Welcoming a new puppy into your family is a wonderful and exciting time. Puppies, and the adult dogs that they grow into, bring happiness, companionship, and loyalty that is beneficial to all members of your household. Puppies also require special care to keep them safe and healthy, particularly while they are still very small and vulnerable.
Preventing disease, sickness, and infestation from harmful parasites is a major part of keeping puppies healthy and ensuring they have a long and happy life. As is the case with human health, prevention is better than the cure. Here are three ways that you can help to prevent your puppy from developing any serious or fatal health problems.
There are many life-threatening illnesses that affect dogs that are prevalent in the USA. These include rabies, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and canine distemper. Fortunately, these nasty illnesses are entirely preventable by sticking to the vaccine schedule recommended by your veterinarian.
Like humans, puppies will need quite a number of different vaccinations during their first year of life to boost their immunity to preventable illnesses. After the first year, they will only need to get booster shots each year to maintain their immunity levels.
2. Tick and flea treatments
Unfortunately, ticks and fleas are a widespread concern for the health of pets. Ticks are a particular concern because they can carry Lyme disease, which is a serious health risk to your puppy and also to yourself and your family. Paralysis ticks are also a serious concern because they can kill a puppy rapidly if undetected for a day or two.
Fleas are less serious and are more of an inconvenience. However, they will make your puppy very uncomfortable and will spread through your home if your puppy picks them up. Both ticks and fleas can be easily and effectively deterred by using a good quality topical liquid that your vet can provide you with. The liquid is simply squeezed onto the back of your puppy's neck once a month.
3. Internal parasites
Internal parasites, which are commonly known as worms, are another serious health risk for puppies. These parasites generally enter through a dog's digestive tract and then take up residence in the intestines. While intestinal worms aren't usually life-threatening, they can make your puppy quite ill, uncomfortable, and undernourished if left untreated.
Heartworms are another internal parasite variety but they can cause your puppy to die or have serious complications that will cause lifelong health issues. The larvae enter a dog's bloodstream from mosquito bites and then make their way to the muscles of the heart. If untreated, they will eventually weaken the heart to the point of heart failure and death.
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