Puppy Wellness Care Nurturing Puppy Care in Boston, MA

We are thrilled to welcome your new furry friend to Back Bay Veterinary Clinic!

We’ve prepared this collection of information and links to help you settle into life with your new puppy. Please review this before your first appointment with us. We have extra time set aside during this appointment to answer all of your questions!

Bulldog puppy

Veterinary Visit Checklist


  • Bordetella - one oral vaccine, lasts for 1 year, generally given at 8 to 12 weeks old.
  • DA2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza) - series of injectable vaccines given every 2 to 4 weeks, with the last one given at 16 weeks or later.
  • Rabies - one injectable vaccine, lasts for 1 year. Legally must be given between 12 weeks and 6 months old. 
  • Leptospirosis - series of 2 injectable vaccines, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Often given in combination with DA2PP.
  • Lyme - series of 2 injectable vaccines, given 2 to 4 weeks apart.
  • Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) - series of 2 injectable vaccines, given 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Vaccines need to be boostered every 1 to 3 years ongoing.  For more information about each of these vaccines and the diseases they prevent, please see our Vaccines for Dogs handout


  • Your puppy will be started on the month preventative Simparica Trio, which will also serve as a dewormer. If for some reason your puppy is not started on this medication, your veterinarian may decide to treat with a standard prophylactic dewormer (for example pyrantel, Drontal or Panacur) 

Preventative monthly medications

  • Simparica Trio: oral tablet that prevents infection with heartworm, fleas, ticks, and GI parasites.  You will give this once a month at home.  (We recommend setting reminders on your phone or calendar.)  Continue this lifelong, year-round!  
  • We will dispense 1 tablet at a time until your pet reaches final adult size, since it’s dosed based on weight class.
  • If your puppy is particularly small (under 2.8 lbs), we will substitute Revolution topical liquid to give monthly for heartworm, fleas, and GI parasites. This does not include tick protection, so you’ll need to be vigilant about ticks until the puppy is a bit larger.

Preventative Diagnostic testing

  • Two fecal tests at least 2 weeks apart to check for GI parasites.
  • Blood test for heartworm and tick-borne diseases (called “4dx”) will be done at the first adult annual visit. We may recommend an earlier test around 7 months of age if your dog is from the Southeast U.S. or another region with high rates of heartworm disease. Annual heartworm tests are required to dispense heartworm preventative.
  • Pre-anesthetic blood test is done before spay or neuter surgery to make sure your puppy is healthy enough to go under anesthesia.
puppy w toy-2


While some illnesses can wait, others should be seen right away. Please call and bring your pet in immediately, either to us or to a local emergency clinic (see below for a list) if they are showing any of the following signs of illness:

  • Sudden collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gray/purple/white gums
  • Seizure
  • Major trauma
  • Actively bleeding open wound - enough to soak through a paper towel
  • Allergic reaction - facial swelling, not just itching
  • Toxin ingestion (see below)
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Inability to urinate / defecate

If your puppy has ingested something potentially toxic, we recommend contacting the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435. If necessary, they will give you a case number that you can reference when you follow up with any veterinary hospital. You can also search the ASPCA website to find out what plants and food items are toxic.

Some of the most common poisonings we see are from the following items, but this is by no means a complete list:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes / raisins
  • Garlic / onions
  • Marijuana
  • Human medications, including NSAIDs like ibuprofen
  • Xylitol, an artificial sweetener

If your pet has a serious emergency outside of our normal business hours, please bring them to one of the following locations:

If you’re outside of Boston, other local emergency hospitals include: 

If our clinic is closed, and you’re not sure whether your puppy’s emergency is serious enough for a visit to the emergency clinic or whether it can wait until the next day, you can call us at (617) 247-2273 and speak with GuardianVets, our after-hours triage service staffed by licensed veterinary technicians.