A Dog Health Checklist for Prospective Buyers
Before bringing home a puppy or dog, go over this simple dog
health checklist to avoid unnecessary disappointment. Thousands
of people suffer heartbreak when their new puppy becomes
extremely sick or dies unexpectedly. Vet bills pile up with
these canine health problems and often puppies do not survive
treatments. Requesting vet records is not always enough.
Dog Health Problems When Choosing a Puppy
When viewing puppies at the breeder's home, drop a set of
keys near puppies that interest you. A puppy should jump a
little and then walk over to examine the keys. If a puppy hides
and doesn't act interested, you are better off avoiding him.
Puppies with runny noses, a cough or a large pot belly
probably have underlying health issues. If one of these puppies
really interests you, ask the breeder to have a vet look at the
puppy to ensure the puppy is healthy or will become healthy with
View the Breed Registry
A breed registry is basically a puppy's family tree. The
puppy's parents are listed along with their parentage. Most
breed registries go back for years and provide you excellent
information into potential dog health problems.
Breeds like German Shepherds and Dachshunds are notorious for
developing painful hip and spine problems. If you have years of
breeding to research, you can see if any of the dogs in your
puppy's genealogical history required hip or back surgeries.
Check Vaccination Records
Before bringing home a puppy, make sure the puppy is fully
vaccinated. If a puppy is missing any shots, request they be
completed first. Many troublesome canine health problems, such
as Parvo, are prevented with shots. You will need to take the
puppy for booster shots to make sure your puppy remains healthy.
Puppies generally do not receive the rabies vaccine until
they are older, so verify with the breeder that the puppies have
been kept safely inside and not anywhere where they could have
contacted a rabid bat or raccoon. Don't be afraid to ask to view
where the puppies spend time. If a breeder refuses, it's best to
Parasitic worms dehydrate puppies quickly and often lead to
anemia. They affect dog health in all breeds and stages of life.
Ask to see the veterinary records proving the puppy is negative
for roundworms, passed from mother to puppy. It doesn't hurt to
check for hookworms, tapeworms (especially if you see fleas) and
If you have other pets at home, request the puppy be dewormed
before you bring it home. Parasitic worm's egg casings will exit
in the feces and potentially infect both you and your other
animals if they come into contact with it.
Check Skin Condition
Mange and mites are common dog health problems that you
should check for. Demodectic mange is especially dangerous
because it leads to red, scabby skin. If an bacterial infection
sets in, puppies can die from the infection.
Watch the puppy to see if it spends time scratching a
specific area of its body, usually the face, neck and legs. If
so, request a skin scraping test to prove the puppy is free of
mange. If the test is positive, there are medications and dips
that treat the mange.
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