Introducing Puppy Care 101

Sad, but true, many puppies never live to see their first birthdays. Some succumb to infections diseases such as distemper and parvovirus, while some loose their lives due to parasites such as hookworms and heartworms. A vast majority of of the puppies are relinquished to animal shelters due to behavioral problems such as house soiling, aggression and destructive behavior.

What saddens me even more is that all of the above problems are preventable with vaccinations, parasite control and obedience training. After 30 years of practicing veterinary medicine, you would think I would eventually see a decline in the diseases, parasites and behavior problems, but alas, the truth is I have actually seen an increase in cases of distemper, parvo, heartworms and abandonment, partly due to the economy and tighter budgets and perhaps partly due to ignorance of what puppies need to survive their first year.

With the help of my internet friends who have been coaching me this last year, I have finally been able to assemble a web site geared to help solve and prevent many of these problems. Today, I am extending an invitation for you to explore my new website,

Although it is named puppy care, the dog training and health articles are great for any dog owner of any age dog. has a complete dog training course inside with helpful tips on:

  • house training
  • crate training
  • barking solutions
  • jumping up on people,
  • separation anxiety
  • submissive urination
  • walking on a leash
  • pet tricks
  • staying out of the garbage
  • eating “poop” also has information on your puppy’s health

  • vaccinations
  • parvovirus and distemper
  • parasite control
  • heartworms
  • spaying and neutering
  • pet insurance
  • dental care
  • flea and tick control
  • skin care
  • allergies

Each week more information will be added for you to read at your leisure. I am hoping to add enough material to go even beyond your puppies first year.

For the next week, I am offering a trial membership of the website. I encourage you to check it out and I will welcome any feed back of the website. I want to know what you like about it and tell me of any topics that you would like to see addressed.

Go now to and register for our free 7 day email mini-series on dog training just for visiting.

Puppy Care

Congratulations! Bringing home a new puppy is fun, but it is also a huge responsibility that lasts its lifetime, which can sometimes reach 12 to 18 years or longer. The first six months of your puppies life are the most critical and establishes his health and behavior for the rest of his life.puppy You, as the puppies advocate, must ensure he is protected from disease with a series of vaccinations and effective monthly parasite control. Thousands of inadequately vaccinated puppies never make it to see their first birthday because of diseases such as parvovirus and distemper. Thousands more will die from heartworm disease from the bite of one single mosquito, and even more may succumb to intestinal parasites, such as hookworms, even before they even reach 2 months old.

The majority of dogs relinquished to animal shelters is usually because of behavioral issues, such as dog aggressiveness that results in a dog bite, the inability to house train or unruly and destructive behavior. These are natural tendencies in dogs, and it is your responsibility to learn the how the dog thinks and use the natural, instinctive pack leadership skills to effectively modify both you and your dog’s behavior and solidify a great and rewarding relationship with your new puppy and family

Puppy proofing your home is another safety precaution you must establish. There are several hazards to young puppies you must look out for, such as electrical cords, toxic houseplants, foods that must not be fed, and toxic substances that need to be secured. Providing a safe haven for your puppy, such as a crate, when you are away, will keep him out of trouble and will also hasten house training.

There is so much more that I want to share with you that I have developed a series of newsletters and videos to help you take great care of your puppy and then well into his senior years. Register for my puppy care newsletter and you will also get some bonus e-books.

Recommendations for Puppies

Age 2, 4, 6 weeks of age

* deworm for hookworms and roundworms
* check for other intestinal parasites such as coccidia, tapeworms, whipworms and giardia

6-8 weeks of age

* Wellness Examination (WE) Check eyes, ears, heart, lungs, teeth, and other structures.
* DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, )
* Parasite Check
* Dewormer
* Start Heartworm preventative
* Start Flea medication
* Behavior counseling (crate training)

12 weeks

* Wellness Exam
* DHPP #2
* Bordetella #1
* Leptospirosis #1 (4 way)
* Dewormer
* Heartworm and Flea medication

16 weeks

* Wellness Exam
* DHPP#3
* Rabies
* Lepto #2
* Bordetella #2
* Heartworm and Flea medications

5months and older

* Spay or neuter
* Blood profile to screen for congenital problems prior to surgery
* give heartworm and flea medication every month all year round
* feed high quality pet foods, avoid generic brands
* Start getting your pet used to brushing teeth while they are young.

10months old

* parvo booster
* bordetella booster
* parasite check


* Wellnes Examination
* Rabies
* Leptospirosis
* Bordetella
* Heartworm (Erhlichia and Lyme) test
* Parasite Check
* Lyme booster
* Giardia booster
* If pet has received 2 Rabies Vaccinations exactly 365 days or less in a row, then pet may go to a Rabies injection every 3 years. If the two vaccines are more than 365 days apart, then they must get another vaccine within the year.
* Pets age 7 years for every 1 calender year. Physical exams on a bi-annual basis are a good way to screen for health problems before they become major.

Dr. Debra Garrison
Dr. Debra Garrison