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What Your 12-Week-old Puppy Needs

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Your 12-week-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for an 12-week-old puppy including tips and advise on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 12-week-old puppies should have at least their second set of shots. If they have not, get their first set as soon as possible. They will need shots now and again when they are 16 weeks old. Rabies is required by law between 12 and 16 weeks of age and your veterinarian may give it now or in 3 to 4 weeks. Additionally, Lyme disease vaccination may be recommended depending on your pet's level of risk.

  • Dewormers – Most puppies are born with worms and therefore should be dewormed by your veterinarian. The first deworming generally occurs at 6 to 8 weeks of age and another deworming is generally given at this time.

  • Heartworm Prevention – Canine heartworm disease is a serious parasitic disease caused by a long, thin worm that lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected dogs. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. Heartworms are present in most parts of the United States. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is at risk. Heartworm prevention is important to puppies and should be started before they are 6 months of age.

  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.

  • Spay/Neuter - Some puppies are spayed and neutered at an early age or later, closer to 6 months of age. If your puppy is not "fixed", discuss when the best time is with your veterinarian. Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Pets that are spayed or neutered are quieter and not prone to roam looking for a mate and tend to be more gentle and affectionate. Also, fixing your pet reduces the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer and eliminates the risk of uterine infections.

  • Diet – Your 3 month old puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size 4 times per day. Consider your pups age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer's recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. The calorie requirements for puppies vary with their age, breed and size but may be estimated roughly as follows: Toy breeds – 250 calories, small breeds 500 calories, medium breeds 775 calories, large breeds 1500 calories and giant breeds 1950 calories.

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