Responsible pet ownership includes committing to keeping your pet safe and healthy for life, and a puppy health card can make this task a lot easier.
Unlike a “puppy vaccine card” or a “dog shot record book” that only contain information about a pet’s vaccines, this card will help you keep track of your pet’s overall health, monitor their growth, and stay on top of vet visits as they progress into adulthood.
Download and print a copy for your own records in case you ever move or switch vets, and consider making extra copies to give to any pet sitter, dog walker, or daycare facility you use.
Below, you’ll find instructions on how to fill out the puppy health card with additional information about why you might need it and when to have it handy.
- What to include in puppy health records
- Why keep track of your pet vet records?
- When do you need a puppy health certificate?
What to include in puppy health records
You can start by writing down your pet’s unique identifying information, including their date of birth, sex, and color (in case someone refers to your puppy health card before meeting your pet).
Breeder Information (if applicable)
If you buy a puppy from a breeder, it can prove helpful later on to save their name and contact information, along with the litter identification number, dam name/weight, and sire name/weight.
Pedigree information should have been provided with your puppy's registration paperwork when you first got them. Recording this on your puppy health card will help you predict how big your dog will get and inform any health questions you might have about them and their littermates later on.
Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight is extremely important, especially while they’re still a puppy. You need to keep weighing your puppy regularly – ideally at least once a week until 12 months old.
Puppy Deworming Schedule
Every two weeks your vet should administer a puppy dewormer, then again at six months and once more at one year. Print the puppy health card PDF then check off each box after your visit.
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
You should also record when your puppy’s core vaccinations were last administered and what date they’re scheduled to expire so you can efficiently keep tabs on their mandatory booster shots for dogs.
If you ever wonder, ‘do puppies need 3 or 4 sets of shots?’ or where you are in the puppy vaccination schedule, you can look at the health record card for confirmation, helping prevent dangerous under-vaccination.
Another crucial piece of information all puppy owners need is a record of their pet's microchip registration. When you microchip a dog, you’ll receive a microchip ID number and other relevant details (such as the company name and website).
Record the information on your puppy health card, then use it to register your pet in an online database. If they ever get lost, veterinarians and animal welfare organizations will be able to scan your dog’s chip and see your contact information, significantly increasing the odds of reunification.
The suggested guideline for neutering male puppies is after six months of age. Ask your vet for their recommendation on the best age to spay a female puppy. It’ll be between one and two years old in most cases, but every case is different.
Providing heartworm, flea, and tick prevention for your puppy regularly can make the difference between them living a long, happy life or struggling with long-term health issues. Keep track of their administered doses to prevent a lapse in protection against parasites.
Having a record of what your dog is allergic to is especially important if you’re leaving them with someone else, such as a pet sitter or boarding facility. If you suspect your dog has an allergy, consider getting a pet allergy test.
Your canine health profile should include a thorough record of any past medical issues, hospitalizations, surgeries, injuries, prescription medications, and congenital conditions.
If your puppy’s caretaker ever needs to get a hold of you, your vet, or another contact in an emergency, it’s a good idea to have phone numbers readily available.
Why keep track of pet vet records?
Keeping track of your dog’s vet records can be challenging, as many pets will have multiple visits to the vet over their lifetime. Having a puppy health card like this can be very important in determining what type of care and treatment may be needed.
Be sure to ask your vet about any medical information related to your pet so that you can fill in your puppy's health card appropriately. This is especially important if you’re switching vets, changing owners (handing your puppy over to someone else or receiving a puppy from someone), or moving locations.
When do you need a puppy health certificate?
Some airlines, states, and countries require pet health certificates for entry when traveling. This certificate basically confirms your puppy is healthy to travel and current on all of their vaccinations, such as rabies. To receive a puppy health certificate, your dog must be examined by a vet.