944 East Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI 02871

(401) 683-0803



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Puppy Care

Congratulations on your new puppy! 

We love the friendship and joy a new puppy brings!

Congratulations! All of us at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic are eager to meet the newest member of your family.  We just love new puppies; there is nothing cuter than watching a puppy experience a new toy, your family or his food dish for the first time!  Watching your puppy grow and change over the first year is a wonderful experience.


Having a puppy can bring a lot of good experiences into your life, but it also requires a lot of giving of time, energy, and money for proper veterinary care.   As a pet parent, you now have the responsibility for making sure your dog’s most basic needs are met.  We are here to partner with you throughout your puppy’s healthy life!

Your Puppy’s First Visit with Us

Please bring your puppy in for a check-up as soon as possible to establish a relationship with a veterinarian.  A puppy exam is important to establish the health of your puppy.   Very young puppies may suffer more from medical issues as their immune system is not yet mature, and certain types of breeds and pets are more susceptible to certain medical problems.   Puppies that have not had adequate medical care prior to adoption may have pre-existing conditions that need to be addressed.  The puppy exam will ensure your canine companion will be on the way to growing up healthy and strong. 

Please bring your puppy on a leash or in a carrier, and all veterinary records or other paperwork you have pertaining to your puppy’s care.  Also, please bring a fresh stool sample (ideally less than 12 hours old).

Your puppy’s first exam will include:

  • A comprehensive physical exam
  • Development of a vaccination program based on your puppy’s current age and expected lifestyle. Rabies vaccine is required by state law for all puppies.
  • Heartworm prevention recommendations
  • Internal and external parasite screening
  • Intestinal parasite deworming if needed
  • Recommendations for controlling and preventing external parasite such as flea and ticks
  • Behavior and housetraining recommendations
  • Nutritional counseling

Pre-Puppy Planning

Pre-puppy planning is important.  It is best to purchase supplies (for example, food and water bowls, chew toys, grooming supplies, bedding, collar and leash, identification tag, create and gates) before you bring your puppy home.  Pre-puppy shopping allows you to order from wholesale catalogs or shop for supplies without the pressure of the puppy needing it immediately.

You’ll need to puppy-proof the area where he or she will spend most of his or her time the first few months. Once you think you’ve completely puppy-proofed, lie on the floor and look around once more to get a puppy’s-eye view.  If you have children, please remind them not to overwhelm the puppy the first day.

When you pick up your puppy, remember to ask what and when he or she was fed.  Replicate that schedule until your first puppy visit with us.  We will discuss your puppy’s breed, anticipated lifestyle and nutritional needs with you during your first puppy visit.  If you do not think you can purchase the same type of food the puppy was eating, please give us a call.

House Training Your Puppy

House training your puppy begins when you bring your puppy home. We have attached links to articles to help you housetrain your puppy:

Please also be alert to the following symptoms, as they are signs that your puppy needs immediate care:

  • Any respiratory problems, such as coughing, trouble breathing or near drowning
  • Any signs of pain:  panting, labored breathing, increased body temperature, lethargy, restlessness or loss of appetite
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Any wound or laceration that’s open and bleeding, or any animal bite
  • Allergic reactions, such as swelling around the face, or hives, most easily seen on the belly
  • Any eye injury, no matter how mild
  • Seizure, fainting, or collapse
  • Thermal Stress, either too cold or too hot, even if the dog seems to have recovered
  • Trauma received from any incident, even if the dog does not appear to have been physically harmed
  • Any suspected poisoning, including ingestion of antifreeze, rodent or snail bait, or human medication

The entire staff at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic is here to help you and your puppy through every life stage. Please contact us to schedule your puppy’s first wellness exam and with any questions you have about your puppy’s healthcare.

Alice Brightman Memorial Fund

The Fund offers financial help to our patients to pay for medical care their families could not or cannot afford…

Donate to Help Pets

Every day veterinarians across Rhode Island see pet owners who are elderly, disabled, or on a fixed income.


Order prescription food, supplements, food, pain relief; flea, tick and heartworm medicine online!

Pet Medical Records

You must have an active email on file with our practice in order to use the PetPage App

Care Credit

Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic is pleased to offer and accept CareCredit®, North America’s leading medical payments program.


MON – FRI: 8am – 5pm

SATURDAY: 8am – 12pm