Modern Medicine, Old-Fashioned Care

Apr 17, 2020 | General Health

Puppy Care Tips for A Healthy Start

Congratulations! Whether this is your first puppy or you’ve done this before, caring for a puppy includes helping your pet adjust to family life and establishing a foundation of care for a long and healthy life. During this time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, having the time to bond and care for a puppy is special–and we are here to provide a few puppy care tips and answer your questions. puppy care tips

Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care is scheduling appointments for puppy (and kitten) care. Call 215-345-6000 for more information about an appointment with changes established during the coronavirus pandemic.


Vaccinations protect your pets from serious infections and diseases as well as promote wellness throughout the pet community by avoiding dangerous outbreaks. Essential vaccines cover the most prevalent and highly-infectious conditions. Lifestyle vaccines are not required but highly recommended depending on your pet’s lifestyle.

Essential Vaccines

  • Distemper – highly-infectious virus that affects respiratory, gastrointestinal system and central nervous system.
  • Parvovirus – disease of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Bordetella – bacteria contributing to inflammation of the upper respiratory system; known as “kennel cough”
  • Leptospirosis – bacterial disease affecting liver, kidneys and other organs
  • Rabies – acute viral disease of the nervous system transmitted by the bite of an infected animal

Lifestyle Vaccines

  • Lyme disease – bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected tick
  • Canine influenza – highly contagious virus affecting the upper respiratory system

Talk to your veterinarian about which vaccinations are right for your pet, when they should be given, and why quality vaccinations make a difference in protection.


Spaying or neutering your pet can be the difference between life and death. Spaying or neutering is a simple, low-cost procedure that can improve the health and longevity of your pet and decrease the overall cost of care. It also prevents overpopulation of stray/unwanted animals in a community.

For female dogs, spaying:

  • Significantly reduces the development of malignant mammary gland tumors if spayed before the first heat cycle
  • Eliminates uterine cancer, growths, or life-threatening infections that can develop in an intact female
  • Avoids the mess and unwanted behaviors associated with twice-yearly heat cycles

For male dogs, neutering:

  • Eliminates testicular cancer and prostate problems
  • Improves behavior
  • Reduces the desire to roam searching for a mate and unwanted sexual behaviors


Training should start as soon as you arrive home! Setting boundaries and encouraging good behaviors reduce stress for the dog and the family, and creates a positive environment for a lifetime of friendship and learning. Socialization with other people and pets during the current stay-at-home and social distancing efforts will have to wait, but there are still plenty of new experiences you can give your puppy.

Around the Home

  • Ring the door bell
  • Use the vacuum
  • Run appliances such as a garbage disposal and dishwasher
  • Walk on different types of flooring: carpeting, rugs, hardwood, ceramic tile
  • Introduce stairs with assistance—one or two steps into a family room is a good start

Around the Neighborhood & Town

  • Go for a walk in a different neighborhood—which might offer new friends to meet and smells to discover
  • Go for rides in the car—the car should be linked to positive experiences, not just for a ride to the vet

Providing your puppy with loving attention, proper veterinary care, leadership, and new experiences will prepare him to begin a more formal training program between the age of 8 and 12 weeks. Once your puppy receives his vaccinations, then puppy preschool and other social activities such as a dog daycare program can begin. Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center offers several training options based on the unique needs of your pet and you. Call 215-345-6960 to speak with a training coordinator about which program is the next best step for your dog.