Canine Comprehensive Care

Here you can view more information on puppy care, regular annual check-ups, and senior dog care and what to expect when owning a dog. If you’re a first-time visitor, be sure to check out our Before You Visit page to see what additional forms you may need.

Puppy Care

Congratulations! We are eager to meet the newest member of your family.

What to expect on your first visit with us:

  • Comprehensive physical exam
  • Fecal anaylsis (intestinal parasite screening)
  • Deworming
  • Development of an immunization protocol based on your puppy’s individual needs
  • Vaccinations, depending on your puppy’s age and health history
  • Discussion of heartworm disease and intestinal parasite prevention products
  • Recommendations for flea and tick prevention
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Behavior discussion and training recommendations
  • Recommendations for spay, neuter or responsible breeding
  • Description of a lifelong preventive health care plan
  • Recommendations and options for veterinary insurance and wellness plans

Please bring the following items with you to ensure that your family has the best possible experience:

  • Your puppy on a leash or in a carrier
  • All veterinary records and other paperwork you have pertaining to your puppy’s care
  • A fresh stool sample (ideally less than 12 hours old)
  • Questions you have for us regarding your puppy’s health care or behavior

Annual Dog Wellness

Preventive care is the key to ensuring that your dog lives a full and healthy life. The cornerstone of this care is our comprehensive wellness exam. A complete evaluation by a veterinarian, combined with a thorough history, can often detect potential health problems before they become apparent to a dog’s family. Identifying conditions early enables us to minimize suffering and prolong a healthy life.

We strongly recommend an annual wellness exam for every dog. Depending on the age and general health of your dog, we may suggest more frequent visits or additional laboratory testing.

All health exams include:

  • Heart and Lung Evaluation
  • Eye Examination
  • Ear Examination
  • Dental Evaluation
  • Neurologic Evaluation
  • Abdominal Organ Evaluation
  • Lymph Node Evaluation
  • Musculoskeletal Evaluation
  • Genitourinary Evaluation
  • Coat & Skin Analysis
  • Body Condition and Weight Assessment

The annual visit for your dog will also include:

  • Heartworm Blood Test
  • Fecal Analysis (Internal Parasite Detection)
  • Immunizations as needed
  • Discussion of heartworm, flea, tick and other parasite prevention


Vaccines are an important part of your dog’s health care plan. Vaccines, along with wellness exams and parasite prevention products, help keep your pet healthy by preventing serious diseases.

Our vaccines for dogs include:

  • Rabies Vaccine The first Rabies shot your pet receives (pet must be > 12 weeks old) is good for one year. Subsequent Rabies vaccinations last either 1 or 3 years. We will discuss the rabies vaccine options with you during your pet’s annual wellness exam.
  • DHLPP vaccine This is a “5-way” canine vaccine that vaccinates against canine distemper, parainfluenza, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis. Distemper and parvovirus infections can be fatal, especially in puppies. It is therefore important to begin vaccines as early as 6 weeks old and provide “booster” vaccines every 3-4 weeks until puppies reach 16 weeks old. Adult dogs are then vaccinated annually.
  • Bordetella Also known as “kennel cough”. We recommend a series of two vaccinations 4 weeks apart then annually thereafter.
  • Heartworm Prevention Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes which can be fatal if untreated. We recommend your dog be on year-round heartworm prevention starting at your puppy’s first visit. Your dog will need to be tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease on an annual basis.
  • Flea and Tick Control We recommend using flea/tick prevention all year around.

Please bring the following items with you to ensure the best possible experience:

  • Your dog on a leash or in a carrier
  • Any previous veterinary records pertaining to your dog if this is your first visit to our hospital
  • A fresh stool sample (ideally less than 12 hours old)
  • Questions you have for us regarding your dog’s health

Senior Dog Care

As our canine companions age, changes begin to take place in their bodies that can affect their overall health, well being and comfort. Many conditionscan be prevented from progressing into more serious illnesses when detected early and managed properly. Once symptoms appear, the conditions may be too difficult or costly to diagnose and treat. Our goal is for you and your dog to enjoy the longest, healthiest life together. For this reason, we recommend a comprehensive exam at least every 6 months for your senior dog. We also recommend routine annual blood tests and urinalysis for our senior patients so that we can detect conditions early, when intervention is most effective.

Because dogs age more rapidly than people, dramatic changes in health can occur in as little as 3 to 6 months. If you notice any of the following signs, we recommend you schedule an appointment to have your dog evaluated:

  • Weight loss
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Bad breath or drooling
  • Increased appetite, especially if accompanied by weight loss
  • Excess urination
  • Increased water intake
  • Reduced exercise, increased stiffness, trouble jumping or walking
  • Apparent pain when your dog moves or is handled
  • Any vomiting, abnormal stool or decreased frequency of bowel movements
  • A new lump or growth, especially if it appears to increase in size quickly
  • Appearance of a “pot belly”
  • Depression or listless behavior
  • Excessive panting
  • Heavy or rapid breathing when resting
  • Coughing

After a comprehensive exam, our veterinarians may recommend diagnostic tests or may prescribe medications, supplements or a special diet to improve your dog’s condition.