Wheatland Puppy Pack
Our team at Wheatland Animal Hospital would like to welcome you and thank you for trusting us for your pet's care. We believe in supporting your bond with your pet through the best medical and behavioral therapies. We also believe in preventative care and regular exams, as treatments tend to be more impactful and cost-effective when we intervene early in the disease process. Scroll down to learn more about parasites, vaccines, our New Puppy Orientation and much more to help prepare for your new puppy. Always feel free to call us at
(630) 904-2020 with questions.
Behavior & Training
Veterinarians are highly trained in animal behavior and should be an initial source of information regarding this important topic. The first 14 weeks of your puppy’s life is a critical learning period, so it’s beneficial to get in good socialization and training habits at an early age. Rewarding good behaviors and ignoring bad behaviors is a fundamental component of training.
Dental disease is the number one health problem in all pets and can affect their entire body. For this reason, we recommend brushing your puppy’s teeth daily and getting them used to brushing as early as possible. All you need is a children’s toothbrush with water. Toothpaste for dogs can be used if desired, but it isn’t necessary (do not use human toothpaste). Simply lift their lip on each side, brush the outsides of the teeth, and you’re all done! There’s no need to brush the biting surface or insides of the teeth.
It is very important to get your puppy used to nail trimming at an early age. One of the easiest and most beneficial things to do at home is to play with your puppy’s feet! This gets them used to some of the handling that is needed for nail trimming. For detailed instructions on nail trimming, you can ask your veterinarian for a demonstration!
New Dog Orientation
We offer a free new dog orientation here at the hospital with one of our veterinarians once a month! Topics include (but are not limited to): daily care and challenges, behavior, and disease prevention. Please feel free to bring any additional questions or concerns for the doctor to address. This event is open to the general public, so family and friends are welcome to join you! Puppies are welcome to attend but do not have to be present.
Heartworm disease is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasitic worm that lives in the bloodstream and infests that heart and lungs. Dogs become infected with heartworm through the bite of an infected mosquito, but the parasite cannot be transmitted by an infested dog. The treatment for heartworm disease is very costly and can have life-threatening complications, so we recommend that all dogs be on a heartworm preventative - Sentinel.
The climate in our area enables mosquitoes to survive outdoors for a majority of the year, but they can also easily get indoors. Therefore, we recommend that all dogs be on heartworm preventative year round starting at 6 weeks of age. Heartworm testing is performed on all dogs at 8 months of age and then annually thereafter.
There are several intestinal parasites that can infest your puppy and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Most of these parasites are zoonotic, meaning they are contagious to humans and other animals. Dogs usually come into contact with the parasites in the environment but some can also be transmitted to puppies from their mother. In order to detect these parasites, we ask that you bring in a stool sample for a fecal centrifugation test. By performing this test regularly, we can detect early stages of the parasites and treat before an infestation occurs to hopefully prevent your other pets or family members from contracting them. We recommend checking at least two stool samples on puppies during their vaccination series and then annually thereafter.
Ticks are common in areas that are wooded, have a water source, or have tall grasses. Preventatives are important if your dog is at risk for tick exposure since there are several diseases that can be transmitted by ticks. Your dog’s risk can be discussed with your veterinarian. We recommend using one of our oral preventatives for tick prevention due to the rapid speed at which it kills ticks.
Fleas can parasitize many mammals, including: dogs, cats, rabbits, opossums, and raccoons. The nature of the flea lifecycle puts all dogs at risk for potential exposure. Fleas mate on a parasitized animal and drop eggs in the environment (inside the house, under the deck, in the yard, etc.). If we or our animals tread through these areas, it is very easy to bring flea eggs into the house. Fleas multiply rapidly and can carry dangerous bacteria that can make dogs or humans sick.
There are several diseases that your puppy can contract which can be prevented through proper vaccination. Your puppy should be vaccinated for the following diseases:
Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease of dogs as well as several wild animals (wolves, coyotes, raccoons) and ferrets. Distemper can be contracted by contact with contaminated objects and can affect multiple organ systems. Signs include: runny eyes and nose, diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures. This vaccination is given 4 times as a puppy, once at 1 year of age, and is boostered every 3 years thereafter.
Infectious Hepatitis (H)
Canine hepatitis is a serious viral disease that affects the liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, eyes, and other organs. It is spread through any bodily secretion and signs will often develop about 1 week after exposure. Signs include: fever, loss of appetite, increased thirst, and reddening of the lining of the mouth, throat, and eyelids. This vaccination should be given 4 times as a puppy, once at 1 year of age, and boostered every 3 years thereafter.
