Puppies Health


Managing Your Dog's Health

Develop a relationship with a trusted local veterinarian.

If you have concerns about your dog's health, this is your first point of contact. 

Good Health Starts with a Good Diet​

Always feed your Labrador Retriever puppies food for large breed dogs such as Purina Large Breed Puppy Food, Life's Abundance, or other of equal quality. At 2 years of age our vet recommends to switch their food to Large Breed Adult Dog Food i.e. Purina Large Breed Adult Dog Food. 

We recommend NuVet Plus Immune System Builder for all puppies and adult dogs. And,we recommend NuJoint DS  (supplements for hip & joint support starting at 6 months of age). Because these supplements help keep them in top health, they are less likely to get sick, have allergies, skin rashes, digestive issues, cancer, tumors, or have hip/joint issues, etc. Check out our discount code that we offer on our NuVet Supplement page. As the saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gain"...Its better to  spend a little money keeping our puppy/dog’s immunity high and puppies health in top condition than spending a lot of money on a vet visit that may be preventable.

Of course puppies are mischievous and they explore with their mouths resulting in a lot of non-nutritional items off the ground that can cause minor to major issues.

Diarrhea/Loose Stool

Expect to have a loose stool every so often because they explore the world through their mouths and therefore ingest things that affect their immature digestive system.  There can be many causes of loose stool, for example, stress of a new environment, foreign food (ie. a human snack on the floor, sticks, gravel etc.), and parasites (Giardia, Coccydia and Roundworms are all common parasites that puppies get and are effectively treated with dewormers).

Get in the habit of checking your puppy's stool every day to make sure it is firm. If it isn't firm, below are suggestions on how to firm it up:

  1. Feed "soaked kibble" for all meals until the stool is firm for 4 days straight. To prepare soaked kibble, pour hot water over puppy's food (ensuring it is out of reach), wait 45 minutes for food to cool down and bloat up, then feed to the puppy.  Soaked food is easier to digest and the ease of digestion on their system can help the immature system to repair itself. Food to water ratio is 1/2 - for example if you feed 1 Cups food add 2 cups hot water. Soaking food also helps with hydration.
  2. Probiotics or Probios for canines is helpful to get your puppy/dog's digestive system back on track if they have loose stool.  Add Probiotic to soaked kibble once it has cooled.
  3. 100% canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is an all natural way to firm up the stool. Dosage: one spoonful
  4. Immodium or Kaopectate anti-diarrheal - dose chart for approved human medications (pintrest) here

Consider dropping off a stool sample to your vet if loose stool persists for longer than 3 days to check if your puppy needs to be dewormed.  Also, puppies can easily dehydrate when they have diarrhea so be sure to begin treatment as soon as you notice loose stools. If you are not having success with the home remedies, consult with your veterinarian. Puppies should be dewormed on a regular basis with a dewormer that is effective for treating both roundworms and giardia.

Also, if your dog is showing additional signs of illness such as lethargy, vomiting, fever, weakness, or dry pale gums, consult with your veterinarian.

Additional Resouces:

AKC Guide to Diarrhea 

Dog-friendly over the counter medications


There are many causes of nonlife-threatening vomiting that are not cause for alarm. Sometimes your puppy may vomit because he ate his food too fast or if he gets motion sickness from a ride in the car or if your puppy ate something that upset their stomach. If this happens, simply keep an eye on your puppy to make sure he is acting normally.

If your puppy is showing additional illness such lethargy, vomiting, fever, weakness, or dry pale gums, consult with your veterinarian. 

When your Puppy Ingests a Toxic Substance

If your puppy/dog ever eats anything that is toxic or dangerous, immediately contact your vet or go to the nearest emergency vet clinic. If your pet has accidentally ingested something poisonous, immediately remove him or her from the source of poison. However, you first must determine if it is safe to do so. Some substances require special safety equipment for handling (i.e., rubber gloves, masks, etc.).

If possible, identify the poison and have the contents available for your veterinarian to evaluate. Having the labels and/or containers of the material or medication is extremely helpful, too.

