Choosing your vet. You may want to develop a list of interview questions and proceeded to locate the practices nearby. Questions included: What is your process for isolating contagious animals? How do you clean the floors and exam tables and how often? Is there availability for after hour emergencies? How many vets are in your practice? What is the price for rabies shots, annual shots, heart worm etc.? Do you give a senior or military discount? Find a vet you feel comfortable with. There are many aspects of dog health maintenance that responsible pet owners can take care of themselves. Disclaimer: What follows are recommendations based on years of raising European Cream Golden Retrievers, Labs and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The suggestions outlined below are in no way guaranteed by us and are not meant to replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.


We administer our own puppy shots. Due to the essential nature of the puppy receiving the full dosage (properly administered), we recommend being trained in this simple procedure. Cost is approximately $4.99-$6.99 per shot.  Where to buy: or Revival Animal Health Be sure to check the expiration date on the package.



First puppy shot: Canine Spectra 5. Administered at 6 weeks ,

Subsequent shots:

9 weeks, 12 weeks, and 15 weeks of age.
















Vaccine options:

Canine Spectra 9- This shot contains leptospira canicola. If you are using a vaccine with lepto I do not add it until 15 weeks and use this instead of the Canine Spectra 5.  (Vaccine does not recommend for small dogs. Vaccine does not specify why.) After extensive research, this actually means a small dog given this shot may develop a seizure disorder for life. This seizure disorder has been seen with large breeds such as Golden Retrievers as well when given before 15 weeks. The lepo virus can compromise the immune system as well making dog unable to receive vaccines for it's life duration. We give lepto only to puppies 15 weeks or older and only recommend if lepto is in your area.










Vaccine Chart:

We have found out that giving a vaccine too early doesn't;t work for the puppy. The mother's immune system is protecting the puppy and can cause the vaccine not to work. So we are beginning our vaccines when the mother's protection is beginning to wear off. 


Rabies: Administered by a veterinarian at 16 weeks of age, AND annually OR you can request a 3-year booster (available one year after an annual booster).


    7-week    Canine Spectra 5-Start vitamins NuVet- We do this Canine Hepatitis, Adenovirus Cough, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Distemper

    10-week. Canine next set of vaccines Booster for Parvovirus, Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Adenovirus Cough, Parainfluenza-  Please recheck your puppies stool to make sure no protozoa was left behind from the deworming we do of the puppies. Vet Exam, Heart Preventative Started, Flea, and Tick may be started. There is a Coronavirus vaccine that may be added if this is in your area.

    12-week  Canine next set of vaccines Booster for Hepatitis, Adenovirus Cough, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Distemper.

We have recently learned that the leptospirosis vaccine has been improved. This can be added if the puppy is around 15lbs. If below this the puppy could suffer a neurological reaction. 

    16-week Rabies by Vet,  Lyme Disease Shot: We recommend if your dog will be around wooded areas. Rabies: Administered by a veterinarian at 16 weeks of age, AND annually OR you can request a 3-year booster (available one year after an annual booster).





A puppy will not be immune until given there a full set of shots. We recommend finishing your vaccines before taking your puppy around.  They could still contact Parvo Virus or Distemper if not fully vaccinated. 


New owners' are responsible to finish vaccines. Vaccine-preventable illnesses are not covered by any breeder. 


True Story:

We sold a puppy which was taken by its new owners to a training class given for puppies. The puppy was 8 weeks old and not old enough to have finished its final vaccines.  A puppy in the class coming from somewhere else had Parvo. All the puppies in the training class came down with Parvo. We followed our puppy we bred, as an Adult Golden the dog ended up with the immune system compromised and could not receive any vaccines. Parvo settled in the joints of the dog which was found after fluid being drained from the joints and sent to a lab. The dog formed severe arthritis in all joints. By the time the dog was 2 years old, he could barely walk. Eventually put to sleep. I do not blame these owners, they did not know about the importance of vaccines. 


I tell this story to prevent this from happening again. So owners will understand the importance of vaccines.  Owners do not realize that their puppy could sniff the ground where a dog with Parvo has gone to the bathroom and catch the virus or another. The dog with the virus who is transmitting it does not have to be there.  For this reason, we ask you not to take puppies to common areas such as parks or Petsmart until all vaccines are completed.


Also, all vets work differently concerning sick animals. Find out the policy of the Vet office.  Where they keep the sick animals coming in. Do the animals wait in the waiting room or are they taken straight back to a private room, as not to expose the other animals.   I would recommend until full vaccines to keep the puppy in a crate or on your lap until you are sure of their policy. 




