Please note: We will be closed on Monday, September 6th for Labor Day!

Puppy Care

Our hospital philosophy is to provide you with the best possible veterinary care available for your puppy. We feel strongly that the preventive care plan outlined below will help us get your puppy off to the best start possible.

Preventive Care Examination

Your puppy will need to come for a few visits to ensure proper growth and development and receive all vaccines and preventative care.


We follow the most up-to-date recommendations on vaccinations from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Most puppies will receive a series of 3 – 4 Distemper-Adenovirus Type 2-Parvo (DA2P) injections 3 – 4 weeks apart until they are at least 16 weeks old. All puppies who contact other dogs, even casually, need twice per year Kennel Cough Vaccines. We recommend Lyme vaccinations for almost all puppies, two injections 3 – 4 weeks apart. Rabies vaccination is required by law in Massachusetts and given to all puppies once they are over 12 weeks of age. Depending on your pup’s exposure, we may recommend the Leptospirosis and/or Canine Influenza Vaccine, two injections 3 – 4 weeks apart. We will look at your puppy’s vaccine history and his or her age and determine the best vaccine schedule. We often try to space vaccines out so that your pup’s immune system will not be stressed by too many vaccines on the same day.

Fecal Centrifugation & Giardia Elisa

By bringing a fresh stool sample (not more than 24 hours old), we can look for intestinal parasites that puppies can obtain from their mother, other dogs, or by walking where wildlife has been. Parasites are especially common in puppies. Some of these parasites are contagious to people, especially children, and immunocompromised individuals.


Your puppy will be given a dose of deworming medication at each puppy check-up based on his or her weight. We always treat for roundworms and hookworms, which puppies catch from their mom and are contagious to people. Almost all puppies have roundworms. They do not show up on every fecal because the worms shed eggs intermittently. We may also give additional medications to kill parasites if they show up on the fecal tests or if there is a high suspicion of their presence.

Hip Laxity Screening (JPS Screening)

If your puppy is going to grow up to be over 40 pounds, we highly recommend having his or her hips tested for risk of developing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia causes crippling arthritis and pain.

Bring your puppy fasted to one of the specialists at Boston Veterinary Specialists or Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists, and they will administer sedation. The specialist will perform a special palpation of the hips and take special X-rays to determine if there is hip laxity present. If your puppy is found to be at high risk for developing hip dysplasia, a surgical procedure (JPS) can be performed to help the hips form properly and reduce the risk of developing crippling arthritis. Because the procedure needs to be done while the puppy is still growing, we recommend doing the screening at about 12 weeks of age. If we wait too long, the opportunity to fix the problem can be missed. Once the puppy is 18 – 20 weeks old,  the surgery is less effective.

Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work & Urinalysis

We will collect both a blood and urine sample from your puppy at the time of the final puppy vaccines. A CBC, biochemical profile, and urinalysis will be submitted to the laboratory for testing. This will help us identify any pre-existing problems before anesthesia and surgery.

Regular Parasite Prevention & Control

Interceptor once per month kills baby heartworms (introduced to your dog by the bite of a mosquito) and kills roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms that your dog may have picked up by walking where other dogs or wildlife have been.

Vectra 3D once per month Kills fleas and ticks. Fleas carry tapeworms, and ticks carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Tularemia.

Regular Oral Care: Tooth Brushing & Hills T/D Diet

Your puppy will live longer and may not have to have costly dental procedures if you can maintain excellent oral health in his or her mouth by daily tooth brushing. We also recommend the regular use of several kibbles of Hill’s T/D diet given as a treat for your puppy to prevent dental disease once his or her adult teeth have come in, usually by 6 months of age.

*Due to the increasing costs of veterinary products and technology, our prices are subject to change.