CHAH Presents : Puppy 101- A Guide to Raising your New Best Friend

CHAH Updates


You are about to embark on the fun and rewarding journey of raising a puppy! Whether you are experienced with dogs or a first-time dog owner, this packet will supply you with the most current information and advice about how to raise your new friend. If you have any questions during or after your visit, please feel free to ask one of our doctors or technicians. We are here to help!


REQUIRED VACCINES: These vaccines are strongly recommended for your canine friend.

Distemper Vaccine (Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Adenovirus- Type 2, Parainfluenza-Parvovirus): Canine Distemper and Parvovirus are both serious and often fatal viruses that can affect the respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal systems.  They typically require hospitalization, supportive care and usually carries a guarded prognosis. Vaccination against Adenovirus Type 2 virus protects against canine hepatitis and Parainfluenza helps protect against tracheobronchitis. We begin vaccinating between 6-8 weeks of age and booster every 3-4 weeks for a series of 4 injections.  After the series is complete the vaccine will be good for 1 year, then it will be given every 3 years.  We recommend that you only allow interactions with vaccinated dogs that you know and that you allow your pet to void in secluded areas.  

Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is a virus of the central nervous system. It can be transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal or through the saliva of a rabid animal being introduced into a fresh scratch or similar skin break.  All warm-blooded animals, including humans, are susceptible to rabies; in Texas, skunks, bats, coyotes and foxes are the most commonly infected.  Puppies will need this vaccine between 14- 16 weeks of age, the initial vaccine is good for a year.  Afterwards the vaccine is given every 3 years. The state of Texas requires this vaccine be kept current and pets have to be registered.

Bordetella bronchiseptica Vaccine: This annual oral vaccine helps aid in preventing canine infectious tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough). This bacterial infection affects the respiratory system, and can progress into pneumonia.  This vaccine can be administered as early as 8 weeks.

Canine Influenza Vaccine: Canine influenza is a relatively new disease, and was first diagnosed in 2004 in a group of racing greyhounds in Florida. The virus is easily spread, can even be contracted through indirect contact.  Pets that frequent boarding facilities, doggy day care, groomer’s shops, dog parks and even dog shows are at higher risk of contracting the virusThis vaccine can be administered as early as 8 weeks of age, it will need to be boostered 2-4 weeks after the initial vaccine is give; after that it will be yearly.

RECOMMENDED VACCINES: These vaccinations are recommended conditionally.

Leptospirosis Vaccine: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by leptospires, a bacteria that is found in ground water and wet soil. Lepto can cause serious illness in dogs, other animals and people; it is shed through the urine of the infected.  This vaccine can be administered as early as 6 weeks of age, it will need to be boostered 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine is given; after that it will be yearly. Leptospirosis and Distemper vaccines can be combined and given together once boosters are complete.

Lyme Vaccine (Also called borreliosis): Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi;  it’sspread through the bite of infected Blacklegged Tick, also known as the  Deer Tick.  Lyme disease  causes recurrent lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and a reduced appetite. More serious complications include damage to the kidney and heart or nervous system disease.  This vaccine can be administered as early as 8 weeks of age, it will need to be boostered 3 weeks after the initial vaccine is given; after that it will be yearly.


We recommend regular use of one of the following products:

Nexgard- 1 chew is given orally ONCE monthly to prevent fleas and ticks.   It can be given as early as 8 weeks of age and as small as 4 pounds.

Simparica– 1 tablet is given ONCE monthly to prevent fleas and ticks.  It can be given as early as 6 months of age and as small as 2.8 pounds.

Bravecto Topical- Apply 1 tube to skin between the shoulder blades ONCE every 12 weeks to prevent fleas and ticks.  It can be given as early as 6 months of age and as small as 4.4 pounds.

Bravecto Oral- 1 chew is given orally ONCE every 12 weeks to prevent fleas and ticks.  It can be given as early as 6 months of age and as small as 4.4 pounds

Preventic Tick Collars- Place collar around neck, it detaches and kills ticks for up to 90 days.  It can be given to pets as early as 12 weeks.

Flea collars, sprays, baths and flea-bombs are generally ineffective and employ harsh chemicals that can be irritating and toxic to your dog.


Many puppies are infected with intestinal parasites at birth, so we recommend multiple dewormings. There are several different types of parasites dogs can catch, all are microscopic except for Tapeworms and Roundworms.  Rice like segments on the tail or rectum are indicative of a Tapeworm infection and long string like worms are Roundworms.  We recommend having your puppy’s stool checked at least 2 times as certain parasites can only be killed at certain life stages.   Several intestinal parasites are zoonotic so always take precautions when cleaning your pet and picking up stool.  Always pick up stool immediately, as leaving it in your yard increases the chances of the parasite infecting your yard space and that increase your pets likeliness of contracting the parasite again.  


Surgical sterilization of a female pet is commonly referred as spaying. During a spay the pet is placed under general anesthesia, a small incision is made and the ovaries and uterus are removed. We recommend having your female puppies spayed at 6 months of age.  Spaying your pet eliminates risk of several illnesses, many that can be fatal.  Pyometra is an infection in the uterus, without treatment it can cause sepsis and death.  Ovarian and uterine cancer are eliminated by removal of the organs.  Mammary cancer is greatly reduced when the surgery is performed prior to the pets first heat cycle.

The surgical removal of the testes in a male pet is called Castration or more commonly a neuter. The pet is placed under general anesthesia, after which his testicles are removed.  Typically this is done via a small skin incision over the scrotum (ball sack), but if the testicle(s) have not descended they must be removed from the abdomen.  We recommend neutering your puppy between 8-10 months, later if large breed. On occasion neutering is necessary earlier if he is starting to develop aggressive behaviors or humping.  Neutering prevents prostatitis, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.  It can help with aggression and marking if done early enough in life. 


Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. There is a treatment for it but it can be harsh and it is very costly.  Prevention is much safer (and less expensive) for your pet than treatment, and it is simple to do. Heartworm preventatives kill the larval heartworms after they enter the body, thereby preventing heartworm disease from occurring. An added benefit of using a heartworm preventative is that most also kill some common intestinal parasites and mites. 

We recommend regular use of one of these products:

Heartgard Plus– 1 chew ONCE monthly by mouth.  It can be given as early as 6 weeks of age and can be given at any weight. 

Proheart 6– An injection is given subcutaneously ONCE every 6 months.  It can be given as early as 6 months of age.

Proheart 12 – An injection is given subcutaneously ONCE every 12 months.  It can be given as early as 12 months of age.


Microchipping is a simple and possibly lifesaving procedure.  A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades.  The process is routine and causes no more reaction than that of a vaccine.  1 out of 3 pets that are lost at some point in their lives and most don’t have any identification that can help them get home.  A microchip is permanent and can’t fall off or be removed with malicious intent.  Microchips can be implanted at any age and doesn’t require any anesthesia. Just make sure you update the information as needed and keep your pets number handy in case of an emergency.

By Desiree’ Dunn– July 1, 2020

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