PoodlePleasure ~ Mini Poodles

Traditional & Merle Miniature Poodle Puppies for Sale in GA & Poodle Hybrid Puppies Available Occasionally.

Your Puppy's Health Care Schedule & Care Suggestions

One of the questions that always comes up in conversations or emails is when does my puppy need to go to the vet to get its next shot??? Or what do I need to get done next??? What about deworming??? Heartworm prevention??? How old does my dog need to be to get fixed?

Right about the time your puppy went home with you, I emailed you the health records I had started for it. I recommend saving that email, downloading them onto your phone or to print it out to take along for the vet when you go, in case they have questions for you. On the health records I write down when it was dewormed and what shots it has had. All puppies have had at the very least one set of shots when they leave here between 8-10 weeks. Puppies that are between 10-14 weeks, if they are still here at that age, generally have 2 sets of shots. I don't over vaccinate [read more about this here] - it is your responsibility as your pups mom [or dad] to protect your baby and to finish out the first years vaccination program.

Photo Credit: Sadie - a Tawnie Daughter
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Flea Prevention???

Flea Prevention is a huge subject and I have a whole section with multiple pages about this in the works. Be patient - I will link it when it is done...

Suggested Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Puppy 5 way shots are usually combination core shots that cover parvo, distemper, adenovirus l + ll, and parainfluenca. 

As we are talking about young toy breed puppies here [even mini poodles fall into this category as they usually mature under 20# adult weight] -  a 5 way puppy shot is generally enough to get them started with their vaccine protocol, unless you live in an area where Leptospirosis and/or Corona Virus is an issue. You should still start with a 5 way initial shot, as most manufacturers for Lepto or Corona Vaccinations recommend for the dog to be a minimum of 12-16 weeks of age before giving those vaccinations. 
The 5 Way Core Vaccination is what my pups get here from me. If you are living in California or in any of the northern states where either Lepto or Corona Virus may be an issue, you will want to discuss the proper age for your pup to be inoculated against this during your first vet visit. Same goes for Lyme disease.

Look at the health records I gave you, and go by the date of the most recent puppy shot, to determine when you pup should have his/her next vaccination. If you are living in a high risk area with recent parvo etc outbreaks, be sure to keep you pup at home and don't take unneccessary risk of exposure! In that case you might want to space your vaccinations a bit closer together.

Please note that I don't vaccinate or wean early - I am aware that there are still breeders that follow the older protocols from some 20 years ago when we hit the pups with their first shot at 5 weeks and then weaned at 6.

1. Core Shot Combination: @ 7-8 weeks of age
2. Core Shot Combination: @ 3-4 weeks later [ideally at 10-12 weeks of age]
3. Core Shot combination: @ 4-5 weeks later [ideally around or after 16 weeks of age]

Rabies Shot @ 4-5 months of age, unless you are living in a high risk area, in that case you can get it as early as 12 weeks.

Leave a minimum 3-4 weeks between vaccinations, and don't let your vet push you for every two weeks or for 4 sets - that is just unnecessary stress for the immune system for the pup, and does more for your vets bottom line than the health of your puppy. 

Some vets insist on giving your puppy another shot during the wellness check - even if it is not yet time for it. For the health and well-being of your puppy, please stand up and speak up for your baby and wait until the suggested correct time for the next shot. If the vet refuses your request, leave! Find someone who wants the best for your pup, not for their pocket book!

If at all possible separate the rabies shot from the last combination shot, unless you are running late on shot #3 and your pup is already 4-6 months of age. You own a small size puppy, and it is better to space out the individual vaccines rather than doing a bunch all at the same time. Your puppy receives modified live virus injections - so it has to fight off a purposely injected milder version of the virus, and that is sometimes hard work for little dogs. Some pups can have allergic reactions to certain vaccines or to getting overvaccinated   [anaphylactic shock] - that can be from mild discomfort to full blown seizures and possibly death. 
So go easy on it!

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Bordatella aka Kennel Cough

I personally don't vaccinate against kennel cough any longer, because we don't have it. There is more info about this here.

If you travel with and/or board your dogs a lot, your puppy goes to doggy day care, or you have a dog walker or frequently go to dog parks - you should vaccinate against kennel cough. Some vets + groomers require it routinely for any dog that walks through the door.

