Is my puppy health tested before coming home?
No, your puppy cannot be tested for hip or elbow health at 10-12 weeks of age. The minimum for hips is 16 weeks for PennHIP, though the lifelong accuracy of those early scores is up for debate.
So how do I know my puppy is healthy?
Before coming home with you, your puppy has seen a licensed Veterinarian, been checked for visible congenital defects (hernia, cleft palate, any abnormal developments externally), heart murmur, temperature, dentition, body condition, eyes, ears, and descended testes in males.
Your puppy packet includes a copy of the Veterinarian’s report from this puppy wellness exam, in addition to a microchip number, vaccine records, and deworming records.
How can I keep my puppy healthy after he comes home?
We recommend keeping up to date on DHLPP (5-way) and Rabies vaccines throughout the life of your puppy.
Always have fresh, clean water available.
Feed on a schedule and pull bowls when they are done eating- even if the bowl isn’t empty.
Take care to match existing dogs to the temperament and drive of any new pup you plan to add. Supervise interactions and protect the puppy from themselves and other dogs as needed. Over exercise is more common when there are multiple, larger dogs around a puppy.
Body condition in growing puppies should be kept THINNER than your average pet dog. Additional weight tends to strain the developing joints, increasing the risk of injury and developmental abnormalities. Other risks to your dogs elbows, hips and shoulders are jumping from over 12″ high, any forced exercise, and acute injury that goes without appropriate rest/restriction of activity.
These dogs have high pain thresholds, and just because they are willing to keep working/running/playing, doesn’t mean that is the best course of action for them. You as the responsible human should restrict after any injury, and if a limp lasts more than 48 hours, seek Veterinary advice.
As breeders, we can speak from our experience and research, but we are not DVM. The above advice is based on 12 years of raising these dogs to pass health testing as adults and have long, productive working lives with our animals.