VCA Old Town Animal Hospital

Preventative Health Care for Your Puppy's First Year

By Carol Petit
Published: August 15, 2011

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The first year of your puppy's life can set the stage for a long healthy life.  We recommend the following schedule for the best prevention:

8-9 Weeks
  Physical Exam
  Deworm #1 (for roundworms and hookworms
  Vaccines:  DHPP #1, Bordatella
  Reveiw nutrition, behavior, heartworm disease and flea and tick prevention
  Start heartworm prevention (Sentinel given monthly)

12 Weeks
  Physical Exam
  Fecal test # 2
  Deworm # 2
  Vaccines:  DHPP booster, Bordatella booster, Canine influenza, Lyme
  Review home dental care

16 Weeks
  Physical Exam
  Fecal test if needed
  Deworm # 3
  Vaccines:  DHPP booster, Influenza booster, Lyme booster, Rabies 1 year
  Review spay or neuter

6  - 12 Months (depending on breed)
  Preanesthetic blood test
  Spay or Neuter
  Microchip placement (permanent identification if your puppy is lost)
16 Months
  Annual Physical Exam
  Fecal test
  Annual blood test including heartworm
  Vaccines:  DHPP 3 year, Rabies 3 year, Bordatella, Lyme, Influenza


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately.  If it is after hours, please contact one of the following nearby emergency care clinics:

VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital 703-751-2022.

VCA  Southpaws Referral Center 703-752-0100                                                              

Please request that they send a report to us so we can follow up with you later.