Cedar Rapids Animal Hospital

1000 Memorial Drive SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403



New Puppy Care

Health Recommendations and Information


If this is your first puppy or you are a pro at puppy rearing, the doctors and staff at Cedar Rapids Animal Hospital are here to answer any questions that you may have. It is very important to start at a young age with proper socialization, potty training and teaching basic commands. We know how exciting and frustrating it can be to have a new puppy and we would like to make the transition into your home a smooth one. These are our health recommendations and some general information on caring for your new puppy.

General Health Recommendations

Doctors at the Cedar Rapids Animal Hospital recommend that you bring any new puppy in for a physical exam within the first week of bringing them home. General recommendation is that Distemper/Parvo vaccinations are given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age and Rabies vaccine is given at 16 weeks of age. Occasionally a puppy will be given vaccines at a breeder or shelter.  We recommend that you bring any records given to you to your first appointment.  If necessary we can adjust your vaccine schedule. Even if your new puppy isn't due for any vaccines it is important to get them checked out to make sure there are not any noticeable health problems.


First Puppy Visit 

Physical Exam and Consultation

  • Complete exam of ears, eyes, teeth, heart, lungs, skin and coat, body condition, check for umbilical hernias, and manipulation of knees and hips.
  • Answer any questions you may have about potty training, socialization, feeding recommendations, crate training and anything else you can think of. We encourage you to bring a list!
  • Discuss vaccination recommendations
  • Discuss intestinal parasite/heartworm medication and flea and tick medication recommendations

Distemper/Hepatitis/Parainfluenza/Parvo Vaccine

Intestinal Parasite Screen (please bring a stool sample)

  • It is not uncommon for puppies to have some intestinal parasites, and we want to make sure that they will be adequately treated by the monthly preventative.

Start Intestinal Parasite/Heartworm and Flea and Tick Control Program

  • We recommend deworming puppies multiple times to ensure they will be free of intestinal parasites
  • These medications are based on weight so we will weigh your puppy at each of their next visits to ensure they are getting the proper dose.
  • Intestinal Parasite/Heartworm medication should be given once a month year round.
  • Flea and Tick products are recommended to be used May-December

Second Puppy Visit

Physical Exam and Consultation

DHPP Booster Vaccine

Intestinal Parasite/Heartworm and Flea Medications.


Third Puppy Visit

Physical Exam and Consultation

DHPP Booster Vaccine (good for 1 year)

Rabies Vaccine (good for 1 year)

  • Iowa state law requires rabies vaccinations to be boostered prior to their expiration date. If boostered after the expiration date the vaccine is only good for one year. If boostered prior to expiration the vaccine will be a 3 year vaccine.

Intestinal Parasite/Heartworm and Flea Medications

  • At this visit we usually recommend picking up enough medication to last until your spay or neuter.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering can be preformed when your puppy is about 6 months of age. This provides many long term health and behavior benefits to both female and male dogs. Dogs that go unspayed or neutered are more likely to get multiple types of cancer and can potentially be more aggressive towards other dogs, people and kids.

Important reasons to spay or neuter your pet


Additional Vaccinations to Consider

These vaccines are based on your puppies lifestyle. A doctor will discuss these with you at your first puppy visit and help you decide if they would be good for your puppy. Bordetella can be given as soon as your first puppy visit. We recommend starting Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease vaccinations 4 weeks after your last puppy visit. 

Leptospirosis - If your puppy may come in contact with contaminated urine or feces of wildlife such as raccoons, deer, mice, rats, skunks and opossum we recommend vaccination for Leptospirosis. Other risks for exposure include; taking your puppy to the dog park, running on trails or in wooded areas, or even walking in your neighborhood. 

Bordetella- Bordetella (Kennel Cough) is required by all boarding facilities. We also recommend this vaccine if you plan to take your puppy to the groomer, a puppy class, or a training facility.

Lyme Disease- Dogs that frequent areas with a high tick population would be a good candidate for a Lyme disease vaccination. There has been a slight rise in dogs testing positive for Lyme disease in the past year in our practice. This is a disease that is becoming more prevalent in our area.


Important Phone Numbers



Sit and Focus



Fetch and Drop Object