We generally see puppies for their first exam at or around eight weeks of age. We ask that you bring all relevant paperwork (vaccine/medical history), as well as a fresh stool sample to check for any intestinal parasites. At this first visit, your puppy will receive a complete physical exam, any necessary vaccinations, deworming medication, and a puppy kit that contains information on feeding, crate training, housebreaking, heartworm/flea/tick/parasite preventatives, microchipping, and obedience training, as well as a free sample of heartworm and flea/tick medication. We will also instruct you on proper nail-trimming and ear cleaning techniques. New puppy visits are 30 minute appointments to allow plenty of time for any questions you may have about the newest addition to your family. Subsequent puppy visits are at 12 and 16 weeks of age. Two of the three puppy visits should be with a doctor.

At Milford Animal Hospital, we can not stress enough the importance of annual exams. Even if your pet is not due for a vaccination, it is essential to have your pet examined from head to tail every year. A lot can change in a year, especially when the average life span of a dog is less than 13 years. Call us today to schedule your pet’s next visit.

If your pet is having an emergency, call the hospital immediately at 203.878.7471. If you have an emergency after hours, click the EMERGENCY link above for contact information for the closest emergency center.

At Milford Animal Hospital, we follow the vaccination guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The canine vaccination protocol is as follows:

8 Weeks Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (DHPP)
12 Weeks DHPP +/- Leptospirosis (Lepto)* and Rabies (one year)
16 Weeks DHPP +/- Lepto (one year) and First Lyme Vaccine (optional)
18 Weeks Second Lyme Vaccine (one year)
16 Months DHPP +/- Lepto (one year), Rabies (three year), Annual Lyme (usually given at recheck appointment two weeks later), and Annual Heartworm Test.

The following year, the DHPP vaccine is a three year vaccine. Lepto and Lyme are boostered yearly. Heartworm and fecal parasite testing are performed yearly. Most groomers, kennels, and doggie daycares require that your animal receive a Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Canine Influenza vaccine. These vaccines are optional and are given to puppies eight weeks or older and are generally boostered annually. We do not recommend the Coronavirus or Giardia vaccines because of their limited efficacy.

We recommend that female dogs are spayed at 6 months (before their first heat cycle) to reduce the risk of developing mammary cancers later in life. For male dogs, your veterinarian will help you determine the most appropriate age for neutering.

*Leptospirosis is a bacteria that lives in fresh water (i.e. ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, etc.). It is transmitted via the urine of contaminated wildlife. If your dog drinks from or swims in fresh water, or if you frequently see wildlife on your property, then we suggest that your dog receives the Lepto vaccine.