All Things Pets

Don'T Neglect Your Goldendoodle's Early Health

by Dean Oliver

What do you get when you cross a golden retriever and a poodle? You get one of the smartest and most loyal dogs you could ever hope for. But just because your Goldendoodle might be the smartest and most loyal pup on the block doesn't mean they're immune to the normal puppyhood dangers and ailments.  That means you have to be the grownup and make sure your doodle keeps her first wellness exam and receives the right treatments and preventatives to ensure a long, healthy life with your family.

The Dreaded First Wellness Exam

Taking your new puppy to her first veterinary visit is typically not on your list of fun things to do.  The prodding, poking, and inserting can be traumatic, especially for the owner. It's not much fun for your dog either, but it's an important element of a dog's overall health and by starting early, your pup will get used to being probed and prodded and future exams will go much easier. Controlling an unruly 5-pound puppy is much easier than trying to control an unruly 50-pound adult.

Your pup looks to you for guidance and reassurance. Be calm and comforting but firm when he tries to squirm away. Treats are often a good bribe for good behavior.

But My Puppy Seems Fine

Just because your new furry friend seems healthy and playful doesn't mean you can skip your pup's first exam. There are conditions that should be checked for before symptoms or consequences appear. By including your veterinarian in your pup's care from the very beginning, you build a relationship that helps the vet treat your dog because he or she is familiar with the dog's baseline health and early health care.

Internal parasites are a very frequent affliction in puppies. Very often, the mother passes worms to her puppies before they are even born. A puppy with a bad worm infestation will fail to thrive and can end up with malnutrition, suppressed immune system, and other conditions if the worms are not gotten rid of. Your vet can determine the type of worms present and the best treatment.

Just like your doctor, your vet will check all the usual body parts for signs of disease or abnormality: heart, lungs, temperature, eyes, ears, teeth, gums, and abdomen. The puppy's weight and skin and coat are generally good indicators of a pup's overall health and act as a baseline for comparison for future vet visits.

Preventing disease

Depending on their parents' health, most puppies are born with a certain level of immunity to various diseases. As they are weaned, that immunity begins to wear off, leaving them vulnerable. That's why early vaccinations are so important for a pup's health and well-being. Typical immunizations include distemper, hepatitis, and upper respiratory disease. At 4 months of age, they should get a rabies vaccination, which is required in most states.

You should also discuss heartworm prevention. Heartworm is a preventable but potentially fatal parasite that affects the heart and lungs. You should also discuss a proper diet and feeding schedule. Your vet can recommend a good brand of dog food, as well as how often and how much to feed. As your pup grows, your vet will adjust the schedule accordingly.

By starting your golden doodle off on the right foot, she will have an active partner in her life-long health care. So don't skip her all-important first puppy exam. 

For more information on Goldendoodle puppies, contact a kennel.