Today, March 23, is National Puppy Day, and at Virbac we love dogs of all ages, especially ones that are new to our world. Starting off on “the right paw” is important for them to thrive and grow. Below are some helpful things to consider to keep them happy, healthy and safe. Finding a veterinarian to help you keep your new puppy safe is one of the most important decisions you will make for your pet. Feel free to share with any new dog owners so they can also be informed.
An important part of puppy health is protection against intestinal parasites and also heartworms. Did you know that only a few heartworms can cause serious illness and even death in puppies? Most dogs are affected by roundworms at some point in their lives. It can even be passed to puppies before they are born or in the mother’s milk. As a result, puppies should be treated when very young and both the mother and puppies need regular preventive treatment.1-2
Monthly protection products are a convenient and effective way to control roundworms and protect your puppy from a broad range of other intestinal parasites and heartworms. Start the habit early to set your puppy up for a lifetime of good health and ask your veterinarian how and when to start an effective plan.
Common parasitic worms3,4 include:
Heartworms - Transmitted by mosquitoes; damage heart and lungs; can cause cough, exercise intolerance, weight loss and death
Roundworms - Passed from mothers to pups and survive for years in yards and parks; can cause diarrhea, poor growth, and a pot-bellied appearance
Hookworms - Acquired in parks and yards; can cause poor growth, anemia, and severe diarrhea
Tapeworms - Transmitted in fleas or rodents; can cause poor food absorption and diarrhea
Whipworms - Acquired from parks and yards; can produce weight loss, dehydration, anemia, and diarrhea
Dental Health - 76% OF DOGS HAVE DENTAL DISEASE, which has been linked to serious health issues throughout the body5,6
Start them early with a dental routine by checking out our YouTube playlist
Get a snapshot of your dog’s dental health with our Dental Quiz
Daily walks and play time with safe toys help your puppy's physical and mental development; these activities are a great way for the two of you to bond
Housebreaking is a challenge for most puppy owners
Reward your puppy for going to the bathroom in designated areas to reinforce good behavior
Consistency is the key to housebreaking
Take your puppy out to go potty after each meal
Each time you take your dog outside, exit from the same door and walk to the same outdoor area
Vaccinations protect your pet from disease
Work with your veterinarian to outline a schedule of needed vaccinations
Keep your dog’s coat healthy by bathing with pet designated shampoo and utilizing tick and flea protection as recommended by your veterinarian
Allergies, including seasonal allergies, can predispose your dog to skin and ear infections
Signs of allergies to “watch out” for include itching (especially scratching the ears), redness/swelling, dry or watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing
We encourage you to speak with your veterinarian about products that can help keep your puppy healthy and you can also visit our website to find additional resources.
“Roundworms.” Pets & Parasites by CAPC, www.petsandparasites.org/dog-owners/roundworms/.
“Ascarid.” Companion Animal Parasite Council, 23 Oct. 2020, capcvet.org/guidelines/ascarid/.
Gastrointestinal parasites of dogs. Merck Veterinary Manual. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/dog-owners/digestive-disorders-of-dogs/gastrointestinal-parasites-of-dogs. Accessed August 9, 2018.
Ward E. Heartworm disease in dogs. VCA Hospitals website. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heartworm-disease-in-dogs. Accessed August 3, 2018.
State of pet health 2016 report. Banfield Pet Hospital website. http://www.stateofpethealth.com. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Niemiec BA, Gawor J, Nemec A, et al. World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Dental Guidelines. http://www.wsava.org/guidelines/global-dental-guidelines. Accessed August 28 , 2018.