Dear new puppy parent, congratulations on the newest addition to your family! We understand how important your dog is to you, and we are committed to providing you and your pets with excellent care.

The following information is oriented toward puppies, but most of it applies to older dogs as well, so you may find it useful if you have a new dog of any age. The information here is an overview.

Please click the links in the sections below for more detailed information. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.


Puppies require a series of vaccines in their early months to protect them from serious diseases. After the PUPPY reaches adulthood, its vaccines are updated at intervals to ensure continued protection.

DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)-  These are four highly contagious and potentially fatal diseases.  Distemper damages the neurologic system, adenovirus (hepatitis) damages the liver, parainfluenza damages the respiratory system, and parvo infects the gastrointestinal tract.  Puppies should receive this vaccine every 3 to 4 weeks between the ages of 8 weeks and 16 weeks.

Bordetella-This is known to cause infection and inflammation of the lungs and respiratory passages.  This virus is airborne and dogs that attend daycare, training, boarding or grooming facilities are at a higher risk for infection.  Puppies should receive one vaccine as early as 6 weeks and possible booster at 12 weeks.

Rabies- This is a fatal and zoonotic (transmitted to humans) disease of all mammals.  Rabies is transmitted from the saliva of infected wildlife and domestic animals.  Puppies should receive 1 dose as early as 12 weeks of age.   Booster this vaccine within 9-12 months and your dog will be eligible for a 3-year vaccine.  This vaccine is required by state law.

Lyme- This is a tick-borne disease that can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and nervous system.  Puppies should receive one vaccine as early as 12 weeks of age and another 2-4 weeks later.  We have a high prevalence of Lyme in our area. For more information on lyme disease, please click here.

Leptospirosis- This is a serious bacterial disease that mostly attacks the liver and kidneys.  Leptospirosis is also zoonotic (transmitted to humans).  Leptospirosis is shed in the urine of infected wild and domesticated animals.  Puppies should receive one vaccine as early as 12 weeks of age and another 3-4 weeks later. For more information on Leptospirosis, please click here.

Fecal Samples- We recommend checking at least two fecal samples between 8 and 16 weeks of age.  Intestinal parasites shed in cycles so we like to check two fecal samples to make sure your puppy is parasite free.  We recommend routinely deworming your puppy, as directed by a veterinarian.

Heartworm Prevention: Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic infection that can be fatal.  It is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the parasite.  Your pet can get heartworm infection if they are bitten by a mosquito carrying the parasite.  Preventatives should be administered to your dog once a month for the rest of his/her life. Please talk with our staff to discuss preventative options available to determine the safest and most effective choice for your pet. For more information on heartworm disease, please click here.

Flea and Tick Prevention: Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, but pose animal and human health risks. Fortunately, there are many effective flea and tick preventives on the market to help control the pests and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases. Please talk with our staff to discuss preventative options available to determine the safest and most effective choice for your pet. For more information on flea and tick prevention, please click here.

Spay/Neuter-We recommend spaying/neutering your pet which should be discussed with your veterinarian regarding appropriate timing. We require pre-operative blood work before surgery to ensure your puppy is healthy before anesthesia.

Home Again- We recommend microchipping your pet at or before time of spay/neuter in case your pet gets lost or stolen. For more information on Home Again and microchiping, please click here.

Poisonous plants and toxins- Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet’s health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests a hazardous plant.  Do not try to self-medicate your pet, or try to induce vomiting without consulting your veterinarian first. For more information about poisonous plants and toxins, please click here.

Local Dog Training Classes

All puppies and all puppy owners can benefit from dog obedience training, either private or in classes.  We consider the training and education of the puppy and its owner to be absolutely vital to its ultimate health and well-being. Please see the list of local dog trainers below. For more information and helpful tips on potty training, please click here.

Master Peace Dog Training, (508) 553-9300
264 Fisher Street, Franklin, MA 

Alpha Dog K9 Training, (508) 989-5859
Main Street (Rt 109) Unit E, Medway, MA

The Happy Retriever, (774) 233-0640
Dorothy Turcotte
1562, 1564, and 1574 Washington St, Holliston MA

Colonial Dog Training, (617) 209-7721
In-home dog training for Boston area

New England k-9 School for Dogs, (508) 435-5921
20 Lumber St, Hopkinton, MA 01748

Trail Blazers University, (774) 847-9531
25 Commercial Dr, Wrentham, MA 02093



We recommend that you start getting your puppy groomed at an early age (2-6 months) so that he/she learns to feel comfortable with the grooming process. We even offer a grooming package specifically made for puppies that we feel is just enough to get them used to the grooming process without overwhelming them on their first visit. 

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! You’ve already made the first step in keeping your puppy healthy but did you know that regular grooming is a big part of your dog’s health and should become part of his/her normal routine?

Without regular grooming your dog can develop:

  • Over grown nails
  • Painful, matted fur
  • Ear infections
  • Skin conditions

At Acorn Animal Hospital we offer full-service grooming including:

  • Bathing
  • Brushing
  • Nail trimming
  • Ear cleaning/plucking
  • Various grooming styles
  • Dental Care
  • Nail trim and grinding
  • Fur-minator de-shedding

*First Puppy Groom Package (available for puppies up to 6 months of age) $20: Includes: Bath, brush out, nail trim, face, feet & sanitary trim.