We understand that adopting a puppy is a big decision and comes with lots of questions. At the first visit for your fluffy new friend, we will help to guide you in making decisions regarding the health of your pet.  The technician will be available to answer all of your questions and offer advice.

This document will allow you to be aware of the options available to you so you can prepare your questions in advance for the phone conversation you will have with the technician prior to the veterinary exam.


  • DHPP (base): This vaccine protects your pet from 4 viruses transmitted by other dogs. These are the 4 viruses included in this vaccine; distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus. It is very important to vaccinate dogs for these viruses as the symptoms can be very severe in young and old dogs.
    • (This vaccine is obligatory for the sterilisation surgery.)
  • Bordetella (kennel cough): Kennel cough is essentially a cough transmitted by infected dogs. We strongly recommend this vaccine for dogs who go to boarding, grooming and dog parks.
    • (This vaccine is obligatory for the sterilisation surgery.)
  • Leptospirosis: This illness is transmitted in the urine of infected animals, frequently found in puddles of stagnant water in which some dogs will drink out of, or on wet grass that the infected animal has urinated on. This illness is zoonotic, meaning an infected animal can spread the disease to humans. Leptospirosis attacks the organs and is strongly recommended to be given in all dogs even though it is not widespread in Quebec. Vaccination plays a crucial part in containing and controlling the virus.
  • Rabies: Rabies is a virus transmitted through the saliva of infected animals when exposed directly to the bloodstream of another mammal. It is transmitted by bites or licking of a wound. The animals that carry this virus without becoming sick are mostly racoons, bats, skunks and foxes. This virus is to be taken very seriously as it always results in death in animals and it is also zoonotic (infects humans).


Parasite Prevention :

  • We recommend parasite prevention in puppies until at least 6 months of age as puppies are commonly infected with parasites, even if there is no evidence of worms in the stools. Parasites can be transmitted by the mother through the placenta and/or lactation.
  • We also recommend to bring analyze a stool sample for parasites to be sure we are treating the parasites with the right dewormer. However, in case of a negative result, it does not necessarily mean that the dog does not have parasite, but that the parasite has not laid eggs at the moment the stool sample was taken. It is for this reason that we deworm puppies regardless of the result from the stool sample.
  • There are 2 forms of parasite prevention; in the form of pills which are administered orally (they are usually flavoured and the dog thinks they are getting a treat which makes it easier to give) or a liquid form which is administered topically. The liquid forms are generally used in combination with other parasite preventatives to offer full protection against other ectoparasites. These products require a bit more work from the owner than the oral options, however, they can be a good option in animals with allergies or picky eaters.
  • Heartworm is essentially a worm that infects the heart of dogs and is transmitted by mosquitos. This prevention is usually combined with the dewormers for the intestinal parasites. This treatment is given between June and November for the entire life of your dog.
  • Ticks are generally living in tall grass or forests; however, we can also find them living in cities. Ticks come out when the temperature reaches 4°C or higher. This is why we will start tick prevention sometime in March till about November.

During the discussion with the technician, she can help you choose the product that is best for you and your puppy.

General Care :

Bath :

  • A bath should be a pleasant experience for your dog, this is why you should gradually acclimate him to this activity by offering him treats during bath-time.
  • Baths should be given only as needed, ideally 4 times per year. However, for those that prefer to bathe their dog frequently, you can bathe your dog maximum once a month with a dog shampoo for sensitive skin.
  • Bathing removes essential oils from the animal’s fur which can result in dry, itchy skin.
  • Be careful during the bath to avoid your dog’s head as to prevent the shampoo from going into the eyes.
  • It is important to use dog shampoo.


  • The ears should be cleaned as needed as well, generally once a month. It is important to use an ear cleaning solution made for dogs. Instructions with pictures will be given to you during your visit. You can also visit our Youtube page for a instructive video.
  • It is important to manipulate your dog in sensitive areas, such as; the ears mouth and paws. This will get your dog used to manipulation is these areas and facilitate care such as ear cleaning, nail trimming and brushing the teeth. It will also make treatments and exams easier!

Teeth :

  • A dog’s teeth, just like the humans’, should be brushed daily. As dogs are not capable of spitting, a toothpaste made specifically for animals is obligatory. Human toothpaste contains ingredients toxic to your dog such as fluoride or sweeteners.
  • Regular and daily teeth brushing will prevent periodontal disease and prevent expensive veterinary bills. There is a video on our Youtube page that shows you how to brush your dog’s teeth.

Nail Trims :

  • Again, a video on our Youtube page has been made to show you how to cut your dog’s nails.
  • It is crucial to go slowly in training your dog to accept nail trims. This experience should always be positive for your pet as it is very stressful for them. Respect their limit and give lots of treats.


Bellerive Animal Hospital