All vaccines are to be given only to a perfectly healthy puppy/dog, and in no event if the corresponding infection is suspected. De-worming a few days before vaccination is also essential.

The first eight-in-one vaccine is normally given between 4 to 8 weeks, and might have been given by the Breeder. Consult your Vet. regarding future vaccines. But do not fail to socialize your puppy in the meantime.

Anti-rabies vaccine — After 4 months’ age, preferably given separately.  Though rabies is invariably fatal to dogs, and contagious and fatal to humans as well, it is contracted only through physical contact with a rabid dog or a carrier of rabies. It is not air-borne.

Vaccination is usually repeated every year.

Your pup’s temperature

The temperature of the pup will indicate if there is anything seriously wrong. The normal temperature of a dog is 101.5 F; a pup may be normal up to 102 F.

The temperature is usually taken in the rectum. You must learn how to take the dog’s temperature. Place a small amount of Vaseline on the end of a flat thermometer and slowly insert it in the rectum until the bulb is fully inside. Get someone to hold the pup steady while you do this. The temperature may show higher when the puppy/dog is excited, or after exercise. Check the temperature when the puppy/dog is calm.

Hot and cold weather

Certain breeds are sensitive to heat as well as cold. In hot weather, keep him indoors in a cool place. Take him out early morning and late evening. Locking up in a closed car or similar confined place can be very dangerous. If the weather is cold or chilly, cover him with a warm coat, so that the chest, in particular, is protected. An opportunity to sun himself should not be missed. Always have some bedding material on the floor for your puppy / dog to sleep on.

Signs of illness

Contrary to popular belief, a dry nose is not necessarily a danger signal, nor does a wet nose guarantee that all is well. An occasional skipped meal may not mean much. Some dogs are known to fast now and then on their own. But a continued aversion to food should be an indication that all is not well. Sluggishness, change of  behavior, eyes that do not sparkle, eyes and/or nose that show excessive discharge, and a belly that feels warmer than usual (except after exercise) are other signs. If the temperature is over 102 F consult your Vet. Excessive vomiting and/or loose stools can quickly cause dangerous dehydration, particularly in a puppy.

Administering medicine

Another thing the owner must learn to do is how to give medicine to the puppy at a young age, which will also make it easier at a later stage whenever he is not well.

For popping a tablet down his throat, open his mouth and quickly push the tablet with a finger as far back as possible over the tongue down his throat. Shut the mouth and blow on his nose to help him swallow the pill. If the tablet is large, cut it in two.

For liquid medicine, keep his mouth shut, pull the corner of his lips out on one side to make a pouch, and pour the liquid in. Keep the mouth tilted upward till the liquid is swallowed. It may be easier to give liquids with an injection syringe without the needle.

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