Lifetime Canine Care Plan

A dog can be a person’s best friend, which is why it is so important to be extra vigilant in the care of your pup. From eating right to exercising frequently, and from getting vaccinations to receiving proper training, your dog requires a lot of special attention if you want to ensure that he lives a long, healthy and happy life. One big way that you can make sure that your pup sees old age is to follow a standard health care plan set forth by your dog’s veterinarian.


While each dog’s medical schedule is going to vary based on breed, size, age and individual needs, this canine care plan can give you an idea of what to expect once you adopt your life-long friend.

little kitten

6-8 Weeks

Congratulations on your new puppy! At 8 weeks, your puppy is ready to come home with you. However, before you introduce him to your home, family members and other pets, take him to the veterinarian first. You should already have an appointment scheduled at this point so that your puppy can get his very first wellness check and receive his first weight and body conditioning score.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Internal parasite screen
  • DHPP vaccine
  • Bordetella Vaccine
  • First preventative medications
  • Heartworm medication


Your vet should also discuss with you proper training techniques, dietary and nutritional needs, what type of behavior to expect from your puppy, housetraining techniques, proper grooming, parasite management and appropriate toys for your pup based on his size and breed.

9-12 Weeks

At this point, your pup will have been with you for one whole month. Congratulations! No doubt your vet will want to discuss with you how house and behavioral training is going, as well as if you have any questions or concerns regarding your pup’s growth. Additionally, you can expect the vet to give your dog his second comprehensive physical exam and again receive a weight and body conditioning score.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Second DHPP vaccine
  • Second Bordetella vaccine
  • First Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Internal Parasite Screen
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm medication

12-15 Weeks

At 15 weeks, your puppy is likely growing rapidly, becoming more curious and learning to enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, he will receive his standard comprehensive exam as well as a weight and body conditioning score.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Nutritional assessment
  • Annual Rabies vaccine
  • Third DHPP vaccine
  • Second Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm medication

15-18 Weeks

At this stage, you may be encouraged to receive a final Parvo vaccine or begin vaccinating for Canine Flu.

4 to 6 Months

At this stage in your puppy’s life, he or she is becoming a teenager. And, like with most teenagers, his or her reproductive organs are starting to develop. Now is the time when you want to spay or neuter them. Additionally, if you adopted your pet from a shelter, most shelters require owners to provide proof of spay or neuter within six months of adoption.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Presurgical blood draw
  • 1st Heartworm Check
  • Spay or neuter
  • Pre-surgery dental exam (any remaining baby teeth may need to be removed)
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm prevention

1 to 4 Years

Happy Birthday to your pup! Now that he is a year old, you can space out his visits to every 6 months. At his yearly checkup, he will receive a comprehensive physical, a weight and body conditioning score and a nutritional assessment. At this point, your dog should be big and healthy, and at least halfway to his full-grown size. Your vet should be able to tell you what more your dog needs to develop properly, if anything.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Complete Physical Examination
  • Blood work (junior early detection profile)
  • DHLPP vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Bordetella vaccine
  • Canine Flu vaccine
  • Heartworm/tick disease screen
  • Heartworm and flea and tick medications
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Annual Dental scaling and polishing

5 to 8 Years

Your puppy is a puppy no longer and is a middle-aged canine. At this point in his life, he is susceptible to more illness and injury, which it is so important that he see the vet a little more frequently and that you keep up with his yearly vaccines. Your vet will request that you bring your dog in twice a year at this point for a semi-annual physical exam, a weight and body conditioning score and a nutritional assessment.

8+ Years

Your pup has officially made it to old age at this point. A whopping 56 years old in human years, he has been able to receive the senior discount for a whole year now! After you celebrate, schedule his bi-yearly checkups. Every six months, your vet will conduct a thorough physical exam and nutritional assessment, as well as provide a weight and body conditioning score.


Your pet is due for the following...

  • Geriatric Workup
  1. Complete Physical Examination
  2. Dental Examination
  3. EKG
  4. Complete Urinalysis
  5. Blood Pressure
  6. X-Rays
  7. Radiograph Specialist Interpretation
  8. Complete Bloodwork

While it is always important to consult with your veterinarian about what, exactly, your dog needs to live a long, happy, healthy and fulfilling life, this guide can help you to know what to expect in terms of healthcare for your puppy. If you are considering adopting a puppy or adult dog, only do so if you are prepared to keep up with a healthcare schedule similar to this one, as veterinarians designed it to ensure optimal health for all dog breeds.