puppy 101

Congratulations on your new puppy! On this page you will find information on vaccines and preventative wellness care for your new pet.


What is my puppy getting? There are “core” and “non-core” vaccines that are generally standard across most clinics, but do vary by each clinic. Learn more.

core (highly recommend for serious and common diseases)

  • DA2PP - Protects against Distemper virus, Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza virus and Parvovirus. This vaccine occurs in a series of 2 or 3 based on your pet’s age.
  • Rabies - Protects against Rabies and is required for all pets by NYS Law. This is a zoonotic disease and can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Non-Core (options, based on risk, exposure and location)

  • Bordetella - Protects against Bordetella Bronshiseptica, also known as Canine Kennel Cough.  This vaccine is a requirement for any pets that will be visiting a groomer, boarding facility or daycare environment in NYC. We strongly recommend vaccinating for Bordetella if your pet interacts and socializes with other animals on a usual basis.
  • Lyme - Protects against Lyme disease which is transmitted from a bite by a deer tick. This vaccine requires a booster which is given 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccination.
  • Leptospirosis - Protects against the zoonotic bacteria Leptospirosis which is transmitted through infected urine and can be passed to your pet if they ingest infected sitting water or ingesting dead animals. This vaccine requires a booster which is given 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccination. Note: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacteria that can be transmitted from pet to human. Learn more
  • Influenza - Protects against canine Influenza strains H3N2 and H3N8 and is also known as the dog flu. Influenza is an airborne respiratory disease. We strongly recommend vaccinating any pet that will be visiting a groomer, boarding facility or daycare facility. This vaccine requires a booster which is given 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccination.

Fecal Sample

We recommend bringing in a fresh stool sample when you bring your pet in for their first visit and for each annual exam. The fecal sample will check for gastrointestinal parasites (worms, eggs and protozoa). We supply containers in which to collect the sample.


Our recommendation is to spay or neuter your pet around 6 months of age. We will run blood work prior to the procedure to make sure the pet is safe for general anesthesia. A spay/neuter procedure would require your pet to be with us for a full day followed by a period of rest for 7-14 days along with an e-collar when home. Someone should be home to monitor the pet after the procedure. Generally, there is no recheck needed for these procedures. Learn more


Gastropexy is a surgical procedure we can perform (usually during the spay or neuter) in which the stomach is secured to the body wall. Gastropexy may be performed in healthy dogs to help prevent the occurrence of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV); a condition in which the stomach distends with gas and rotates in the abdomen. Gastropexy is highly effective for prevention of GDV and generally well tolerated. Prophylactic procedures may be performed in at-risk breeds- generally large, deep-chested dogs- to avoid development of GDV, which can be a life-threatening condition.

Heartworm Disease + Testing + Prevention

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos; your dog can be infected with just one bite. We run a blood test for heartworm disease (and 3 tick-borne diseases; anaplasmosis, lyme, ehrlichiosis) when your pet reaches 6 months of age. Learn more

Heartworm Prevention: We recommend keeping your pet on heartworm prevention year-round. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and your pet can be infected with just one bite from a mosquito carrying the disease. The heartworm prevention we recommend is Interceptor Plus by Elanco which also provides protection against hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms. A yearly negative heartworm test is required to refill heartworm prevention.

Flea/Tick Prevention: We recommend keeping your pet on flea/tick prevention year-round. Fleas and ticks can transmit tapeworms, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease. Annually we test in-house for the presence of these parasites. We recommend Credelio flea and tick prevention which protects against fleas, ticks and mites for one month at a time.

Foods Your Pet Should NOT Ingest

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (sugar-free gum & candy)
  • Grapes, raisins, & currants
  • Caffeine (coffee & tea)
  • Fatty scraps
  • Onions, garlic, & chives
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Unbaked yeast bread dough
  • Alcohol
  • Table salt

Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being. Learn more

Common potential zoonotic disease of dogs:

  • Ringworm
  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Campylobacter Infection
  • Giardia Infection
  • Cryptosporidium Infection
  • E-coli
  • Listeria
  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Scabies
  • Harvest Mites
  • Rabies


We highly recommend a microchip implantation for easy identification of your pet in the event of your pet getting loose and lost. A microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades and can be implanted without anesthesia. Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. An animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number. Learn more

more resources

AKC Growing Puppy Feeding Recommendations
AKC Puppy Crate Training InformationAnimal Poison Control