Bordatella usually needs to be renewed every 6 months in order to stay current.

Photo Credit: One of our DwarfDoodle Babies

Monthly Regular Deworming & Heartworm Prevention

Our puppies get dewormed every 2 weeks [starting at roughly 2 weeks of age] until they are old enough to get started on heartworm prevention [if any are still here at that age], and then they go on a monthly maintenance program as needed.

For most of our puppies I recommend starting them with heartworm prevention around 12 weeks of age, all depending on their size. 

Don't wait much longer than 3.5-4 months to get started, as by that time they may already have microfilaria [baby heartworms] from moskito bites - but these can still be easily killed and kept from maturing into adult heartworms by using any of the here mentioned heartworm products. If you purchase the first product listed to your right [====>>>>] for small breed puppies [Heartguard] you can cut or break a pill into smaller pieces - all depending on what size you have bought and how much your puppy weighs - and give 1/3 - 1/2 until your puppy reaches the recommended package top size.

If you live in the south, or any other region that has mosquitoes - you should include monthly heartworm prevention for your dogs health regiment. Up north you may only need it for a few months out of the year, here in the south we recommend doing it year round. Heartworms are transmitted from mosquito bites, so where there are skeeters, there is exposure to heartworms, and on really nice days we can have skeeters in December or January...

On the bright side - if your pup is on heartworm prevention, it automatically gets treated for most internal parasites, with a few exceptions. Some heartworm medications you can easily purchase online without prescriptions from the vet, others you will need to get from the vet. You can get any pup under 5-6 months of age safely started on heartworm prevention - no expensive vet test needed as it cannot have adult heartworms at this early age. If your vet insists on a test on a pup this age, find another vet - he is just milking you and is probably milking you for other unnecessary expenses as well. 

If you have an older pup or adult [over 6 months], I would strongly suggest getting it tested prior to beginning a heartworm prevention routine, as it may already have some fully mature and developed heartworms by then. In case of bad infestations heartworm meds can cause a major die off, that may kill your pet by clogging the blood vessels and arteries, and in heavy cases may stop the heart from functioning by clogging up the chambers.

A word of caution - the above advice is safe for poodles and most other breeds other than certain herding dog breeds and herding breed hybrids. Collies, shelties and some other herding breeds can have allergic reactions to the main ingredient in many heartworm medications [ivomec or ivermectin]. Discuss a heartworm prevention program for herding dogs or hybrids with your vet to be on the safe side!!!

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At what age should/can I get my puppy neutered or spayed?

The recommended age for boy puppies is 6 months, although you can get it done as early as 4 months if both testicles have dropped. Discuss it with your vet to see what s/he is comfortable with. If your boy is not used for breeding I would strongly suggest getting him neutered - it will reduce the risk of him wandering off or trying to escape from your yard when he is sexually mature in search of adventure [aka girls in season]. More intact male dogs get lost, hurt in dog fights or run over while roaming - simply because a neutered boy doesn't have the hormonal leash pulling on him to go looking for "some". Another benefit - most neutered boys continue to stay housebroken and are more reliable when fully mature, and many will never start lifting their legs to mark territory. Also an intact males urine often times has a very strong, noticeable odor.

Photo Credit: Mandy's Zena

The recommended age for girlies to get spayed is 7-9 months of age and the benefits are obvious. Less hormonal upheaval, no periods + mess + stirring up the household begging the cat, your husband, and your guests for some extra attention :o) Some small breed girls cycle as often as every 3-4 months, no blood spots all over the house and furniture, no funky odors, no doggies that keep shredding and taking their panties off, and best of all - no unwanted puppies to be responsible and finding quality homes for. 

No visiting neighbors dogs digging holes under your fence, climbing over the fence or camping out in your back yard and peeing all over your stuff [nothing is safe - cars, door jambs, garden furniture, your veggie or flower gardens, kids bikes and toys, and on and on]. And where there is one intact male dog visiting, there are 2 or 3 more coming by you don't see who have to pee on top of the first dogs pee too! Uterine cancer may be a lesser occurance in spayed girls as well. For a pet girl - I always recommend getting her fixed before she is fully mature - she'll keep her puppy-like personality longer if the hormones never quite get going, and yes - dogs can have PMS too [ask me how I know, LOL]!

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