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My motto is "when you know better you do better" (or at least try to.)  With this in mind, I am constantly reevaluating how I do things based on my current knowledge, whether it's from an outside source, or from my own experience.  I am a lifelong learner, and I don't think I'll ever feel like I know everything there is to know about any specific subject, and this, of course, includes dogs as well. So, during the course of raising puppies, I changed my recommendation about when to spay/neuter a pup as well as when to vaccinate.

Spay/neuter info:

 

Some of my sources I can't cite because they came from conversations, but here are a few I can share that may start you off with your own research to help you make this very important decision for your own pup.  The controversy surrounding the timing of these procedures comes from allowing your pup to fully develop into adulthood before cutting off the hormone supply required for proper development.  Not allowing them to develop properly can not only translate to sub-optimal physical conditions later on but also behavioral issues.  I leave it up to the owners to make their decision as they are the ones who will be living with and taking care of their dogs.  I am only trying to pass on the information I now have.

Resources on spaying/neutering your pup...

1. Puppy Culture spay/neuter booklet

2. On hormone-sparing sterilization with a directory of vets who perform such procedures (the closest ones to us are in Denver and Colorado Springs.)

3. Article about the risks vs. benefits of early neutering

4. Another article comparing pros and cons and alternative procedures

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Info on vaccinations:

After many puppies, I finally had one that (I believe) was adversely affected by a vaccine.  So, in order to spare any future pups of ours, I have a recommendation based on our vet's advice as well as my own research.  I will also provide some resources here and recommend every puppy family of ours to do their own research into this subject.

I suggest to wait at least 3, preferably 4 weeks between puppy shots and (instead of giving it with the last puppy shot) wait another 3-4 weeks for the rabies shot.  This is because the puppy shot is already a combo shot and adding another one may potentially overwhelm the pup's immune system to the point of causing a severe reaction (in our pup's case, seizures.)

Resources on vaccinations...

1. Vaccine adverse events vs. vaccinosis by Dr. Karen Becker

2. Rabies and the rabies vaccine by Dr. Karen Becker

Since I'm sure that all of us are aware of the seriousness of rabies and we are required by law to vaccinate against it, I especially recommend the second half of this article that talks about when and how to vaccinate.  This is NOT the mainstream veterinary advice and although rare, I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

Dewclaw removal:

We do not have our pups' dewclaws removed, and I do not recommend it, either.  Here's why.

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