_"Until we have loved an animal, a part of our soul remains un-awakened." - Anatole France
Getting a puppy is exciting, and a lot of fun, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your puppy stays healthy and is protected.
Puppy Vaccination Series
The next consideration is whether or not you would like your pet to be neutered or spayed. If you do not intend to breed your pet it is wise to get him/her fixed as it will reduce the chance of complications associated with these organs in the future. Some more serious conditions include Pyometra for females and Testicular cancer for males.
We recommend to have your pet fixed around 6 months of age, and before the first heat (for females).
As your pet ages we need to switch our focus. Arthritis, dental, kidney or liver issues, thyroid, diabetes, and joint issues are just some of the common health concerns among our aging dog population.
Diet plays a huge factor in maintaining healthy longevity in dogs, so pick a diet that is AAFCO approved like Hills, Science Diet or Medi-Cal Royal Canin.
Also keep your pet from becoming overweight. Ideally, you should see a tucked in waist, and feel, not see, your pet's ribs. Obesity is a big concern as it can cause other medical issues or cause more pain (for instance, in conjunction with arthritis).
Teeth are the most overlooked health concern for dogs. Small breeds especially tend to suffer from severe dental issues which not only cause bad breath, but bring bacteria directly into the blood stream severely affecting internal organ function. You play a vital role in preventive care for your pet (like feeding dental specific diets, dental chews, and brushing teeth daily).
Unfortunately, teeth are often neglected until it is too late and professional cleaning and/or extractions are needed.
Blood work (majority of which we can perform in-house and have results within 20 minutes) is recommended ideally on a yearly basis once your pet is considered geriatric. This way if your pet develops kidney failure, becomes diabetic, etc. these problems can be nipped in the but and treated before turning fatal.