Is someone going to find a little fluffy friend under the Christmas tree this year? If you’ve just gotten a new puppy or plan on getting a new puppy this holiday season, it’s important to plan their current and long-term health. This includes getting them all set up with vaccines, getting them spayed or neutered, and a clean bill of health from the vet.

Spay vs Neuter

What’s the difference between spaying and neutering? Spaying is the fixing procedure for female pets, and neutering is the process for male pets.


Spaying is essential for the health of your female puppy. During the spaying process, the female’s ovaries and her uterus, in most cases, are entirely removed. This is commonly done through minimally invasive surgery by a small incision on her side. She will be a bit tender for a couple of days, but most puppies bounce right back.

Spaying eliminates your female dog from going through heat, which can happen up to three times every year. Heat is when a female dog enters the fertile portion of her reproductive cycle. Heat in female dogs generally causes them to cry more often, show nervousness, and get a bit messy.

Getting your female puppy spayed can also keep her healthier. This is because spaying helps to eliminate uterine infections and breast tumors. These tumors can be cancerous in over 50% of dogs.


Neutering is done on male dogs and is the removal of their testicles. While the puppies are often put under anesthesia for the surgery, this process is less invasive than neutering. Typically your dog will bounce back right away following their neuter appointment.

Neutered male dogs are 3x less likely to bite as well as less likely to roam, run away or become aggressive with other animals. It also eliminates their chances of developing testicular cancer and significantly reduces their risk of developing prostate cancers or issues in the future.

It’s essential to remember that neutering your male animals will not be a “quick fix” to all behavioral problems. While their testosterone levels will decrease, they still need constant training and reinforcement. Neutering does not eliminate habits and less-than-ideal learned behaviors.

When To Get My Dog Fixed?

When to fix your puppy varies, and there is no absolute deadline. But for the health of your puppy and to eliminate accidental pregnancies, doing it within the first 6-9 months is typically recommended.

Smaller breeds that don’t grow larger than 50lbs should be spayed or neutered right around 6 months of age. Larger breeds can vary depending on the recommendation from the vet, as sometimes waiting a bit longer before fixing can reduce certain types of cancers or orthopedic issues in different breeds. However, 6 months is an excellent marker for most breeds.

Puppy Vaccinations

When you first adopt a puppy, getting all of their vaccinations and help checks can seem overwhelming. This is why a dog wellness plan is such an excellent option for new or first-time puppy parents. Wagmo’s dog wellness plan covers up to 4 vaccinations a year, depending on the dog wellness plan you select. This can cover all of those critical vaccinations that a puppy needs in its first year of life.

The two most essential vaccinations are the Rabies vaccine and the Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (DHLPPC) vaccine. Both of these vaccines will keep both your dog and everyone else’s dog nice and healthy. Your puppy should have these vaccinations before interacting with other dogs, especially at pet stores or training facilities.

There are many other additional vaccines that you should get for your dog; check out Wagmo’s Round-Up Of Vaccines For Your Pet for a complete list. Many of these vaccines are vital in protecting your dog from common infections, parasites, and diseases passed from dog to dog or found in nature.

When To Book Puppy’s First Vaccines

It is safe to get your puppy vaccinated as soon as they wean from their mother. This usually happens around 6-8 weeks. This would be right around the time you pick up your puppy in most cases. Depending on the specific vaccine and veterinary recommendations, your puppy needs 4 DHLPPC shots in their first year, then a booster every 12 months.

Veterinarians recommend an initial vaccination between 14-16 weeks for many of the additional vaccines and then annual boosters. With a Wagmo dog wellness plan, you get routine care pet insurance that covers up to 4 vaccines yearly. This can help keep your puppy safe well into their elder years.

Routine Dog Health Check-Up

If you’re rescuing a puppy, adopting, or purchasing one from a breeder, you should always bring them in for a health check-up no matter what. This can help ensure your puppy’s overall health, and it is always beneficial for the vet to have a clear record of their health journey. Veterinarians and vet technicians can also be great resources for tips about keeping your specific breed as healthy as possible. Wagmo’s dog wellness plan covers up to 2 routine exams a year. This routine care pet insurance can catch an illness before it has a chance to do too much damage.

Wagmo Pet Insurance and routine care pet insurance, such as a Wagmo’s pet Wellness Plan, will not only benefit your dog but benefit your wallet! Puppies can be quite the little trouble makers, and while we hope you don’t have to deal with a severe accident or illness, we know that things happen. Not only do you receive annual benefits and coverage for routine care with Wagmo, but peace of mind that we have your back in an emergency.

Get your free pet health insurance and dog wellness plan quote today! Take our coverage quiz here.