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Puppy Care

Vaccinations Are Crucial for Your Puppy’s Good Health

You will need to vaccinate your puppy against harmful viruses that would otherwise pose a threat to them later in life. Puppies require 3 sets of vaccines – with each set administered approximately 3 to 4 weeks apart from each other. The very first set of vaccines is typically given to your puppy when they are between 6 to 8 weeks old.

DHPP Combo

This initial set will include what is called the DHPP Combo & vaccinates dogs against several harmful diseases. These diseases include:

The DHPP Combo will be “boosted” in 3 – 4 weeks and then boosted once more in another 3-4 weeks to ensure that your puppy has built up the appropriate anti-bodies to fight against these viruses. In order for your puppy to be fully protect throughout their life, they will be required to return in one year for another booster vaccine and then ever two to three years depending upon your dog’s exposure risks. We will advise you on what is best for your puppy, based on his or her anticipated lifestyle, in an effort to avoid over-vaccination while still providing adequate protection for your pet.

Rabies Vaccine

In New Jersey, the rabies vaccine is required by law.

This vaccine is administered only once during puppy-hood, when the Puppy has reached 12 weeks of age (typically given on the third set of puppy vaccines).

In addition, the state of NJ also requires that a booster vaccine be given every three years and repeated ANY TIME that your Puppy comes in contact with wildlife or undomesticated animals.

Lyme Disease

While the vaccine is OPTIONAL, Lyme disease is a serious threat to pets in our area. We suggest that you vaccinate your pets against this harmful virus. Transmitted by ticks, lymes is a multi-system disorder that can slowly paralyze your Puppy. The Lyme vaccine is administered to dogs twice during their puppy vaccines — 3 weeks apart. It is suggested that an annual booster be given throughout the dog’s life for full protection.

It’s important to note that the Lyme vaccine is not 100% effective – and is not a substitute for tick control.

However, if your puppy will be exposed to ticks – we strongly advise this vaccine.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease found in many undomesticated animals and local wildlife in New Jersey. It is a difficult disease to treat and often causes complete kidney and liver failure. The vaccine for leptospirosis is administered to puppies twice – 3 weeks apart. Dogs are then given a booster vaccine annually throughout their life.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

If your Puppy will ever come in contact with other dogs at parks, kennels or grooming salons, the bordetella vaccine is recommended to prevent what is commonly referred to as “Kennel Cough” in dogs. This is an air-borne virus that spreads rapidly and is easily prevented with a yearly vaccine.

Aside from causing your Puppy great discomfort, advanced cases can result in pneumonia or other more serious conditions. For this reason, we recommend the bordetella vaccine.

Canine Influenza (Canine Flu)

Canine Influenza, or more commonly referred to as the Canine Flu is another highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious to people but vaccination is recommended for any pets that may be exposed at Puppy parks, kennels, Puppy shows or grooming salons.

Puppies are vaccinated twice -2 weeks apart. Dogs are then given a booster vaccine each year thereafter.

Fecal Exam (Stool Exam)

Dr. Silberman strongly suggests having a stool sample checked on your new puppy to identify any microscopic parasites that he or she may have. The majority of intestinal worms are invisible to the naked eye, and require the assistance of a microscope to diagnose. Intestinal parasites are commonly found in puppies within Northern New Jersey – but can be treated quite easily.

These parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, distended abdomen, and variable appetites.

We strongly advise against purchasing over-the-counter type dewormers as many of them make use of old technology that are often harmful to your puppy or just simply don’t work. In addition, there are many different types of intestinal worms and not all types are treated with the same medication. Our staff will look at the fecal sample under a microscope and determine whether your pet has worms, and if so — The type of worm that they are infected with. Next, Dr. Silberman will administer a safe dewormer that is specific to your puppy’s condition.

Some common pet parasites, like “hookworms”, can affect children so we suggest that this inexpensive test be repeated alongside your dog’s annual vaccines each year.

Heartworm Disease Prevention

Heartworms are blood parasites that are transmitted to dogs through mosquitoes. The heart worms settle in the heart and lungs, causing serious problems for your Puppy. Treatment can be risky and very involved – but prevention is simple and inexpensive.

On your first visit to Tri-County Animal Hospital, we will advise you on the best heart worm prevention for your Puppy. This is to be given at home each month for the rest of your dog’s life.

Dental Care

Dental disease is one of the most common medical problems that we see at our animal hospital. Dr. Silberman recommends that you brush your dogs teeth regularly to reduce dental calculi and bacteria.

Dental disease is not just a cause of bad breath, but can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and other problems.

We suggest that you start caring for your pets teeth while he or she is a puppy so that they become accustomed to the regular brushing.

Flea / Tick Control

Flea and tick control is now easier and safer than ever with some of the newer products available. There are many life threatening diseases in New Jersey that are spread by both of these pests, and prevention should be administered year round (Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever).

One of the veterinary technicians at Tri-County Animal hospital will be happy to assist you in choosing a flea and tick preventative that is suitable for your new pup. Most of the current products are approved for use on puppies over 8 weeks of age.

Spaying / Neutering Your Pup

We recommend spaying and neutering of puppies between the ages of 4 and 6 months for all puppies that will not be used for breeding. Surgical alteration provides your pet with numerous medical benefits, and helps to reduce the population of unwanted pets in the New Jersey area.

Housebreaking & Training

Now is the time to start working with your pup so that he or she can be a loving part of the family.

Starting from day one – Crate training is the best way to housebreak your new puppy.

Consistency and patience are important when working with new puppies. In addition to your puppy’s home schooling, our staff at Tri-County Animal hospital can recommend inexpensive group classes for basic training.

Remember -

Prevention Is Always Better Than Treatment

At Tri-County Animal Hospital, we have a strong belief in preventing harmful diseases and conditions before they can affect your pet. This philosophy results in a happier, healthier Puppy and is much more economical for the Puppy owner. Ask a staff member at Tri-County Animal Hospital how you can keep your pet safe and healthy through prevention.

Never Give Medication To A Puppy Unless It Was Prescribed By A Veterinarian

Most Importantly, NEVER GIVE medications without direct approval from your veterinarian. Many products that are deemed safe for humans are extremely toxic to pets and can prove to be fatal.

If in doubt — Call Our Office first and ask - 973-831-2426.

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