Puppy Wellness

Puppy wellness begins with expert veterinary care, provided here in our Franklin, NC practice.

The first SIX months are a critical period in your puppy’s development, and at Noah’s Ark, we can give you the support and tools necessary to help your new pup grow into a well-mannered, healthy dog, including information and advice on nutrition, training, behavior, and socialization.

Schedule your puppy for his or her first exam as soon as possible. Until your puppy has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to several serious but preventable diseases. We will make sure your new dog is protected against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus, among other diseases. Your puppy will also need to be tested and treated for parasites, which are extremely common in young dogs.

Most puppies have roundworms, which are intestinal parasites that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal signs (although pups can have “worms” without showing any symptoms). It is important for puppies to be treated for roundworms, not only to rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms are a zoonotic parasite, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your puppy is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe from these and other parasites.

Here’s a summary of what to expect when you bring your puppy to Noah’s Ark

We recommend you try to leave your new puppy with the litter until they’re 9 weeks old. There are lots of valuable things pups learn in their litter, and from a well-socialized mother – including bite inhibition. However, if for whatever reason you acquire your new pup earlier than 8-9 weeks, we’d still like to see them for routine de-worming, weight, physical exam, and to make sure they’re able to get proper nutrition.

The first SIX MONTHS of your pup’s life are critically important to raising a well socialized dog who likes other dogs, people, and can be handled and examined by a veterinarian. For more information, click here to read our article “Puppy – Socialization and Fear Prevention”.

8-9 weeks – Typically first puppy visit and first vaccine booster against distemper and parvo. At this visit we also do a fecal test to check for the presence of parasites. You’ll also get advice about nutrition, and beginning to house train your new puppy.

12- 13 weeks – Your pup’s second puppy visit is scheduled. We continue the process of protecting your pet against deadly diseases with a vaccine booster; we repeat fecal testing; monitor your pet’s weight; and address any other behavior, training or nutrition issues you may have encountered in the past few weeks.

16- 17 weeks – Your pup’s third puppy visit. We finish the process of protecting your pet with their final vaccine booster for distemper and parvo. Your pet is not fully protected against parvo virus if your pet does not receive a third booster after 16 weeks of age. We’ll repeat the fecal test if your pet has had any positive fecal tests; check your pet’s weight; and address any other behavior, training or nutrition issues you may have encountered in the past few weeks.

20 – 24 weeks – Your puppy’s fourth puppy visit. This visit your puppy will be vaccinated against rabies. If you’re planning on boarding your pet, our vets may also give a bordatella vaccine at this time. After this visit, you will receive your pet’s Pet ID card in the mail. This convenient “credit card” has all your pet’s medical information in one location. It also allows you to access your pet’s records on this website. At this visit we schedule a time to spay or neuter your puppy.

A SPECIAL WORD ABOUT PARVO VIRUS: Parvo is a very common canine disease in our community. This disease is highly contagious, frequently fatal, and it’s spread by contact with an infected dog’s feces. However, it’s a very tough virus to kill, and the virus gets spread far and wide on the feet of infected dogs, and even human’s shoes and clothes. Many, many dogs end up with parvovirus that have never been directly in contact with a sick dog. Parvovirus is a highly preventable disease, but vaccinations need to be properly handled and stored, and administered at the correct age and intervals. We have many clients come to Noah’s Ark with very sick pets that have either “given their own shots”, or believed a former owner who says “he’s had his shots”. Click here to read more about parvovirus in dogs