580 West Main Street
Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075
Phone: (615) 824-0580

New Puppy Care Info

What To Do In An Emergency

If you have an emergency after hours, call:
Rivergate Pet Emergency Clinic: 615-859-3778

Please do not hesitate to call with your questions or concerns. We would rather you call early than have your pet suffer needlessly or worsen overnight. Often the staff can advise you on what to do or a medication to give at home to keep your pet comfortable until our office is open. Please do not give human medication to your pet without checking with a veterinarian first. For instance, Tylenol and Advil are toxic to dogs and cats.

First Aid Tips

  • Vomiting: Withhold food and water for 12-24 hours. If vomiting has stopped, then offer a small amount of water first and observe if pet keeps it down. If your pet holds down the water, then offer a small amount of food and observe for any vomiting. Call your veterinarian if the response to treatment is not good or if vomiting persists.
  • Diarrhea: Withhold food for 12-24 hours. Observe symptoms and if diarrhea persists contact your veterinarian.
  • Severe Bleeding: Apply pressure with a cloth, bandage, and/or your hand. Contact your veterinarian.
  • Choking: Try to remove the object from the animal’s throat especially if it is unconscious.
  • Fracture: Signs of a bone fracture include the inability to stand on the leg, limping, intense pain, and/or bone appearing to bend where it shouldn’t. If there is signs of a fracture then bring your pet to the veterinarian as safely as possible.(i.e. muzzled, gently restrained) Do not attempt to reset the fracture yourself.

Caring For Your Puppy

  • Deworming: Most puppies have intestinal parasites and needs to be dewormed at least 2 times between 3 and 9 weeks of age. We will recommend having a fecal exam performed to rule out the various intestinal parasites that puppies could potentially carry.
  • Vaccinations: Vaccines start at 6 weeks of age and are given every 3 weeks for a total of 4 visits.
    • DHLPP-C: This is a combination vaccine that includes Distemper, Parvo, Corona, Parainfluenza, and Adenovirus-2.
    • BORDETELLA: Prevents tracheobronchitis (“kennel cough”). This is an airborne virus that can be picked up by your puppy that does not necessarily have to be in a kennel.
    • RABIES: Given at 12 weeks of age or older. Rabies vaccine is required by law in all states.

All Vaccines Are Repeated Yearly

  • Heartworms: Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes bite your dog and transfer heartworm larvae into its bloodstream. The larvae then migrate to the heart and grow into adult heartworms. If heartworms are left untreated, the disease is eventually fatal.
  • Spaying / Neutering: We recommend spaying/neutering between 4 and 6 months of age. Most female dogs will come into heat between 6 and 8 months of age. If not spayed, the female dog will come into heat every 6 months and stay in heat for the next 3 weeks. Intact males will start to follow the scent of in-heat females around 6 months old. If left unneutered, males may show aggressive behavior and start “marking” their territory.
  • Flea and Tick Protection: Ask us about the different options of flea and tick protection.
  • Diet: All puppies should be fed puppy food for the first 9-12 months of their life. Table food is not recommended and can actually be harmful to pets (i.e. diarrhea, vomiting, etc.).
  • Toys: Provide plenty of “safe” toys for your pet. These are toys that your pet can chew on without breaking off pieces or shredding that could be swallowed.
  • Shelter: Outside pets need plenty of shade, water, and access to a dog house or shelter from the elements. For inside dogs, we recommend crate training.
  • Training: Spending 15 minutes twice a day with your puppy can make a big difference. Use one word commands, and be consistent. Repetition is the key. Reward with praise/treat every time. Puppy classes and/or professional training are always a good idea.

Recommended Puppy Vaccine Series

Your puppy will need a series of vaccines starting around 6 weeks of age, and continuing every 3 weeks for a total of 4 visits.

Visit #1 (6-7 weeks old)

  • Complete physical exam
  • Fecal floatation (checks for intestinal parasites)
  • Deworming
  • DHLPP-C #1

Visit #2 (8-10 weeks old)

  • Follow-up physical exam
  • Fecal floatation
  • Deworming if necessary
  • DHLPP-C #2
  • BORD #1

Visit #3 (11-13 weeks old)

  • Follow-up physical exam
  • DHLPP #3
  • BORD #2
  • Microchip (optional)

Visit #4 (14-16 weeks old)

  • Follow-up physical exam
  • DHLPP #4
  • RABIES