New Recommendation: Physical Examinations for Puppies at 6 Months of Age

At most veterinary hospitals, puppy visits generally end around 4 months of age, and for many dogs this means that we will not be examining them or reviewing their health care needs until they are 12-16 months old. Dogs that come from shelters or rescue groups often have been surgically altered before they are adopted. Many owners of purebred dogs like to wait for the dog to be 8-12 months old prior sterilization for optimal growth and development. Because of these common scenarios, we often do not see these dogs between the ages of 4 and 16 months unless they are sick for some reason. During this period of rapid growth, there are many important health issues which would be best managed with an individualized health and wellness plan.


Many juvenile dogs start to develop very challenging behaviors during adolescence. Unless addressed, these behaviors do not go away or improve with time. The sooner they are addressed, the better the outcome. Sometimes owners think the behaviors are normal or something they will have to just get used to, when in reality there are many training options to obtain the desired results.

Well-trained, confident dogs make the happiest dogs and also the happiest owners. Your Rau Animal Hospital veterinary team is here to help provide you with the tools you need to set your dog up for success.

Weight Management

Due to the convenience of commercial dog foods, one of the most important issues that may arise in this age range is obesity. Many owners are unaware that their roly-poly puppy is growing too quickly and is actually overweight. It is critical for the juvenile dog to maintain an ideal body condition score during their youth. This is a vital time for skeletal development.

Carrying around too much weight can actually cause irreversible bone problems. We all know that puppies typically love to eat, and we love to reward them with yummy treats. We can help design a feeding plan to ensure your dog maintains a lifelong healthy weight.


We recommend the core vaccines that all dogs need to develop a healthy immune system and prevent infectious diseases. There are a few other vaccines that may be recommended to your dog based on the lifestyle you and your dog lead. The perfect age to consider these other non-core vaccines is after the puppy series is complete. A few examples include Leptospirosis, Influenza, and the Rattlesnake vaccine. We can help you make the best decision for your dog during the 6-month examination.

Questions? We can help you with your new puppy!

We know you will have more questions about your growing pup and we would love to answer those as well. Make a list and bring it with you! Our goal is to provide the best care to your dog, now and throughout his or her entire life. Contact us to schedule your 6-month puppy exam!




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