it does not soil the house or get into mischief. Crate training must be combined with a set feeding routine, predictable potty break times, and proper exercise. The crate can become a den for most dogs and greatly aid in the owner's ability to potty train. See handout on crate training for a more thorough explanation to make crate training successful.

Puppy potty training begins with knowing when you should take your puppy outside to do its business. The most common times to take your puppy out to potty are:

  •  When you wake up (or the puppy wakes up)
  • Right before bedtime
  • Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks and again 20-30 minutes after
  • When your puppy wakes up from a nap
  • During and after physical activity  

When Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Dog

We recommend spaying and neutering between 5-6 months of age. The American Veterinary Medical Association supports early spaying and neutering. Delaying this procedure past sexual maturity can lead to increased incidences of mammary tumors in females and testicular cancer in males. However, with some breeds, there is information that waiting even longer may be the most optimal to avoid certain cancers. Our veterinarians will review this information with you and discuss which breeds may want to consider an alternate plan.

How To Schedule Your First Puppy Veterinary Appointment

We want to make your puppy's first trip to the vet easy, informative, and stress-free as possible for your puppy.  Scheduling a puppy care appointment with our veterinary team is as easy as picking up the phone and calling us at 281-720-7478 or sending us an email at creeksidefront@gmail.com.

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