Important Recommendations to Know Before Your New Puppy Arrives
We would like to share with you some important points to help keep your new puppy safe. We have literally spent years researching and working with our veterinarian to ensure that we do the best that we can for each fur baby and adoptive family. Even though our health rate is very good, there is always a risk associated with adopting any puppy that is not already fully immunized. We would like to share this information with you so that in the unlikely event your puppy does become ill, you are prepared and informed. We also recommend purchasing pet insurance. It can help greatly in case of an accident or illness.
You can do everything right, and sometimes your puppy will still become ill, similar to people. Parvo is the biggest concern anytime that we rescue a puppy. Parvo is a virus that can be fatal and the symptoms can occur very quickly. The first sign of parvo is lethargy. Next you will see that your puppy is not eating. Then the puppy can develop diarrhea, which may turn into bloody diarrhea. Your puppy may or may not stop drinking. We minimize the risk of parvo in puppies post-adoption by vaccinating each puppy when it comes into the rescue program and every 2 - 4 wks thereafter, holding them in quarantine for a minimum of two weeks, and having them checked by our veterinarian just prior to adoption. However puppies are not safe from parvo until they have received their final puppy vaccine between 4-5 months of age. Unfortunately there is no way to know if a puppy is infected until symptoms are present. A veterinarian can then diagnose it with a simple fecal test. Parvo is spread by anything that touches the ground where an infected puppy poops. That means that a fly , bird, other animals, and shoes can carry the parvo any where that they touch. The only way to keep a puppy 100% safe would be to literally place them in a sanitized room with no human or animal interactions, which of course isn’t possible and would be horrible for any animal, especially a puppy. All of our foster homes are given strict protocols to follow, which we developed by working with our vet. However, even with all of the precautions that we take, puppies can still contract the virus in spite of our best efforts. If your puppy stops eating or drinking, and is not playing as usual, we recommend that you take him/her to the vet to be sure that he/she does not have parvo. It can be diagnosed by testing a fecal sample . Treatment of parvo consist of supportive care with IV antibiotics and medications administered by your vet. It is very expensive to treat and unfortunately, treatment is not always successful. Be sure that you keep all of your veterinarian appointment to keep your puppies vaccines up-to-date. A puppy is not considered fully immunized until all of their vaccines are given. Our veterinarian recommends vaccines every 2 to 4 weeks until they are four months old, and then they receive a booster. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, we recommend:
- please do not stop on the way home from picking up your puppy to give him/her a potty break. Please bring puppy pads because you do not want to put your puppy on the ground.
-If you take your puppy out anywhere, do not let anyone pet him / her. Parvo can be transmitted from someone else’s hands or clothes.
-Designate a certain part of your yard for your puppy to potty in. You may want to spray it with one part clorox to three parts of water. Clorox is known to kill parvo.
-Do not put your puppy on the ground anywhere except in the designated part of your yard. If you take your puppy out, be sure that you hold him the entire time. This includes the veterinarian’s office. Even though they sanitize their waiting area, they cannot sanitize every time another dog comes into their office.
-Do not let your puppy associate with other pets outside of your household.
We deworm our puppies with Drontal, which kills five different types of intestinal worms. We deworm our puppies when they come in to the rescue and every two weeks thereafter. We also deworm our puppies within a day or two of them leaving the rescue, so if you see worms in your puppies poop in the first day or two after their arrival, do not be alarmed. Some worms can cause diarrhea. Hookworms can only be seen with a microscope. We have gotten puppies with worms so bad that when they cough, worms would come out of their mouth. No dewormer kills the eggs which will hatch in 10 to 14 days, so they will need to be dewormed several times. Our vet recommends that puppies be dewormed every 2 weeks. You will need to follow your vets recommendation on deworming. We recommend for all animals of any age that dewormer be purchased from the veterinarian’s office as we believe that they are more effective than the dewormers that can be purchased in the store.
Coccidia is natural in every dogs body but an overgrowth of coccidia can cause issues. This can be caused by stress. The stress of the transport and / or changing homes can cause an overgrowth of coccidia. The vet can easily diagnose this with a fecal sample. Your vet will treat this with ponazuril or albon. The main symptom of this is diarrhea. The puppy is normally still active and playful . If left untreated though, your puppy will eventually become more and more less active and can become very sick.
If your puppy develops diarrhea, it can be due to a change in food, as well as any of the above problems. As long as your puppy is still eating, drinking, and acting normal, it is likely due to a food change, worms, or coccidia. A good way to minimize diarrhea with food change is to mix a little bit of the food that you were using along with the new food and gradually switch him / her over. If any pet of any age continues to have diarrhea after being checked for all of the above, the veterinarian does sell food for sensitive stomachs. Also a bland diet of chicken and rice will help.
