Puppies. It’s interesting how one word can elicit so many different thoughts and feelings. Perhaps the undeniably obvious adjectives of adorable, innocent, precious, funny, playful, or fluffy come to mind. Or, if you are in the middle of raising a puppy right now, the word may instead conjure visions of potty training (or lack there of), crate training, behavior training and “puppy proofing” your home. But even if raising a puppy can at times be tiring – it only takes one puppy kiss or one silly puppy moment to make it all better.
Today is National Puppy Day, and we want to take a moment to celebrate all the joy and opportunity that puppies bring into our clinic. From puppy snuggles to the unmistakable and somehow comforting scent of puppy breath – a mere glimpse of a puppy in our midst and we easily start smiling and doting on the pup. We love helping owners unpack and understand the vast amount of information available about raising a puppy. During our puppy appointments, we cover topics such as vaccination schedules, intestinal parasite protection, heartworm prevention, flea / tick control, good nutrition, dental care, exercise, spay / neuter, behavior training, crate training, potty training, as well as various other things to expect as your puppy develops and grows.
Vaccinations are critical to help protect your puppy’s developing immune system. Intestinal parasites are common in puppies, and we want to eliminate them before they cause problems in your puppy or in your family (if it happens to be a parasite that can also infect people). Often, behavioral problems can be prevented or corrected if addressed early and appropriately during the puppy stages. Many health problems are easily prevented with the right medications (heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, for example). Potential breed-related issues are also important to understand. All of these very important topics are addressed over the course of several months as your puppy comes in to our clinic for exams and vaccinations. And you can be sure that with every visit your puppy will also receive a hefty dose of love and affection!
Puppies signify new opportunities and fresh beginnings. They offer comfort, peace, and joy. Although they may require time and commitment as they grow, they have the potential to be unmistakable evidence of the positive power of love, devotion, care, and companionship.
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS