\ Puppy Care Plan

Gulf Gate Animal Hospital

2031 Bispham Road
Sarasota, FL 34231



A Puppy’s Needs....

Not all puppies are created equal! Ask your veterinarian to help you choose
a puppy that best suits your needs.

In order to have an excellent dog, there are many needs to be met within the first several months of life.

Preventative Health care:

*Physical Exam - Your veterinarian should evaluate your puppy as soon as possible to help detect potential problems. The physical exam is the most important “tool” your veterinarian can use to assess your puppies health.

Veterinarians learn a great deal of information about your puppies brain, spinal cord, eyes, ears, skin and coat, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, bladder, nutritional status and more from the physical exam.

*Vaccinations - these are meant to stimulate the body’s immune system, producing antibodies that help your puppy fight off infections. When your puppy is first born they get antibodies from their “mom”through the milk and the placenta.

Over the first few weeks, these antibodies diminish and the puppy needs to begin producing it’s own. The vaccines stimulate this production. By approximately 12 weeks with our high titer vaccination, most puppies are producing adequate antibodies, but some puppies may lag behind and need vaccines up until 16 weeks. This is sometimes seen in certain breeds such as the Rottweiler and Doberman breeds.

We recommend vaccinating for:
Distemper virus, Hepatitis  virus, Parvo virus and Parainfluenza virus. (“DHPP”)

The DHPP vaccine is given approximately every three weeks beginning as early as 6 weeks of age and continued until 12-6 weeks, again at 1 year, and then bi- annually.

The Leptospirosis vaccine is given starting at 8 weeks old. Two vaccines are give 4 weeks apart.

Rabies virus - vaccine given at 12 weeks of age or older, then annually.

Bordatella - vaccine given at 6-8 weeks or older, then every 6 months.

*Parasite Control- We live in a climate that is excellent for parasite growth.

Internal parasites are abundant and include heartworms, intestinal parasites, lungworms,etc.

Heartworms are very serious, life threatening parasites. They are transmitted by mosquitoes and develop into adult worms in the heart and lungs over several months. The good news is there are several very effective, safe and easy preventatives available. We highly recommend heartworm prevention monthly for life.

There are many intestinal parasites, the most common of which are hookworms and roundworms, and tapeworms. In puppies, these are not always detectable in the stool sample, but may cause severe problems. Your veterinarian may choose to treat for these parasites.

External Parasites include fleas ,ticks, mites, lice, and more. Fleas and ticks can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and transmit harmful diseases and parasites. There are some excellent products available to help control fleas and ticks.

*Socialization with other animals and humans is critical at an early age to help avoid the development of behavior problems that include excessive fearfulness, anxiety, aggression, and others.

We recommend puppy classes early in life. As your puppy gets older, obedience training and classes are extremely valuable in your effort to
enjoy your lives together.

Regular exercise is also essential. Young dogs have a tremendous amount of energy that needs to be burned. It is best if you help them burn it in an acceptable manner i.e. running, catching balls, Frisbees, long walks, etc., rather than leaving it up to the puppies to decide how they will burn their energy which may lead to destructive behavior. Also, regular exercise (i.e. 20 minutes of aerobic exercise twice daily) helps develop “confidence”and “security” in your puppy.

*Nutrition - A well balanced diet is essential in the development of a healthy body including bones, teeth, haircoat, muscles, and the immune system. There are many good commercially available diets- see your veterinarian for advice.

*Grooming is very important in maintaining a healthy coat as well
as eyes, ears, nails, and skin.


Teaching your puppy to go outside or in a particular designated area is a process of repetition and positive reinforcement. This is not a time for punishment. The crate helps puppies learn house training quickly and is also a safe place for the puppy to be when unsupervised. Your veterinarian can advise you how to effectively house train and crate train.

Neutering your pet is highly recommended.
For the females, spaying at an early age significantly decreases their chances of developing mammary cancer later in life. It also eliminates troubling heat cycles, ovarian cancer or cysts, and avoids serious uterine diseases such as pyometra.

For the males, neutering helps avoid unwanted behaviors such as marking and mounting, and may decrease aggression. Neutering also decreases incidence of prostate disease as an adult.

In addition, there are thousands of dogs and cats euthanized in Florida shelters weekly due to overpopulation.

Please consider spaying or neutering your pup.

Dr. Edward Cole, Dr. Jeanette Cole, Dr.
Christina Whitcomb & Dr Marcie Burn

Puppy Plan

 Initial Comprehensive Exam
 Initial Behavioral Consultation
 Initial Nutritional Consultation
 All Fecal Exams until 6 months old
 Dewormings for “hooks/rounds” needed until 6 months old
 Distemper Vaccinations
(DHPP) every three to four
weeks starting at 6 weeks and continuing until up to16 weeks
 Rabies Vaccination
 Bordatella Vaccination(Kennel
 Leptospirosis - 2 vaccines 2-4 weeks apart
 First Dose of Heartworm
preventative (Heartguard Plus or Trifexis)
 First Dose of Flea treatment
(Nexgard or Revolution)


Gulf Gate Animal Hospital
2031 Bispham Road
Sarasota, FL 34231