In Case of Emergency After Hours Please Call:

Dogwood Emergency Center

(804) 716-4700

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care

(804) 784-8722

Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center

(804) 353-9000

Canine Care Tips

New Puppy Care and Vaccinations
Here are a few tips on caring for your new puppy that will help you and your new friend!
  • The first thing you should do after adopting or purchasing your new puppy is contact your veterinarian for a new pet exam.
  • If your puppy has not been seen by a veterinarian before, or had any vaccinations given by a breeder or humane group, he/she should receive the following during the first visit:
  • Full physical exam
  • Fecal test (for intestinal parasites such as roundworms)
  • First puppy DHPP vaccine
  • After the initial exam, your puppy should return every 4 weeks for 3 additional visits for the remainder of the vaccination series.
  • Puppies should receive a total of 3 DHPP vaccines.
  • During the second or third visit, your puppy should begin monthly oral heartworm prevention which he/ she should stay on indefinitely.
  • On your puppy’s third or fourth visit (depending on age), he/ she should receive a one year rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccines are required by law in the state of Virginia.
  • Depending on the environment you live in, the Veterinarian may recommend incorporating a Lyme Disease vaccine and/ or a Leptospirosis Vaccine within your puppies vaccine schedule.
  • After the series of puppy vaccines are finished, your puppy should return to the veterinarian annually for a full physical exam and vaccination updates.

Spaying and Neutering

It is recommended that puppies be spayed or neutered at approximately 6 months of age. Spaying and neutering are anesthetic procedures that will require your pet to be hospitalized.

Routine male dog neuters are out- patient procedures, and female patients will need to stay over-night after the spay surgery. For more information on scheduling your puppies spay or neuter, please see our “Appointments” page.