Puppy Basics: Health Care Essentials
Puppy Basics: Health Care Essentials

Puppy Health Checklist

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Puppies like human babies need additional love, care, and support in their growing age. The first month of a new puppy is critical as it needs the best healthcare, nutrition, and love to grow into a healthy and cheerful dog. Puppy health becomes the primary responsibility of pet parents during this stage. They must ensure preventive care and medical support alongside providing proper nourishment. To know more about the puppy health checklist, read the following.

Puppy health essentials

Maintaining puppy health is the foremost important duty of every pet parent. Consulting a vet, vaccinating, neutering, and availing regular healthcare check-ups are a few duties of puppy caregivers. Similarly, other puppy preventive care includes:

  • Veterinarian visits: Taking an appointment to see a vet is the first thing puppy caregivers should do. Consulting the vet helps the pet parent understand their fur baby’s healthcare and behavioral requirements. The vet also conducts a thorough health check-up to diagnose the puppy’s allergies or health concerns. Besides, vets also give helpful insights on puppy preventive care and grooming tips to pet parents.Prepare for your puppy's first vet visit by making sure you're ready and well-informed about the experience.
  • Deworming: Worm and parasite treatment is necessary for puppies. Veterinarians often recommend a stool examination on the puppy’s first visit to diagnose worms and parasites. Worms are very common among puppies; hence, vets recommend a deworming session on the puppy’s first visit.
  • Vaccination: Like humans, puppies too need immunity to fight harmful viruses, bacteria, and diseases. To keep your puppy’s health in check, it is important to get them vaccinated against harmful diseases like hepatitis, distemper, rabies, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, and Bordetella. Make sure that you go through the puppy vaccination guide before consulting your vet. This will help you jot down any questions regarding the vaccination process and schedule. However, as a pet parent, you must know that vaccination is not limited to puppies, adult and senior dogs also need booster shots to fight back fatal diseases.
  • Flea treatment: Ticks and fleas are extremely common in puppies. Getting your puppy treated for fleas and ticks is important for their hygiene and well-being. These parasites treat your fur baby as a host to feed on its blood and suck away all essential nutrients away from its body. Besides, fleas and ticks also cause a lot of irritation to puppies. So, frequent ticks and flea treatment is recommended for the puppy’s health.
  • Health and exercise: Puppies are playful and energetic. Pet parents can build a healthy routine for their fur babies by dedicating a fixed time for walks and playtime. Doing so will keep the puppy entertained and healthy. Spending playtime with the puppy will also help you to establish a strong bond with it. Besides, this also aids in observing the puppy to gauge its development, health, and mood.
  • Balanced diet: Puppies need more energy as they are constantly growing. However, their anatomy is way smaller than the amount of energy they require. Therefore, pet parents need to ensure puppies are fed a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet. Protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates are some essential nutrients required for a puppy’s physical well-being. Moreover, puppies should be fed at least 3 to 4 meals a day to support their nutritional requirements for healthy growth With IAMS™ puppy food, you can provide your pooch with a nutritionally balanced meal for healthy growth and development. Thanks to our best-quality ingredients, you do not have to worry about digestibility.

Puppy medical care

Medical and preventive care is extremely necessary for puppies. Younger puppies are too small to understand what is good or bad for them. Besides, they are also very curious, playful, and energetic during their initial years. This playful and curious nature can sometimes lead to harmful situations.


Puppies often play and munch on random objects, which can sometimes result in toxication. In fact, accidents are also common in puppies as they lack cognitive skills to measure the consequences of their action. Hence, pet parents should pay more attention to their puppy’s growth and development. Some essential puppy health recommendations are as mentioned:

  • Finding a vet: Taking your pup for regular health check-ups is essential for a its adequate growth and development. Consulting a veterinarian will provide useful insights and health tips for the puppy’s well-being. However, before visiting a vet, you should check important details like the doctor’s experience, speciality, and location. You need an experienced vet in or around your vicinity.
  • Health check-up: On visiting the vet, request a few tests to diagnose and treat any abnormalities or diseases. Stool test for internal parasites and head-to-tail examinations for inspecting the puppy’s fur, eyes, ear, mouth, and body are conducted by the vet during your initial visits to diagnose and treat health issues.
  • Feeding medicines: Veterinary doctors prescribe medication or supplements for treating any underlying illness and replenishing vitamin deficiency in puppies. However, feeding medicines to puppies or dogs is not an easy task. Follow the steps given below to learn how to successfully feed medicines to puppies.
  1.  Step 1: Start with a play session to relax the puppy. Praise it for good behavior and sit nearby once it calms down.
  2.  Step 2: Keep the pill ready in one hand and gently open the puppy’s mouth using your free hand.
  3.  Step 3: Place the pill at the far end of your puppy’s tongue and remove your hand. Now, quickly hold your puppy’s mouth shut and blow gently on its nose. Blowing air on the puppy’s nose will force it to swallow the pill.
  4. Step 4: Offer the fur baby a treat for good behavior and resume playtime

Apart following puppy health checklist, pet parents also need to ensure their fur baby is provided with other basic facilities for their overall growth and development. Training and socializing are as important as providing the best healthcare.

Besides, potty training and command training establishes hygiene and good behavior in them from a young age. To conclude, puppy health, fitness, and training are some of the most essential aspects for the overall growth and development of puppies.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I know my puppies are healthy?
  2. Observe the puppy daily to look for signs of discomfort, illness, and abnormalities. If you notice a major shift in the puppy’s mood or changes in physical attributions, stool, fur, and other attributes, then consult a vet at the earliest. However, if everything looks and feels normal then you have a healthy puppy.

  3. What are the 5 signs of a healthy puppy?
  4. Soft and shiny fur, clean ear, bright eyes, a clear nose, and a playful mood are some essential signs of a healthy puppy.

  5. What are the signs of a sick puppy?
  6. Diarrhea, vomiting, itching, whimpering, and loss of energy are some signs of a sick puppy.

  7. What are the most common illnesses in puppies?
  8. Parasites, kennel cough, parvovirus, vomiting, and diarrhea are some common illnesses in puppies.

  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!