Behavior and Training, Breeding, Internal Parasites and Deworming, Nutrition, Puppy and Kitten Care, Vaccines, Vet Minute

4 Tips for Healthy Puppies

How do you raise a well balanced puppy? In this Vet Minute, Dr. Marty Greer, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services, talks about her top four tips for how to keep puppies healthy. She shares advice on how to keep puppy healthy with puppy vaccination, puppy deworming, nutrition for puppies and puppy socialization. If you would like more puppy health tips or have any questions, call Revival at 800.786.4751.

How to Keep Puppies Healthy

How Do I Make Sure My Puppy is Healthy

The four real cornerstones of healthy puppies are going to be great nutrition for puppies, great deworming protocols for mom and her pups, outstanding vaccination protocols and being very careful with puppy socialization.

1. Puppy Nutrition

I usually stay with a dry kibble form of puppy nutrition. That’s my preferred kind of food that I feed to both the moms and the puppies. I have concerns about raw meat diets causing parasites and bacterial disease. I have concerns about some of the homemade diets being imbalanced. The nutritional subtype of companies that produce our food which are going to be the big three: Purina, Hills and Royal Canin, which is also Iams and Eukanuba. These companies have spent millions of dollars and untold hours of feeding into feeding trials of the dogs and cats and their facilities so we know that the kibble that they’re producing is high quality and meant for the stage of life that were feeding according to the label.

2. Puppy Deworming

We do have a deworming protocol that we used for moms but if mom hasn’t been dewormed or if you still have concerns about parasites we recommend deworming puppies at two weeks four weeks six weeks and eight weeks so every two weeks. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council deworming is really not just for the health of our puppies or the health of the mom dogs but also for the health of the family members that the human family members that are living with these dogs to prevent any transmission of zoonotic parasites.

3. Puppy Vaccination

Doing an appropriate puppy vaccination with a high quality vaccine is really critical. We recommend starting at six weeks of age for the puppies and then revaccinated every three to four weeks until the puppies are 16 to eight weeks old 16 to 18 weeks according to the local veterinarians recommendations. You want to make sure that you’re using a high quality vaccine product that’s been appropriately stored and shipped and administered that you’re following the label directions and making sure that the puppy vaccine is administered correctly.

4. Puppy Socialization

People are a little hesitant to socialize their puppies before they’ve had all their vaccinations completed. The problem is if we vaccinate out to 18 weeks that’s a really long time for puppies to be isolated socially from other dogs and from people. Our usual recommendation is to limit their socialization to just people who are safe that have not recently been around sick dogs when they’re in that six to eight week range but as soon as they’ve had a series of their second vaccinations get those puppies out, get them into class, get them into social settings where they can be with other dogs around other family members. Puppy socialization at that very early age is critical to making sure that that dog turns into a really lovely member of society that’s fun for your family to live with.

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.