This is a bacterial infection that affects dogs, raccoons, opossums, rats, and even people. In our area, raccoons and opossums are the most common carriers. Leptospirosis affects the kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Any animal that recovers from the infection can still shed the bacteria in their urine for up to 1 year. This vaccination is given twice as a puppy and annually thereafter.
Parainfluenza is a viral disease with varying signs, including: coughing, discharge from the eyes and nose, or even vomiting and diarrhea. This vaccination should be given 4 times as a puppy, boostered at 1 year of age, and then every 3 years thereafter.
Parovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread through contact with the stool of an infected dog or from a contaminated environment. The virus is very resilient and can survive in your house or in the ground for a long time. This disease causes severe vomiting and diarrhea that often contain blood. Therefore, infected animals will often dehydrate very rapidly. This vaccination should be given 4 times as a puppy, boostered at 1 year of age, and then every 3 years thereafter.
Bordetella is a bacterial disease that causes the condition commonly known as “kennel cough.” It is spread through contact with a contaminated object. Initially, dogs will show respiratory signs, including: discharge from the eyes and nose and a dry, hacking cough. If left untreated, it will often develop into pneumonia. Dogs that go to training classes, boarding facilities, dog parks, dog shows, grooming facilities, or spend a lot of time with other dogs are the most at risk. This vaccination should be given twice as a puppy, boostered at 1 year of age, and is then given annually thereafter for dogs considered at risk for the disease.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is spread through a bite from an infected animal. The signs can vary significantly, so diagnosis can be difficult while the animal is alive. The only prevention for rabies is through vaccination. Puppies receive their first rabies vaccination at 16 weeks of age, which will last for 1 year. The vaccine should be boostered the following year with either a 1 or 3 year vaccination.
The vaccination schedule for your puppy should be as follows:
6-8 weeks of age: DHPP
9-11 weeks of age: DHPP and Bordetella
12-14 weeks of age: DHLPP and Bordetella
15-17 weeks of age: DHLPP and Rabies 1 year
4-6 months of age: Spay/Castration
8 months of age: 4DX (Heartworm/Blood Parasite Screening)
Spaying or Castrating (Neutering)
There are many benefits to neutering your puppy. First and foremost is eliminating unwanted pregnancies and litters. If you have a female dog, spaying her before her first heat will drastically reduce her chances of developing mammary cancer and eliminate her chances of developing uterine or ovarian cancer. It will also eliminate the chance of her developing a potentially life-threatening uterine infection. If you have a male dog, the risk of testicular cancer is eliminated and the chances of developing prostatic abscesses are drastically reduced. In addition, it may help control marking or roaming behaviors. We typically recommend neutering around 4-6 months of age, but this can be discussed further with your veterinarian.
Microchipping is a form of permanent identification for your dog and is a very helpful utility if he/she ever gets lost. The very small microchip (about the size of a long grain of rice) is placed under your dog’s skin in the area between their shoulder blades. Once registered with the microchip company (we will take care of the registration for you if your pet is microchipped at our hospital), the chip can be scanned by animal shelters or other animal hospitals nation-wide and can greatly increase the chance of your puppy being returned home. We always offer microchipping at the time of spaying/neutering but it can also be performed at any regular appointment!
Pet Health Insurance
The popularity of pet insurance has been increasing in recent years and there are over 20 companies that you can investigate for insurance. Often times, it is best to start these plans when your dog is still young since many companies won’t provide coverage for preexisting conditions. There may also be some restrictions for conditions that certain breeds are predisposed to. There are a variety of different plans/coverage available and we encourage you to try to find a good fit for you and your pet if it’s something you’re interested in. If you have any additional questions regarding pet health insurance, feel free to ask your veterinarian.
Summary of Important Future Visits
New Adult (~1.5 years): DHLPP, Rabies 1 or 3 Year (usually 3 years), Bordetella, 4DX, fecal
After New Adult:
*Rabies every 1-3 years based on vaccination given previously
*DHLPP every 3 years
*Leptospirosis annually (included in DHLPP if due)
*Bordetella annually (if needed)
*Canine Influenza annually (if needed)
*4DX (Heartworm/Blood Parasite Screening) annually
*Don’t forget to get monthly preventatives throughout your visits to best fit your puppy’s weight as he/she is growing!