New Puppy Information

We follow pet vaccination and health guidelines recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). DHPP and Rabies are core vaccinations. Others are either recommended or required for boarding, travel, dog parks, and lifestyle (such as hiking and hunting.)

General Health:

Puppy Exam- Assesses general health and monitors growth and development. Two to three puppy exams during the first year. After that, a yearly physical exam is strongly recommended and is required by MD law for receiving prescription medications and medical procedures.

Heartworm Test- Heartworm disease is easy to prevent, but difficult and costly to treat. Dogs get this from the bite of an infected mosquito. The larvae mature, and adult heartworms block the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels. Heartworm disease is now documented in all 50 states. Heartworm prevention should begin as a young puppy, and testing should begin at 8 months to 1 year. If a puppy has not been given regular heartworm prevention, it should first be tested at 6 to 8 months. For mature dogs on year-round heartworm prevention, the American Heartworm Society recommends yearly testing. We carry a basic heart worm and a combination test (tests for  heart worm and 3 tick-borne diseases: Lyme, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma.)

Fecal Test- Most puppies get intestinal parasites, from either their mother or the environment. Common parasites are tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms, coccidia, and giardia. We like to test a fecal sample at the first puppy visit. If positive, we will treat with the appropriate dewormer, and then retest a fecal sample 4-6 weeks later. We send this to a lab for testing.


DHPP– Canine Distemper Vaccine- Protects against the highly contagious and untreatable Canine Distemper virus, and life-threatening Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo viruses. Vaccination starts at 6-8 weeks of age, then again every 3-4 weeks until the age of 16 weeks. A yearly booster is given to all adult dogs.

Rabies– One shot is given at 12 weeks of age or older, and a booster is given to all adult dogs. This booster needs to be repeated every 3 years. Rabies vaccination is for indoor and outdoor dogs, and is required by MD and PA State Laws. Rabies is fatal and is transmissible to humans and other animals.

Lepto- Protects against Leptospirosis bacteria often found in contaminated or stagnant water and ground areas frequented by wildlife or rodents. Lepto is a disease that can pass from dogs to people, especially children and adults with weakened immune systems. This is a series of 2 shots given 2-3 weeks apart, and then a yearly booster is given to adult dogs.

Lyme– Protects against the potentially debilitating Lyme disease transmitted by deer ticks. This is a series of 2 shots given 2-3 weeks apart, and then a yearly booster is given to adult dogs.

Bordetella– Protects against a common cause of Kennel Cough. Very contagious and causes upper respiratory infections. Highly recommended for dogs that are traveling, boarded, going to a groomer, dog park, pet store, training classes, or around other dogs. Given once yearly, intranasal or injectable (series of 2 shots to start, then a yearly booster.)

Canine Influenza- Two vaccines, one protects against H3N8 influenza, and the other protects against H3N2 influenza which has recently entered our region. Canine Influenza is a fast-moving virus that can be severe, especially in older dogs and puppies, and can be expensive and time consuming to treat. Each vaccine is a series of 2 shots, given 2-3 weeks apart. A yearly booster is then given to adult dogs.


Flea and Tick Control- Advantage (for fleas) and Frontline Plus or Gold (for fleas and ticks) can be used on puppies 8 weeks and older. Both are topical medications that are applied each month. Revolution is also a topical medication treating fleas and some ticks, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, prevents heartworm, and comes with a Scalibor tick collar. NexGard is a monthly, chewable flea and tick medication.

Routine Surgeries– Spay and Neuter: Spaying and neutering is recommended for the long-term health of your female dog, to control population, and to preempt fighting, territory marking behaviors, and roaming in your male dog. Please discuss with the doctors when is the right time to consider spaying or neutering your pet.