To kick off the New Year and the launch of our Large Breed Puppy Food, we’re
celebrating everything puppy. If you’re a new pet parent or are simply thinking
about adopting a new puppy, we offer the following collection of frequently
asked questions about puppies, along with Dr. Jane’s insightful responses.
My puppy often has the hiccups. Is this something I should be concerned
For a puppy, hiccups are generally not cause for alarm. Puppy hiccups are
usually a harmless, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. Hiccups are
experienced by all breeds and sizes, with episodes typically lasting less than a
few minutes. Some unborn pups even hiccup inside their mother's womb! While
hiccups are harmless, when accompanied by regurgitation, or the sudden discharge
of undigested food or water, especially without much provocation, is worrisome.
If your pup vomits, especially repeatedly, a veterinary exam is very much in
What do I need to know about vaccines for my puppy?
Typically your puppy receives the first round of shots at eight weeks and
then additional ‘boosters’ every three to four weeks until four months old. Core
vaccines include a multivalent vaccine that protects against multiple diseases,
including Distemper virus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza virus. Dogs should also
be vaccinated against the rabies virus, not only important for protection
against the disease, but also because it’s the law and required for registration
nearly everywhere. To make the best decision about vaccinations for your pup, I
encourage you to speak with your veterinarian.
How common are worms in puppies?
Intestinal worms, such as hookworms and roundworms, are unfortunately quite
common in puppies, because the parasites are passed through the mother’s milk.
Puppies with a large worm ‘burden’ exhibit an unhealthy appearance and a swollen
pot belly. That being said, even puppies who look completely healthy can have
worms. Your veterinarian will test a stool sample to look for eggs, but since
worms don’t continuously shed eggs and the disease can be passed to humans, it
is routine to deworm puppies.
How important is heartworm prevention?
Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that is now prevalent across
the country. The means of transmission is through mosquito bites. It takes six
months for a heartworm to fully mature. Because blood tests only detect adult
worms, heartworm disease is essentially undetectable in puppies younger than six
months of age. It is hard to overstate the importance of heartworm prevention in
the life of your companion animal.
How often should I feed my puppy?
Puppies aged 8-12 weeks need between 3-4 meals every 24 hours. Between 12-16
weeks, you can feed your puppy 2-3 times per day. After four months of age, feed
as indicated by weight on the bag, usually twice per day.
Be sure to check the web site for details about our newest product, Life’s
Abundance Premium Health Food for Large Breed Puppies. My latest formula is
everything you love about our regular formula, but with a new protein mix,
reduced calories and an adjusted calcium and phosphorus ratio to encourage
healthy, controlled growth rates, as well as strong teeth and bones. For pet
parents of small and medium-size breeds, keep in mind that our regular recipe is
still perfectly formulated for both puppies and adult dogs.
You have my sincere wish that you and your new puppy will enjoy a lifetime of
health and happiness.
Dr. Jane Bicks