Finding a healthy puppy is a priority for any new dog owner. Having continual health challenges can be emotionally and financially draining. There are certain aspects of health that cannot be tested in puppies, such as hips and elbows. In this case, carefully screening the parents is the best way to make your selection. Although hip problems are the most common, it is also important to be sure the elbows of the parents are also normal.
What does a vet check for in a young puppy before they go to their new owner? Overall health (lack of worms, proper weight, etc.) is examined. In addition, the bite is checked to see if it is correct. The vet will check for hernias. For males they will check if testicles have dropped and for females the proper positioning of the vulva (not being recessed). Another important check is for heart murmurs.
We give the first puppy shot at six weeks of age, with the next ones following at 9, 12, and 16 weeks. We encourage our new puppy owners not to take their puppy to public places until after they have been fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, we are aware of cases where this precaution was not taken and the result was devastating. Our family socializes our puppies on-site. We welcome visitors, but we do not allow visitors to handle our young puppies. They may, however, play with our fully vaccinated adult dogs. These precautions may seem extreme to some, but we want to make sure that we send home a healthy puppy. Our track record has been excellent and we want to be sure that continues.