Happy Tails – Adopting a Puppy!

Photo courtesy of Megan VanParis

With the start of summer soon approaching, we begin to see a lot more puppies come into Blum! Whether you have had raised a puppy before or are going to be a new dog owner, we have some good information for you to know about what to expect with your new addition!

For your pup’s initial exam, we recommend it take place between 6 to 8 weeks of age. At this appointment, we ask for you to bring any previous medical records for the doctor to review and a fresh stool sample that is within 24 hours old. We will send the stool sample to a lab, which will check for any intestinal parasites, and the doctor will most likely administer a dose of dewormer.  During your puppy’s first wellness exam, the veterinarian will perform a through physical exam, create a vaccine schedule just for them, offer nutritional recommendations and discuss any behavioral concerns. Because puppies grow so quickly, we will need to see them after their initial visit when they are 12 and 16 weeks to complete their vaccination cycle.

When your puppy is 8 weeks old, you can begin potty training with them. Every dog is different, but the typical amount of time a puppy can wait to go out is their age (in months) + 1. For example, if a puppy is 2 months old, they should be able to wait 3 hours before having to go out.

Also, at 8 weeks of age, puppy socialization should start so you can get them used to many different sights, sounds, smells and experiences. The time frame for socialization starts about 3 weeks of age and closes around 16-20 weeks. If your puppy misses out on socialization during this critical period, they may be leery in unfamiliar situations and could later develop anxiety, fear or aggression issues. Puppy socialization should include meeting as many people as possible and having them get used to gentle, positive touches and being held.

Getting a new puppy is exciting but also a lot of responsibility. Please contact us know if you have any further questions since we want to help anyway we can!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.