Your New Pet & OPVMC Care: Puppy Exams, Vaccines & Owner Support

pet health

Prevention is the best medicine. This is the philosophy of the doctors and staff at Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center. We feel that the most important thing we do here is to promote preventive care that begins with your puppy's very first visit.

The Initial Puppy Exam & Vaccines

For the first few months, you bring your puppy to OPVMC for the initial wellness exam and a series of vaccines. We tailor your pet's visits to specific criteria, to provide optimum vaccines and timely information about your pet's development. We ask that you bring in any previous health records from the breeder or previous owner, certificates for your pet, and, of course, a stool sample to test for intestinal parasites.

OPVMC recommends that puppies be examined and receive vaccinations at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Some puppies of certain breeds will also require a booster vaccine at 20 weeks. The recommendations for the types of vaccines to be given are made after a review of your pet's lifestyle and risk factors for exposure to various diseases.

Help from OPVMC

When bringing in your puppy for the first time, you will receive a CD-ROM or booklet of information from OPVMC concerning your new addition: health needs, housebreaking, vaccine schedule, and to expect sleepless nights while the new baby adjusts to being away from mother and littermates. If it has been a while since there was a puppy in your life, you may have forgotten about the sharp teeth, and claws, constant playing, and joyful exuberance of a youngster.

The booklet highlights the growth and developmental stages that your new pet will go through, identifies normal behaviors, and provides tips on behavioral management utilizing positive reinforcement techniques, as recommended by animal behaviorists.

Please feel comfortable asking your veterinarian questions—we encourage it! After all, that's why we're here.

If you own a puppy, please read this article about puppy socialization from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) .

Typical Puppy Wellness Schedule for the First Year
Click the above to expand or hide the Frist year Schedule

6 to 8 Weeks of Age (1st Visit)

Discuss:

  • Vaccines and schedule based on risk assessment
  • Housetraining/clean-up tips
  • Crate training/puppy proofing
  • Desensitizing pet to handling (feet, mouth, ears)
  • Parasite control/zoonotic disease
  • Diet/feeding suggestions

Actions:

  • History, physical, risk assessment
  • Fecal/deworm
  • Vaccinations
  • Get puppy kit
  • Fill out health record

8 to 10 Weeks of Age (2nd Visit)

Discuss:

Actions:

  • History, physical
  • Fecal/deworm
  • Vaccinations
  • Fill out health record

10 to 12 Weeks of Age (3rd Visit)

Discuss:

  • Mouthing, chewing, and jumping
  • Heartworm testing and prevention options
  • Flea and tick prevention options
  • Diet/feeding suggestions
  • Dental home care

Actions:

  • History, physical
  • Vaccinations
  • Fecal/deworm
  • Dispense heartworm and flea medications; one month supply for current weight
  • Fill out health record

>12 Weeks of Age (4th Visit)

Discuss:

  • Play and exercise
  • Rabies vaccine schedule
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchip
  • License with county

Actions:

  • History, physical
  • Vaccinations; give rabies vaccine
  • Dispense heartworm and flea medications: six-month supply
  • Fill out health record

5 to 7 Months of Age (5th Visit)

Discuss:

  • Schedule spay/neuter surgery
  • Current behavioral development
  • Adult schedule for future visits

Actions:

  • History, physical
  • Pre-anesthetic screen
  • Fill out health record