Care of Puppies

During the first few weeks of the newborn's life, mother provides the necessities of warmth, nutrition and stimulation. Puppies may leave the mother when naturally weaned, usually at 6 to 8 weeks of age,or weaned by force at 8 weeks of age. The pet owner's responsibilities consist of careful observation in order to detect problems before they become serious.

The first visit with the family veterinarian will conduct a general health examination and pinpoint any defects or health concerns. Most puppies are sold with the understanding that any serious health problem or physical weakness will be sufficient reason for the puppy to be returned to the seller. There are many good breeders for you to talk to and purchase puppies from, please remember though they are not Veterinarians, and that your Veterinarian has only the best interest of your pet and you as their first priority.

General Information

  1. Warmth: Room temperatures should be at least 70F and the puppy kept off cold floors. Chilling can be fatal to young puppies.

  2. Crying: Extended crying is usually a sign of trouble and should be reported to the doctor immediately. A well-fed healthy puppy has a round, full stomach after eating and seems content.The belly should not stay full. If it does, the puppy may have worms.

  3. Diet: Puppies should be fed a high-quality, name brand commercial puppy food until they are one year old. These feeds provide the additional nutrients needed for development of the puppy. Growth requires extra energy, extra high-quality protein and optimal balance of vitamins and minerals. Correct balance is essential. With good diet supplements are rarely indicated and then only on the veterinarian's advice. table scraps can be fed, but only to enhance the palatability of regular food, NOT a substitute for it.

    • How Much to Feed: Follow the feeding the instructions on the can or bag of food. Your puppy may eat more or less than this amount.

    • How often to feed: Feed 2 to 3 times a day. If the puppy refuses the third meal, just feed twice daily. Usually, the pup will eat three meals until 6 months of age and two meals daily until a year old.

  4. Health Care
    • 1 Week of Age (3-5 days of age): Tail docking and Dewclaw remove
    • 6 Weeks of Age: DM-P
    • 9 Weeks of Age: DHP-P, (Lepto at owner's decision), Bordatella
    • 12 Weeks of Age: DHP-P, (Lepto at owner's decision), Lyme (at owner's decision)
    • 15 Weeks of Age: DHP-P, (Lepto at owner's decision), Lyme (at owner's decision), and Rabies
    • 19 to 20 Weeks of Age: Parvo
    • 3 - 6 Months of Age: Neuter

  5. Deworming: Puppies should be dewormed starting at 2 weeks of age and repeating every 2 weeks until 2 weeks after weaning.