Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.


Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccinating your puppy is one of the first steps a pet owner can do to make sure your puppy is healthy and protected against potential illnesses. The vaccines recommended to you by your vet depend on your pet’s lifestyle and individual needs. There are core vaccines, ones which every dog should receive regardless of lifestyle, and non-core vaccines which depend on your dog’s risk factors. Vaccinations are recommended due to the fact that they allow a dog’s body to create antibodies against a collection of different diseases without experiencing the symptoms or becoming ill – this means that if they do become exposed to the actual disease, their body is already prepared to fight it off.

What vaccinations do you offer to new puppies?

There are what are called CORE vaccines – these are vaccines which every dog should receive, regardless of lifestyle and exposure to other dogs. These are ones that vaccinate against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. The distemper and parvovirus are given in the same combination vaccine while the rabies vaccine stands alone. Rabies is given in the last set of booster vaccines. DA2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus 2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus all combined into a single vaccine) is given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Puppies are always recommended to be given these vaccinations as well as the Bordetella (a kennel cough) vaccine. There are also NON-CORE vaccines – these are vaccines which may or may not be necessary depending on your dog’s risk factors. These are used to prevent diseases that occur sporadically, are more common in specific circumstances, or are new or “emerging” diseases. Examples of these are the Leptospirosis, Bordetella (kennel cough), or Lyme vaccine. The only one typically administered to puppies would be the Bordetella vaccine – this is usually a requirement for puppy socialization classes, boarding, and doggie daycare. The Lepto and Lyme vaccines are not covered in our puppy package cost.

Why is it important to properly vaccinate your puppy?

Properly vaccinating your puppy is the best way to ensure they will be protected against dangerous diseases that they can come across while they interact with other dogs or animals, go for walks through parks, woods, or around the neighbourhood, and other common experiences. Some of the diseases the vaccines help prevent can be fatal or require very rigorous treatment.

What is an appropriate schedule for puppy vaccinations?

Due to a puppy’s evolving immune system and underexposure to disease, it is typically recommended to booster vaccines every 3-4 weeks for the first few months, with the earliest vaccination beginning at 8 weeks of age and being boostered once at 12 weeks, and a final time at 16 weeks. The vaccines will then be given one year from the final puppy booster, and from then on depends on which vaccines your pet requires due to their lifestyle – some can be given every three years whereas others are given annually. There are situations where the puppy vaccine schedule is not completed in the ideal time frame–in these instances, you should consult a vet to make sure your puppy is protected.

How should you prepare your puppy for its first vaccination visit?

To prepare for your puppy’s first vaccine visit, you should bring any previous medical records with you to show the vet – these may list previous vaccines given while under the care of the breeder or shelter. You should be prepared to keep an eye on your puppy following your appointment as any vaccine reactions will start surfacing in many cases immediately. Although rare, they can happen and should be seen by a vet to determine the severity and whether or not it will resolve without medical assistance. Most pets show no indications of having been vaccinated.

How much do puppy vaccinations cost?

Pricing varies depending on your puppies needs. Contact Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital at 902-434-0700 and we can provide you with a personalized quote for you and your puppy.


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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following policies were updated Monday, June 1, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.0700. We will confirm your information and a receptionist will come out to bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. If you have an iPhone, we have set up our clinic iPad for you to FaceTime with the vet during the exam or we have the capability of doing Skype for video-calling during the exam as well. If you do not have either of these as options, once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone while you remain outside. A staff member will then return to your vehicle with your pet and bring any items to go home with you. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team. We will either ring you through at your vehicle with our portable debit/credit machine or we accept credit card payments over the phone. We are not taking cash at this time.

2. We are still OPEN but are working with limited staff and trying to limit human exposure, including staff-to-staff, as much as possible with deep disinfecting occurring after we close for the day.
Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone or via our portable debit/credit machine at your vehicle. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home or order and pay via the website and pick up at the clinic. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

5. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital