First Puppy Visit

Hello! Welcome to Sherbourne Animal Hospital . This is a summary of what the doctor usually talks about during the first visit.  Please read the notes below and let us know if you have any questions.

1) Vaccinations. Your pet will need 3-4 sets of vaccines during their puppyhood. These vaccines are given every 3-4 weeks until their reach 16-20 weeks of age.  After that, we will do vaccines every year.  There are different types of vaccines.  The core vaccines are distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus (DA2PP combination vaccine), and the Rabies. Additional non-core vaccines are Bordetella (kennel cough), Leptospirosis, and Lyme. The last 3 vaccines are only given in cases where the pet’s lifestyle means that they may be exposed. If you are planning to do grooming, boarding, puppy class, and/or close contact with other pets, Bordetella is recommended.  Leptospirosis (bacterial infection from wildlife, such as raccoons) and Lyme (tick-transmitted disease) are recommended if you are planning on doing camping, cottage time, hiking, or if you go to trails and he will be off-leash. 

Vaccine reactions may happen after any vaccination.  If there is swelling of the face, swelling of the lips, red spots, or hives in the abdomen, please have your pet rechecked as soon as possible.  For after-hour emergencies, you can reach the VEC (Veterinary Emergency Clinic open 24 hours). Or Our extended hour sister clinic VETS Toronto Kingston road(open on weekends/holidays/till 11 pm)

2) Parasitic control. We usually give deworming medication in every puppy visit as gastrointestinal parasites are common in young pets. Occasionally these worms are noted in the stools a few hours or a day later after the deworming. This is normal and expected in pets that have intestinal worms. Your pet also will need a couple of topical monthly parasitic medications to control fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm, gastrointestinal parasites, and mange. The monthly parasitic preventions are usually recommended from April through November (every year) however, it may vary depending on environmental temperatures. Your pets' weight should be reassessed at the next visit so we will determine the right size of medication for their current weight.

3) Teeth brushing. It should be done ideally every day but this may not be possible so if it
gets done every other day it will help have your pet’s oral hygiene. Please start slowly and build your way up until the teeth brushing is done. The first month you should rub the side of their mouth, the second month you should rub the gum lines at upper the canine and molars teeth, during the third month use a finger toothbrush or a toothbrush and continue doing the same motion, finally in the fourth-month canine toothpaste can be added to the process. Decidual or baby teeth should fall out by the age of 6 months so you may note blood in the mouth and/or teeth on the floor (it is normal).  If their pre-baby teeth are still present by the neuter time (usually at 6-8 months), we will discuss the removal of those teeth.

4) Nail trim usually is done every 3-4 weeks. Although in some pets nail trims may not be necessary it is good to monitor the length of nails. General baths should be done no more often than once a month unless there is a medical reason to change this frequency. Ear cleaning can be done once a month and the solution that you can get from us or any vet clinic.

5) Socialization is very important and it will be of great benefit for him to attend a puppy/ obedience class. Pawsway, Urban dog, and Whatta pup are some of the closest centers that offer puppy/obedience classes. The Toronto Center for Canine Education offers very good training classes, and they are just a little bit further away.  Please let us know if you need more information. While we wait for these classes to start please make sure that you get him in contact with as many people and pets as possible (make sure that the other pets are healthy and do not have any concerns).  Also, it will be important to expose him to as many different situations (stairs, car trips, public transportation) and sounds (children, airplanes, ambulances, traffic). These exposures should be done repetitively and in different areas so he gets different experiences.

6) Pet Insurance. Accidents and illness are unpredictable, so it would be important that you consider having him insured. It will make easier the decision-making process whenever a treatment is needed.  OVMA Pet Insurance is our number one recommendation, and we have a free trial available.  Pet Plan and Trupanion provide very good insurance as well. 

7) Puppies and pets, in general, require a balanced diet, this means that he will need to eat a puppy diet up until about 1 year old, after that it is important to maintain a regular adult diet, treats can be o­­­ffered but in small amounts.

We recommend a completely balanced diet for the appropriate life stage.  Boutique, grain-free, and raw diets are not currently recommended.  Here is an article from the Tufts University Nutrition Department, with more information.  The Methodology articles on this website provide great nutrition information.

We currently have a promotional offer for a FREE bag of Purina Puppy Essential kibble for new patients, and we can send one home with you today if you are interested!


8) Toys are important for their puppyhood. Please make sure that the materials are flexible and that they are not too hard to break teeth or too soft that they can break into pieces and swallow them. Make sure that you disengage any inappropriate activity such as biting of hands/rough playing as this can become a negative behavior once they are older.

9) There are several substances that can be toxic for your pet, below is a list of some toxic substances:

- Chocolate, garlic, onions, avocado, chew gums (products that contain Xylitol), Amanita mushrooms, raisins or grapes, lilies flowers and plants, radiator coolant, and antifreeze solutions.