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I Have a New Puppy! Now What?

Welcome to the Hill Country Family!

Hill Country Animal Hospital is here to meet your puppy’s health care needs, but we also want to help you navigate behavioral, training, and enrichment needs. Together, we can care for your new pup inside and out, and help him grow into the pet you’ve always wanted.

Our goal is to furnish you with tips and resources to help you provide the best care possible for your new puppy. Remember that caring for your puppy involves more than just veterinary care!

Puppy Training and Socialization


Dogs need training and socialization. Socialization is so important, especially at a young age. From 3 weeks to 3 months of age, puppies are learning what things in their environment are safe. If puppies do not receive the proper socialization as they age, they are likely to be fearful of unfamiliar people, objects, or places. Because of this, we recommend puppy classes.

Puppy classes allow your dog to be exposed to other dogs, people, and places in a safe and controlled environment. Your trainer will help you navigate all the important steps to take to get your new dog or pup well socialized and on the path to being a fun and trained dog.

Our favorite training classes are those at The Palms Pet Resort & Spa. They offer classes for training and socialization, as well as some that are just plain fun! Visit their website to learn more!

Lack of training can cause problems with neighbors, guests in the home, and at the veterinary hospital or groomer. These are situations and needs that will last a lifetime, so the best plan is to get off to a good start.

Resources for Puppy Training At Home

Puppy at Home

If you can’t get to a training class during the formative months, or if you prefer to go it alone, we have resources to help you. Our favorite training methods are those that were developed by Dr. Sophia Yin.

Your Puppy’s Visit to Hill Country Animal Hospital

Puppy and Kitten Visit

When your puppy or dog comes for a visit with us, we will take every opportunity to work with your dog to make him like coming to the vet. We offer treats, squeeze cheese, and pet safe peanut butter to make friends with your pup. Make sure your puppy is hungry during his visit so he will accept treats from us.

We use treats to distract dogs from whatever we are doing. This allows us to do what we need to do with the least amount of restraint possible. Remember, we treat your dog as if he was our own, so we are always looking out for his best interests.

Are you ready to get your puppy started on a lifetime of health and happiness? Make an appointment or call us today!


Wellness Care

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From Facebook:

This is probably the best office I have been to. I’m not just talking about for the animals…the customer service from the first phone call, to stopping in to pick up meds, to the moment I walked out and even the follow up call! Top notch. Appreciated that you are able to check out in the room. This is really helpful especially to keep interaction without pets to a minimum. I will be back. This was a wonderful 1st time experience. And thank you to the doctor for following up with a call.
Erika G., San Antonio, TX
You do everything well! From the second you walk in the door you are greeted by name, told "we have you checked in," etc. The veterinary assistant was so great! Dr. Krick is wonderful as is Dr. Peterson. They both share knowledge and listen well.
Stanetta C., San Antonio, TX
This was my first visit with a dog that I had had for a week and a half. I wanted him thoroughly examined for health and a neuter. I had a number of questions since it's been a long time since I have had a younger dog and Dr. Rooker took all of the time necessary to answer all of my questions. I'm afraid I kept everyone there late and I really appreciate the excellent experience. You are my new veterinarian.
Dori O., Helotes, TX
Dr. Krick and your whole team are wonderful. In addition, the overall high standards of Hill Country Animal Hospital as a whole are excellent. It is why we have remained clients over the years even after moving away from Helotes.