How to remove vaccine from vial


1. Prior to removing vaccine from the vial, mix and warm the contents by gently rolling the vial between the palms of your hands. DO NOT SHAKE VACCINE as that will cause air bubbles to form, and it will be more difficult to get an accurate measurement. 








2. Hold the vial stopper-side-down, remove the needle guard from the vaccine syringe, and insert the needle of the syringe into the vial through the rubber stopper.








3. Pull back on the plunger of the syringe to draw the vaccine into the syringe once, then inject it back into the bottle. Redraw the proper dose back into the syringe. This is helpful in accurately dosing as vaccine may stick to the inside of the plastic syringe or an air bubble may be present in the syringe. If any air enters the syringe, you can also expel that back into the vial by keeping the vial upside down, and the needle of the syringe pointing up.


4. Recheck that you have withdrawn the proper amount of vaccine.

Places to give Vaccines


How a vaccine is given


  • When giving your dog a vaccine injection, you may, at first, want someone to help you hold and/or distract the dog while you are giving the injection. Scratching the dog on his head, getting his attention with a toy, or placing an enticing treat (very small piece of cooked chicken) near his nose may help focus his attention away from the injection. The needle is extremely thin, and the injection almost painless

  • Remove the needle guard from the syringe filled with the appropriate dose of vaccine.

  • If you are right-handed, hold the syringe in your right hand. With your left hand, pick up fold of skin along your dog's back or shoulders (use a different site every time). Some veterinarians recommend giving the injections under the skin on the sides of the chest and abdomen, since it may be better absorbed from these sites.

  • Push the needle through the skin at about a 45º angle. Be careful not to push the needle through the entire fold of skin and out the other side, or accidentally into your finger.

  • Pull back slightly on the syringe plunger to be sure the needle is not in a blood vessel (if it is, blood will enter the syringe as you pull back the plunger), and then administer the insulin by pushing the plunger with your thumb.

  • Withdraw the needle from the dog's skin, and replace the needle guard.

  • Reward your dog by scratching his head (if he likes it!), giving him the very small piece of cooked chicken, and talking to him. (Once you are more comfortable giving him injections and do not have to concentrate on what you are doing quite so hard, talk to him throughout the procedure.)

  • Record the time of the vaccine injection on the designated calendar.

  • Place the needle and syringe in a puncture-resistant container. These are available, sometimes free of charge, from your veterinarian or pharmacist. Follow your local regulations regarding disposal.


Mild vaccination reactions in pets such as fever, swelling, and soreness may be treated at home with a short course of an antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine (Generic Benadryl) and/or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Excel Aspirin. More severe acute health or life-threatening reactions may require veterinary hospitalization, as well as stabilization with IV fluids and injectable Benadryl, Atropine, steroids, and epinephrine. 




Safeguard (fenbendazole): Keep refrigerated. We buy the 1000 ml bottle for approximately $112.00 shipped. Application: We use this de-wormer for our adult dogs. We have found this wormer to be quite safe and very comprehensive in its effectiveness.  It is useful against the most common canine intestinal worms including whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. It is even effective at fighting giardia. Safe-guard is to strong for puppies until 8 weeks. Where to buy: Countryside Vet Supply, 1-800-313-5737,, Revival Animal Health 

1-800-786-4751 Dosage: 1 ml for every 5 pounds of body weight. For most effective results, worm 3 days in a row. 




Pyrantel Pamoate Suspension by Columbia Laboratories (Lexington, Kentucky). Keep at room temperature. We buy the 32 oz. bottle for approximately $40.00 shipped. Application: This is a milder dewormer for the puppies used at 2 wks,    4 wks, and 6 wks. It is useful as a deworming agent in the treatment of hookworms (all species) and roundworms. We use this de-wormer for our puppies until 8 weeks. The taste is pleasant to the puppies. Where to buy: Countryside Vet Supply, 1-800-313-5737, or Revival Animal Health 1-800-786-4751 Dosage: 1 ml for every 5 pounds of body weight.




For your yearly deworming on your pet, a good choice is D-Worm™ Combo (Pyrantel Pamoate/Praziquantel) Broad Spectrum De-Wormer for Large Dogs sold at Tractor Supply. It is useful against roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Buy eliminating worms in your pet they can absorb more of the nutrition from their food. Which in turn gives them a healthier life. 



All our mother dogs are dewormed two weeks before giving birth with Safeguard to reduce any parasite transfer.

Puppies are dewormed at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks with Pyrantel Pamoate and at 8 weeks we give them a final Safeguard treatment before going home.

All our puppies also are given a preventive coccidiosis treatment with Albon(Di-Methox). 


Giardia: For the treatment of Giardia I first use a treatment of Safeguard for three days. I then use Metronidazole from www. under the name fish-zole explained later.