We treat our puppies with a topical flea spray purchased from our veterinarian when they come in to our rescue and within a day or two of them leaving our rescue. Flea preventative does not kill fleas until they actually bite the animal. Fleas can jump on your dog off of another dog during the transport, when in contact with another animal, or from the ground. Before your puppy arrives, you may want to purchase a capstar from your veterinarian. This only works for 8 hours but is extremely effective. It starts killing any fleas within 15 minutes. For long term, there are pills, collars, and topical flea preventatives. We recommend purchasing your flea products from a veterinarian as we believe that they are more effective then what can be purchased in the store.
Heartworms are spread by mosquito bites. Puppies are not tested for heartworms if they are under 6 months of age. Heartworms are extremely expensive to treat and are fatal if left untreated. Your pet should have a heartworm test EVERY year and then given a heartworm preventative pill each month thereafter. Some veterinarian will start heartworm pills under 6 months of age. Some brands of the heartworm pills will also prevent fleas and intestinal worms. Heartworm pills can be purchased online or at the veterinarian’s office, but cannot be purchased without a prescription from your vet.
This does not happen very often, but if your dog begins coughing, it could be kennel cough. Kennel cough is similar to a cold in humans in the fact it is airborne and has to run its course. It can be caught from another dog in an enclosed area that has it and coughs. It normally last 10 to 14 days. It is treated with antibiotics to ensure that a secondary infection does not occur.
At the first sign of any behavior that you find undesirable, we recommend that you consult a behavioralist. He/she can instruct you on how to nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem. It is much easier prevent a bad behavior than it is to correct one. You can actually make the behavvior worse without even realizing it. For example, when trying to potty train your pup/dog, never rub their nose in it. That will only teach the pup/dog to go and hide to potty. Another example is when you have a pet that is barking, growling, being overly frightened, etc. and you pet that pup and try to soothe him/her, you are actually reinforcing the behavior. The pup cannot understand your words but does understand your tone. To that pup, you are praising him / her for that behavior. This applies to dogs of any age. We strongly recommend obedience classes once your pet is fully immunized and is old enough. A well-trained dog is a happy dog and a pleasure to be around. For those adopting a high energy breed of dog, you may want to consider agility training.
All dogs need plenty of daily exercise. Some people believe that putting their pup in the backyard is sufficient exercise. This is not considered exercise by any means. The pup needs to be walked and/or played with in a manner that would cause him to run. He also needs his brain stimulated so toys that make him work to get the treat out is an excellent way to do this. Sufficient exercise will keep your pet out of trouble and help prevent bad behaviors. Some breeds, such as herding dogs and guard dogs, need a job to do to keep them out of trouble. Continued advanced training can help with this.
We recommend crate training because there may be times when you travel or someone is over that does not like dogs and you may need to put your puppy away. If he/she is already crate trained, this will not be a big deal to him/her. If you associate good things with being in a crate, the training will go much easier. We always give our pups/dogs a treat when they go into their crate for the night. During the day we leave the crate door open so that they may go in and out as they please. Be sure there is a cozy bed inside the crate. Feeding in the crate is another way to associate good things with being in a crate. Your pet wants to be near you so we recommend a crate in the room that you spend the most time in. Remember that when you bring the puppy home, it is the first time he/she has ever been without his/her littermates. He/she will probably bark and cry, but if you give in and let him/her out, this will only reinforce the behavior. Throwing a sheet over the crate may help, but be careful to leave one side open so it does not get to hot inside the crate.
if the puppy becomes ill with parvo or another life-threatening illness within 5 days of adoption, we will refund your adoption fee. Proof from your veterinarian is required. We do not issue refunds of transport fees as these are received by the transporter, and not our rescue. We do not offer refunds for worms, fleas kennel cough, or coccidia, or other non life-threatening problems. We do not cover any vet bills, under any circumstances, as stated in our contract. You are responsible for all expenses after you take possession of your pet. The course of treatment for any issues post-adoption is determined by you and your veterinarian. However we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Please register your pet’s microchip with Home Again by calling 1-888-466–3242. Please tell them that you adopted from NC 636 so that they will replace your pet’s microchip for us. The microchip is currently registered to our rescue. We do not keep records of each pets microchip, so if your pet is lost or stolen, there would be no way for the shelter or veterinarian to contact you. We also recommend a second form of identification because not everyone that takes in a stray animal has them scanned.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your willingness to provide a loving home, where your rescued baby can be loved and spoiled!