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Welcome New Puppy!

Congratulations!  You have now acquired a wonderful new addition to your family who will provide countless hours of unconditional love and enjoyment.  This section should help you with some common questions and concerns most new puppy owners have.

When is the best time to bring my new puppy to the veterinarian?

The best time to bring your new puppy to the veterinarian is immediately!  Remember this puppy may be carrying a contagious disease that may infect other people or pets in your home.  We can find problems before they make your pet ill.  We may also prevent disease from happening in the first place through timely immunizations and parasite control.   Getting your new baby off to a healthy start is of utmost importance to us. Click here for a complete list and description of what your puppy needs during the first year of life.

What can I expect at my puppy's first visit?

Your puppy with have a complete and thorough physical with the doctor.  Once finished, we will explain our findings and make recommendations to treat any problems and prevent disease.  Your puppy will need immunizations, fecal parasite testing, and performer against round and hookworms.  We will also start a monthly prescription to protect your puppy from fleas, heart worms and intestinal parasites.  We will also discuss crate training, potty training, proper feeding and nutrition and socialization for your puppy.  Please come prepared with any questions you might have. 

How often does my new puppy have to see a veterinarian? 

Just like a newborn infant, your puppy's first year is crucial in setting the stage for a healthy life.  Therefore, the puppy must visit the veterinarian most frequently during the first year of life.  We recommend visits and vaccines at monthly intervals until 4-5 months of age.  At that time, most dogs will be finished with their immunizations and parasite testing for the next six months. 

Why does my puppy need so many vaccines?

Puppies have an immature immune system and cannot fight off diseases as well as older pets.  Each vaccine they receive acts like a building block to build sufficient protection against certain diseases.  Puppies and kittens will receive some antibodies from their mother called maternal antibodies.  These antibodies, however, interfere with the more permanent antibodies obtained from the vacccine.  The series of vaccines are needed to build longer lasting antibodies while the maternal antibodies decline.

Should You Vaccinate Your Own Pets?

To help ensure the protection of your pet and other pets under our care, we require that your pet be vaccinated for commonly communicable diseases, especially if it is to be hospitalized, boarded, or surgically treated at our hospital. We ask that you provide a certificate from a licensed veterinarian or clinic where vaccines were given so that we can we can obtain the information. If your pet is not currently vaccinated, we will provide the service upon admission to the hospital for the appropriate fee.


  • Written instructions provided with the over-the-counter vaccines cannot adequately educate you on proper vaccine administration. Would you vaccinate your own child for measles if the pharmacist provided you with the vaccine and syringe?
  • Injuries can occur because of lack of training. Children can pick up a needle and stick themselves, or you may be bitten while attempting to vaccinate your pet.
  • Vaccines purchased over-the-counter are often improperly handled and thus ineffective. You have no control over the handling of the vaccine before you purchase it. Veterinarians know where their biologics come from and choose them based on effectiveness and handling.
  • Vaccines administered to an unhealthy animal may be ineffective or even harm the pet. No animal should be vaccinated without a prior physical exam performed by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may occur following routine vaccine administration. Pet owners are not equipped to handle this complication.
  • Syringes and needles are considered hazardous waste. Disposal of such items in a landfill can lead to devastating consequences.

Pets need regular veterinary care. Just as your child needs regular check-ups, you pet does, too! Puppies and kittens should be examined every three to four weeks to ensure proper growth, diet, parasite control, and behavior. Adult dogs and cats should have a complete physical yearly. Early detection of tumors, diseases, and parasites helps ensure a better life for your pet and your family.
If you or someone other than a veterinarian has vaccinated your pet, we will ask that your pets be properly vaccinated by our staff or any licensed veterinarian prior to being hospitalized. The health and well-being of your pets and the promotion of responsible pet ownership are our primary concern.

How do I know if my puppy has intestinal worms/parasites?

Most intestinal worms cannot be seen with the naked eye.  A microscopic stool sample should be performed to see if  your puppy or kitten has intestinal worms/parasites.  Not all intestinal parasite/worms shed their eggs or cysts everyday.  Therefore, your puppy should have at least 2 fecal samples checked.

Are these intestinal parasites/worms harmful to the rest of the family?

Certain worms are contagious to humans.  Your puppy should be de-wormed for these parasites.  Cleaning up their stool immediately and washing your hands after playing with your puppy will help prevent transmission as well.

Does my puppy need heart worm prevention like my adult pets?

Puppies should also be on heart worm prevention.  Most heart-worm preventions can be started at 6 weeks of age.  Certain heart worm prevention products also help prevent the spreading of intestinal worms that are transmissible to humans.  Puppies are old enough for their first heart worm test at one year of age.

When does my puppy need a dog license?

A dog license is required by law at the time of the Rabies vaccine at four months of age.  You will receive one year free if you have your dog spayed or neutered.  For your convenience, we will assist you in obtaining a license.

Exclusive Offer

We will do our best to accommodate your busy schedule. Request an appointment today!

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New patients receive 15% OFF first visit.

THIS ---->https://centerveterinaryclinic.vetmatrixbase.com/pet-care/dog-care/puppy-care.html

Office Hours

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5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30 4:30 Closed


Dr. Bigelow has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years.

John Doe
San Diego, CA