Coccidia (Coccidiosis): We have found a better solution to Coccidia we went to using Ponzuril from our vet for three days before puppies go home.








Fleas and ticks:


There are a lot of brands on the market that simply do not work. This is not an area you will want to cut corners. Fleas and Ticks can make you and your dog miserable. Ticks carry life-altering and life-threatening diseases. Your dog is a MAGNET for these pests. What works? We recommend: Frontline Combo. Frontline Combo in the UK version of the USA Frontline Plus (but less expensive). Where to buy: or Visit seller store: Pharma Group. We buy a 12 month supply and the cost is less than $90.00 shipped from the United Kingdom.


We also recommend: Capstar for fleas. If you need to get rid of fleas in a hurry, a one-time dose of Capstar begins working within 30 minutes. Where to buy: Visit seller store: piccardmeds4pets. Cost is approximately $25.00 for 6 tablets. 


Heartworm preventative: 


If you purchase your product within the United States, you will need an initial prescription from the vet. There are many excellent products, including a shot that acts as a 6 month preventative (administered by your vet). 



Heartgard Plus. Our dogs really enjoy this chewable and tasty nugget. Because this product is ordered outside the United States, a prescription is not required. Where to buy:



We made a cost-saving switch to our second recommendation. We also recommend: Nuheart. This is a generic version of Heartgard (and not tasty at all). It comes in a small pill that can be disguised in a piece of meat. Your savings will be about $22 for a 6 month supply. Where to buy: Because this product is ordered outside the United States, a prescription is not required. We buy a 12 month supply for under $45.00. 



Another alternative is Revolution (If you purchase your product within the United States, you will need an initial prescription from the vet.) The United Kingdom version is Stronghold and is half the cost. Because this product is ordered outside the United States, a prescription is not required. You can buy a 6 month supply for under $45.00. Where to buy: This is a wonderful treatment for round worms, hookworms, lice, heartworms, ear mites, and fleas. Unfortunately the draw back is ticks. It does not work well on ticks. So take this in consideration when choosing for your dog's life style.












Prevent and help clear Ear Infections:


NuVet Labs Therapeutic Treatment and Ear Cleaner is a unique formulation containing all natural eucalyptus and soothing aloe vera.This is the perfect solution for irritated and infected canine or feline ears.

Removes ear wax, Reduces ear odors, Reduces inflammation caused by ear mite infestation.


ZYMOX- Uses a patented LP3 Enzyme System to create a biological system that is effective against a variety of bacterial, fungal and yeast infections. The 3 enzymes (Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme and Lactoferrin) react with infection pus and debris, forming their antimicrobial properties to counteract infections. First use Nuvet Labs Therapeutic Treatment and Cleaner this will disrupt this biological system so that the solution will act. It's effective against even antibiotic-resistant infections. 

Dosage: Apply liberally in ear and gently massage ear to work infected area. Treat up to 14 days.


Fish Fungus (Ketoconazole) I would give one tablet a day for 7 days. 




Hot Spoys or Skin Irritations:


NuVet  Hot Spot Treatment Spray soothes and aids in the healing of hot spots, skin irritations, flea bites, cuts, abrasions, allergic dermatitis and other non-specific dermatitis. Provides immediate relief and won't sting.


Dogs who loose hair also try BETADINE. It absolutely works wonders. Usually in a couple of day's treatment with both NuVet Hot Spot and Betadine you should see improvement. Betadine is cheap under $15 and will last you a long time. We purchase the Betadine from







The Kakadu Self- Cleaning Slicker Brush.

For eveyday useLarge size. Price is $13-$15.

The Slicker brush features a one touch, press-and-release cleaning mechanism, and the retractable stainless steel pins make cleaning the brush easy. The Slicker brush is designed to penetrate deep into the pet's coat to remove mats, tangles and dead hair. The Slicker brush also has an anti-slip, easy grip handle for comfort and control. Ideal for every day use on large size breeds.





Brush especially for times of heavy shedding:


www.furminator.comFURminator deShedding Tools can help you reduce the amount of loose hair in your house by up to 90%! That means less time spent cleaning and more time to spend enjoying your pet. To enhance the effectiveness of the deShedding tools, use after a FURminator Ultra Premium Shampoo or Water-less Shampoo. This brush is quite pricey. A generic brand can be purchased on E-bay.














Control Your Dog's Pulling, Lunging, and Jumping:  (One of our favorite training tools)


The Easy Walk Harness gently discourages your dog from pulling on the leash. When your dog pulls, the harness steers your dog to the side and redirects his attention toward you. The harness rests across your dog's chest instead of his throat, so there's no choking or gagging.