So you’re getting a new puppy, and you can’t imagine anything better than looking at the adorable, fluffy face each and every day. You’re eager to come home to long walks around the park, fetch, and some late night cuddles on the bed. Well, we will be the first to tell you that this new addition to your home is one that you will surely enjoy, however, there are some things that you will need to get taken care of in advance.

Prepping your home for a puppy is one of the first things that you need to do, and you can find more information on that in our blog as well, but another thing that is absolutely crucial for you to do is to ensure that your puppy gets all of the right vaccinations. The first year of your puppy’s life is going to be when a majority of those vaccinations happen, so it’s good for you to know exactly what to expect and when you should be scheduling the appointments for.

The team at All Creatures Veterinary Care Center have worked with dogs at all stages of their life, but we do know that the first year is one of the most overwhelming in terms of medical priorities. Today’s blog is going to walk you through the vaccinations that your puppy needs to get in their first year, as well as what they do and when to schedule them.

Canine Distemper

One of the most contagious and serious diseases that a puppy could contract is known as canine distemper. This is a virus that can attack the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system of various animals, including dogs. In order for a puppy to contract this, they would need to be around an animal that had it, and would then be contaminated by the airborne pathogens.

There are various signs of this disease, including coughing, fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, throwing up, twitching, paralysis, seizures, diarrhea, and more. Unfortunately, this virus once contracted can often lead to death, which is why this vaccination is especially important.

Canine Hepatitis

Just as with humans, hepatitis vaccinations are very important. This is a viral infection that will affect the kidneys, spleen, lungs, eyes, and liver of your pup. While it is just as crucial as the human version of hepatitis, it has no relation to that virus.

There is no cure for this virus, and while the symptoms can be relieved, your dog could be living in some serious discomfort. Symptoms of this can be seen in a bloated stomach, pain surrounding the liver, a slight fever, and vomiting.

Heartworm

This is probably the most well-known health precaution that puppies need when they’re younger, and for good reason. This happens anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks, so pretty early on for your puppy. While we have primarily been talking about vaccinations, this is not going to be in the form of one, though still a precaution that you need to make sure your puppy gets.

Most young puppies will start off with a preventative supplement, but this will turn into a routine medication that you will have to stay on top of in order to keep your puppy healthy. This name is fairly straightforward with what the medication is preventing; heartworms are small worms that get lodged into the side of the heart. While they may start in the heart, they don’t necessarily stay there. These worms can grow to be 14 inches long and can travel through arteries and get into your dog’s liver, lungs and organs.

The way that a puppy contracts heartworms is through mosquitoes, which is something that they are high risk of here in New Jersey. Once these worms have burrowed into the walls of the heart, there is no way for them to be removed. That is just one of the reasons that it is so important puppies have this precaution medication on a regular basis. More often than not, puppies that suffer from heartworms will wind up dying, so it’s very important to get this done as soon as possible.

Kennel Cough

Something that most puppies will get when they’re younger is kennel cough. This is an upper inflammation of the airways that is caused by bacteria, viral and various other infections. As a whole, this is pretty mild and is composed of dry heaving and coughs. You’ll usually hear this from your dog and notice that it is paired with a level of exhaustion that is unusual for your dog.

This can be passed from one dog to the other if they’re close to one another, but there is no need for you to go out and get any medication to tackle the cough. It should subside within a week, but if it doesn’t, you can always come in and visit us.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have a new puppy that you need to get vaccinations and medication for, you can count on All Creatures Veterinary Care Center to get the job done. Contact our office today and we can help you get an appointment scheduled for your furry friend. Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for other things that you can do to ensure that your pets are always healthy.