If the dog has vomited, gather a sample of it in a plastic bag and save it for your veterinarian. It may be used for testing and analysis. However, never induce vomiting without consulting with your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 first, especially if it is unconscious. 

Certain types of poisons can be made worse when vomiting is induced.

Contact the Pet Poison Helpline on the way to the veterinarian or emergency clinic. It may help you relay important information to the doctors.

What are the Top 10 Toxins and Poisons for Dogs?

  1. Chocolates
  2. Insect bait stations
  3. Rodenticides (mouse and rat poison)
  4. Fertilizers
  5. Xylitol-containing products such as sugar-free gums and candies
  6. Ibuprofen
  7. Acetaminophen
  8. Silica gel packs
  9. Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drugs
  10. Household cleaners

Be sure to check online for a more detailed list

Additional resources:

23 Common Plants that are Poisonous to Pets

10 Most Common Poisonous Houseplants

Dog-friendly over the counter medications

Flea and Tick Control 

Protect your puppy/dog safely from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes with Frontline, Bravecto, PetProtector Flea Control or similar products. Always consult with your vet what flea control product is best for your puppy/dog for their age and weight.


When a dog contracts parvo, they become very ill and experience significant abdominal pain. The virus damages the intestinal lining, causing it to slough.

Most puppies infected with parvo are unable to eat and rapidly become dehydrated. This results in a significant loss of electrolytes, which causes them to become very weak. Often dehydration is the official cause of death in dogs with parvo.

Most dogs that contract the parvovirus are in danger of dying from dehydration and malnutrition, not the parvovirus itself. Parvo most often affects puppies because their immune systems are not as mature as older dogs.

Symptoms may include:

  1. hi fever
  2. lethargy
  3. depression
  4. loss of appetite
  5. gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and bloody, smelly diarrhea

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you get help (CALL YOUR VET) (go to an Emergency VET CLINIC if after hours).

What Causes Parvo?

Parvo is a highly contagious virus. Dogs usually catch the virus through contact with infected feces, either by touching it directly or through secondary contact (e.g., on other dogs, shoes, dirt, flies, toys, etc.)

Once a puppy is infected, parvo can spread quickly, depending on how strong his immune system is. Many dogs will die within 72 hours of showing symptoms. Most dogs that get the parvovirus will need to be hydrated to survive.

To keep your dog healthy and parvo-free;

  1. Make sure your puppy is properly  vaccinated. Puppies should recieve their first vaccines at 6-8 weeks of age; boosters should be administered at three-week intervals until the puppy is 16 weeks of age, and then again at 1 year of age.
  2. Limit your puppy or unvaccinated dog's exposure to other dogs until he's had his first 2 vaccinations, unless your are sure the other dogs are fully vaccinated.
  3.  Avoid places where your puppy or unvaccinated dog could be exposed to parvovirus from unvaccinated dogs. Dog parks, pet stores, play groups, and other public areas should be avoided until your dog or puppy is fully vaccinated.
  4. When visiting your vet for wellness check-ups and vaccinations, carry your puppy in your arms outside and leave him on your lap while waiting in the lobby....
  5. Parvovirus is very difficult to kill and can live in the environment for over a year.
  6. If you work or spend time in places where you have contact with dogs, change your clothes and shoes before returning home to your dog or puppy.

For more information on help preventing Parvovirus Click Here

Information sourced from; animalfoundation.com

Kennel (K9) Cough

Kennel Cough (also known as K9 cough or canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. If your dog is infected you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. A strong cough, often with a “honking” sound - the most obvious symptom
  2. runny nose
  3. sneezing
  4. lethargy
  5. loss of appetite
  6. low fever

Contact your vet for treatment. If you are planning on boarding your dog, showing or using dog day care, you can have your vet vaccinate them against this disease...

If you notice your pet coughing or if you plan to introduce your dog to large groups of animals, speak with your veterinarian.

This is a short list of some of the health issues that every dog owner needs to be aware of but, certainly not an exhaustive list. Again, your vet is your best advocate when your dog/puppy is sick. Hopefully, this overview will be a help to you for your dog/puppy's health, and in how to prevent most of these, if not all.