Puppy Visits

When you first adopt or purchase a puppy, we recommend bringing him/her in for an appointment as soon as you are able so that a veterinarian can examine the puppy, review medical history and make recommendations in terms of vaccinations, intestinal parasites, preventatives, diagnostic testing, and diets as well as to address any current conditions.

While breeders and rescues may have offered suggestions in regards to vaccinations and timing, your veterinarian is medically trained and an expert in treating diseases and how to prevent them. Your veterinarian is the best person to evaluate your dog’s needs.

Sample Puppy Plan

8 Weeks Old:

  • 1st Puppy Exam
  • Fecal Test
  • Deworming
  • Canine Distemper Series
  • Leptospirosis Series
  • Bordetella 1-Year
  • Microchipping
  • Flea/Tick/Heartworm Preventative

11 Weeks Old:

  • Puppy Progress Exam
  • Deworming
  • Canine Distemper Series
  • Leptospirosis 1-Year
  • Flea/Tick/Heartworm Preventative

14 Weeks Old:

  • Final Puppy Exam
  • Fecal Test
  • Canine Distemper Series
  • Rabies 1-Year
  • Lyme Series
  • Flea/Tick/Heartworm Preventative

16 Weeks Old:

  • Nurse Appointment
  • Canine Distemper 1-Year
  • Lyme 1-Year
  • Flea/Tick/Heartworm Preventative

24 Weeks Old:

  • Spay/Neuter

 Intestinal Parasite Testing

Intestinal Parasite Testing (Fecal Tests)

Mainstay Veterinary Practice utilizes current recommendations for dewormings provided by the Companion Animal Parasite Council. We recommend bringing a fecal sample to your initial visit to screen for gastrointestinal parasites commonly seen in puppies. While your puppy may have received multiple dewormings from the breeder or rescue, these are normally broad-spectrum dewormers treating a few common parasites, but a fecal test may identify additional parasites requiring different deworming medication.


Mainstay Veterinary Practice utilizes current vaccination recommendations provided by the American Animal Hospital Association


All puppies will receive their rabies vaccine, as required by law, after 12 weeks of age.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can affect almost all mammals including humans. The virus affects the nervous system and causes incoordination, behavioral changes, aggression, or withdrawal. Rabies is usually transmitted through saliva via bite wounds, often from infected wildlife. Vaccination is very effective in preventing rabies.

Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper is a widespread virus that has a high mortality rate in dogs. The virus affects various systems, including the gastrointestinal tract, neurologic system, and respiratory system. Signs include diarrhea, fever, nasal and ocular discharge, appetite loss, respiratory distress, and seizures. This disease is easily transmitted between dogs through bodily secretions.

AAHA recommends administering the DA2PP (Distemper-Hepatitis-Parainfluenza-Parvo Combo) Vaccine every 3-4 weeks with the last vaccine administered after 4 months of age. The number of vaccines administered (as long as each puppy has had 2 vaccines 3-4 weeks apart) is not as important as when the last vaccine is administered. Studies have shown that if the last vaccine is not administered after 16 weeks of age, maternal antibodies can interfere with the vaccine and your puppy may not be protected. By administering the last distemper vaccine after 16 weeks of age, we avoid interference of maternal antibodies and help ensure your puppy is protected adequately.


Infectious Canine Hepatitis is caused by Adenovirus Type 1 and exists worldwide. It can affect a variety of systems including the eyes and liver. Signs can include fever, diarrhea, liver damage, and ocular damage including blindness. This virus is spread through feces, saliva, and infected urine. This virus can be shed in urine from an animal for up to 6 months after the initial infection. Vaccination for this virus comes in the Distemper Combo Vaccine.


Canine Parvovirus is a virus that can cause enteritis (intestinal disease) in dogs. Signs include diarrhea, vomiting, depression, and loss of appetite. Severity can range from mild to life-threatening. Severe cases can be fatal due to dehydration and malnutrition. Parvo is spread through infected feces and is very contagious among dogs. Vaccination for this virus comes in the Distemper Combo Vaccine.


Canine Bordetella is a contagious upper respiratory virus in dogs. The most prominent clinical sign is usually a dry, harsh cough. This virus is easily transmitted through the air or by direct contact, especially in areas where there are a large number of dogs (boarding facilities, doggie daycare, dog parks, etc.). A common term that refers to these respiratory illnesses is “Kennel Cough.”


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is readily passed through infected urine of rodents, skunks, raccoons, and other wildlife to dogs and humans. Leptospirosis is a potentially fatal disease that can affect the kidneys and liver, causing fever, loss of appetite, depression, and generalized pain.


Lyme Disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by ticks and can affect both animals and humans. It can be a very debilitating disease and can cause fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, stiffness, muscle or joint pain, and kidney disease. We consider this vaccine for dogs that have a high risk of exposure to ticks. We recommend this vaccination along with strict monthly flea and tick prevention.

Spay and Neuter

We generally recommend spaying or neutering your dog around 6 months of age, but your veterinarian might recommend delaying this procedure depending on breed.