Why is it important to start good puppy care on day one?
It's essential to start your puppy out on the right paw to begin with. They are growing, and developing, and changing daily. So, we want them to start with proper nutrition. We also want to socialize them, even at a young age. And we want to do that properly because we want to help prevent problems, not treat behavioral issues once they have started. We also want to protect your puppy against certain diseases.
Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville
How soon should I bring my puppy to the veterinarian for an examination?
We would say immediately. As soon as you get your puppy, it's a great idea to go ahead and get them examined to make sure that there are no concerns that need to be addressed right away. There are certain issues that we can find on testing and getting them protected against diseases through vaccines and protection.
What are the most common health concerns in a puppy?
Some of the common health concerns for puppies are certain viruses that they're susceptible to that are very contagious from puppy to puppy or from an unvaccinated dog to your puppy—intestinal parasites and getting sick in general.
What are some signs and symptoms of illness in a puppy?
Some of those might include diarrhea, vomiting, not wanting to eat, not being their happy, playful self, not lacking energy, and being lethargic.
What are the signs of a healthy, thriving puppy?
Just the opposite of what I just mentioned. You may want them to be a little bit more lethargic if they're very active! Healthy, thriving puppies have a great appetite, are interactive with you, want to play, bark, are curious, and notice their surroundings.
When should I start training my puppy?
As soon as possible. You can never start too soon with that. And again, just like we talked about, we want to help prevent problems. We want to train them to do the right thing and not try to correct bad behavior once that has gotten established.
What will you be looking for during your first examination on a puppy?
Here at the Animal Hospital of Statesville, we do a full, thorough physical exam. So, we start at the nose and go to the tail. That would include looking for issues with their eyes, making sure their ears are clear. We look at their bite. That's one thing with puppies; they might have a bite that's not good, which is either like an overbite or an underbite. We want to make sure their teeth are all present and that their puppy teeth look healthy. Then we would move down the pet. We listen to their heart. We would feel their belly and feel for hernias. We want to make sure all their parts are present and where they need to be. And, of course, we look at their skin for fleas and things like that.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 872-3625, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.