Puppy FAQ

Puppy FAQ


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 about?

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 order.

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   Dr. Jane Bicks

Comments (5) -

  • Rebecca Forrest

    8/14/2015 7:32:11 AM |

    Dr Jane, please write an article explaining about using the Large Breed or Small-Medium Breed Puppy food for the mother dog. Before pregnancy? During pregnancy? During nursing? How long after the puppies are weaned?


  • Laurie

    3/24/2017 6:36:41 PM |

    We've had our 5 yr old Cocker Spaniel on Life's Abundance since we picked her up from the breeder who recommended the food.  We love it, but we've been dealing with ear infections and the vet said it might be allergies to the food.  We would hate to switch her to another brand... What Life's Abundance foods should I purchase to help avoid allergies? We switched to the grain free & mix the canned food in with it but still having problems.  We also order treats from Life's Abundance.  

  • Dr. Jane

    3/30/2017 9:26:17 AM |

    Wow, Cockers are the best in the world! But they do tend towards food intolerances and/or allergies.

    I would like you to discuss the following plan-of-action with your veterinarian. By a simple process of elimination, we should be able to determine what's going on.
    First step is to clean her ears so that you can start fresh. Hopefully your vet has already provided you with a gentle, healing cleanser. If not, ask.

    In order to see if there is a food and/or treat ingredient intolerance/allergy let's start our investigation by withholding treats.  If her ears show improvement, then you know it was likely an issue related to the treats.

    At the end point, only feed dry food, if possible. Just like with the treats, eliminate any canned food, again we are getting closer to finding out where there might be a problem. Ultimately, your dog will be down to only the dry food. Perhaps you can add warm water to the dry food, if she needs a softer meal.

    You can put our kibble into a container and make-believe they are treats. After 2-3 weeks on just the dry food (I hope, but the canned if you must) you should start to see some improvement in her ears.

    Very best wishes for a successful outcome,
    Dr. Jane

  • Mary Ellen

    7/25/2020 6:03:06 PM |

    I have a 4 month Havanese.  Her hair was really thinning down her neck and shoulders.  Scratched a lot.  Just got my first bag of your dog food.  She loves it and she was eating her puppy food with a teas of Little Ceasars. and warm water.  She ate her food dry without any canned food.  Very glad to get her off the wet food.  Hoping to see improvement in her coat.  She is on flea meds and I comb her daily so the scratching isn’t fleas.  At least her scalp looks fine.  No redness or sores.  Just allergic to something .  Will update in a couple weeks on the food change to Life’s Abundance.  Thank you

  • Life's Abundance

    7/27/2020 2:55:47 PM |

    We are glad to hear your puppy is enjoying the dry food so far! Our food is formulated to balance all aspects of a dog's health. We hope your dog sees improvement alongside their new choice of nutrition!

Add comment