You can usually bring
your puppy home at 8 weeks and they will need many shots before they are a year
old. They will need rabies, distemper, and possible bordetella shots. You
need to get them heart worm tested and protected.
Rabies vaccinations should be given at 12 or 16 weeks, boostered in 1 year,
then boostered every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used, and the state
law. I live in Michigan and my dog needs to get a rabies vaccine every 3
years after she was puppy. I have to buy her a dog tag license every year by
the end February. You can be fined if you don't show proof of rabies and your
dog doesn't have a dog tag.
The distemper shot is a very important vaccine for your dog! Distemper is a
serious disease that can be fatal. Signs of the disease are fever, not eating,
lethargic, eyes running, diarrhea, and can have nasal discharge. You
can prevent this disease with the distemper vaccine. Start vaccinating at 8
weeks, then re-vaccinate every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks, then have them get a
The Bordetella vaccine is a bacteria that can cause a respiratory
disease, which is the kennel cough. This cough can last for weeks to months in
dogs. Dogs that live in shelters, pounds, or go to a kennel should get the
Bordetella vaccine. Carley has had this vaccine, but she is never boarded or
around other dogs, so I don't give this vaccine to her anymore.
Bordetella Vaccine requires only one dose in adult dogs, but immunity is
only a couple months. Puppies should receive a booster every 2 to 4 weeks
(starting at 8 weeks), until they reach 16 weeks old.
Heart worm in dogs is
contracted by mosquitoes. I get my dog tested every year and treat her with a
heart worm chew monthly for 6 months. I usually get her tested around April
before the mosquitoes get bad. Dogs at 6 months of age or younger do not
need to be tested to begin a heart worm preventative. After 6 months
of age, you need to wait to give the heart worm prevention until you receive a
negative test result. If your dog is ever positive for heart worm then your dog
will need to be treated at a vet hospital.
A Fecal test is testing
the dogs stool for intestinal parasites. Your dog will need to be treated if
the doctor sees any worms in the fecal test.
Flea protection is important as well. I use advantage on my dog. It comes in
tubes and you place the treatment in between their shoulder blades. My dog went
to a dog park and came home with two fleas on her, I freaked out. That year I
didn't give her any flea protection and so I gave her flea powder instead after
seeing fleas. It worked to kill the fleas.
Your puppy can start vaccines as early as 8
weeks. Keep your dog protected so she or he can live a long healthy long life!.
I consulted the Veterinarian Doctor
at the Vet hospital I worked at before purchasing my pure breed Labrador
retriever. I remember he told to make sure the dog comes from a recommended
good breeder and it comes from a good line from both sets dog grandparents
and parents. He said to know if there was any history of hip
dysplasia and retina detachment. Other breeds may have a different
set of issues, it's helpful to research the breed. At first I didn't even
know what he was talking about until I did some research of my own. After doing
some research, I found out hip dysplasia and retina detachment is
common among the Labrador breed.
Luckily Carely hasn't experienced any of this. She does limp a little after
playing outside or a long walk, so I give her glucosamine chews daily.
Also you can give your dog a daily dog vitamin. Hip dysplasia normally happens
during a young dog’s growing stages. Hip dysplasia can affect both the left and
right hips. This can cause terrible pain to your pet. The disease
usually is due to the laxity of the ligaments and muscles around the joints. It
is mostly a genetic disease. Now Retina detachment in dogs happens when the
retina detaches from the two outermost layers of tissue in your dog's eye.
So I had to make sure that the dog I brought home didn't come from a history of
parents or grandparents that experienced those concerns. Carley has been pretty
healthy so far at 8 years old, she just had a senior check up with her blood
taken and urine checked.
I remember when I chose Carley, I just said I wanted the smallest and whitest
one. I wasn't even thinking about her temperament. However when you choose your
new puppy, there are ways to determine if you dog is high strong, happy go
lucky, hand shy, food dominate. Luckily Carley was just easily excited and
didn't obey very well. If you place the puppy on it's back and he/she doesn't
like it or is relaxed can tell you whether the dog is easy going or unsure.
You can also see if the puppy is food dominate or not by putting a fake hand by
its dish when the dog is eating. If the dog growls or bites the fake hand or
stick then unfortunately your dog may bite you when eating. You can take the
fake hand and pet the dog with it to see it its hand shy too. Most puppies are
just glad to get attention and haven't developed any issues yet unless it an
abused dog or a dog from a shelter. After picking out which puppy you would
like then you need to think about vaccines, flea medicine, heartworm
protection, testing, ect.. Also what type of dog food your puppy will eat. We
bought puppy chow for Carley when she was a puppy and she loved it. Most
puppies love any food just as long as they are eating.
Socializing your dog is so important especially when you have children. When
Carley was a puppy, we would take her everywhere we could. She loved
playing with other dogs and making new friends everywhere she went. Three years
after bringing Carley home, we welcomed our first daughter. Carley was so well
behaved around Audrey, just as I hoped. She was gentle and sweet around our
daughter. Now we have a 4 1/2 month old and Carley is even more gentle around
our second child.
Labradors make good family dogs, its important to socialize them. We would take
her our family or friend's homes, to the pet store, for walks, dog parks, and
pretty much any place they allowed dogs. That gave us the opportunity to
discipline her when she jumped up on people or became to excited! She
loves company and it can be difficult to keep her from jumping up or
getting too excited, but after five minutes she calms down. We usually will
have her on her leash when we have company over and give her a quick jerk of
her leash to discipline her if necessary. Using treats helps to distract
her and reward her for good behavior too. Now at 8 years old, Carley has slowed
down a bit, but she is still our crazy friendly dog!
training larger breed dogs can be easier then training smaller breed dogs.
It came easy for Carley, she only had a few accidents in house and then she
learned quickly to go potty outside. It's important to use a dog crate to train
your dog. When we bought our crate from Pet Smart, we bought it large
enough for her to grow into, but with a divider. She slept one side with
the divider as a small puppy. Dogs typically wont go to the bathroom in
the place they sleep.
If your dog
is in the small portion of the crate with the divider, they usually will wait
to go potty so they don't soil the area they are laying in. Its helpful
to let your dog out of the crate every couple of hours and keep your dog in the
crate daily to train them. Another tip is to use a repetitive key word for when
they relieve themselves outdoors. We would say the words "go potty"
every time she went potty outside. Praising them is crucial too. Carley
responded well to us saying "good girl" in a high pitched
voice over and over when she went potty outside or we would give her a
treat too. When she had accidents indoors and if we caught her doing it, we
would say "No No" and rush her outside. But we would never rub her
nose in it or say bad girl or hit her! She learned pretty fast!
When I worked at the Vet office as a receptionist,
they had a book there that I recommended. Its a simple read, but it gets the
job done. Its Puppy Primer, you can find
it on Amazon. The training tips and advice for crate training, house training,
and socialization are listed in an easy to read format. I
used this book and it worked nicely when I trained Carley.
Well we felt our beloved dog needed puppy
training class. So at two years old we took her to Pet smart and signed her up
for some classes. It reminded me of the movie, Marley
and me, where the dog gets kicked out of the class! She got lucky
since all dogs pass the class no matter what! I remember my husband was so
frustrated when we would leave the class. Carley wouldn't listen and would be
all over the place trying to jump on everyone. I don't even know if we or the
dog learned anything, but I'm sure she had fun sniffing all the scents in the