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National Puppy Day

By Colleen Williams
published: March 4, 2019 - updated: November 20, 2019 • 3 min. read
hppi national puppy day

National Puppy Day is on March 23rd every year – and with those big paws, floppy ears and even that puppy breath – puppies are definitely worth celebrating. What else can put a big smile on your face so fast (other than a kitten!)?

Puppies remain puppies until they are about a year old. As many pet parents will tell you however, some dogs remain puppies their whole life, despite reaching maturity! Puppies can get into all sorts of mischief as they explore their world. Often, this means swallowing things they shouldn’t (foreign body ingestion), straining a muscle, eye infections, allergic reactions, parasites, etc.. Enrolling in pet insurance early (you can enroll with Healthy Paws as early as 8 weeks old) provides you with peace of mind that those ailments will be covered, not to mention more serious problems that can later arise, including hip dysplasia, cancer and stomach issues.

We gathered the data to see what afflicts puppies the most, and for 2018, puppies suffered from diarrhea, gastritis, and skin conditions most often. Here is some further data on common accidents and illnesses that strike our littlest furry family members:


Common Accidents & Illnesses for Puppies




Most Common Accident Cost at the Vet Most Common Illness Cost at the Vet
Foreign Body Obstruction

(where a pup swallows something he/she shouldn’t, like a sock, avocado pit, or hygiene products)

$500 – $2,000+ Skin Conditions

(itchy, scratchy rashes and even bug bites)

$100 – $4,000

(one wonky jump can lead to a muscle strain or even a torn ACL)

$200 – $5,000 Stomach Issues

(vomiting and diarrhea are very common for pups, as their immune systems are still developing)

$150 – $6,500

(from rough playtime to that one second you look away, puppies can hurt themselves)

$200 – $4,000+ Ear Infections

(just like kids, puppies can get lots and lots of ear infections!)

$100 – $800

Other health concerns for puppies include diseases you have the power to avoid. Preventative care in puppies is crucial – vaccines and monthly preventative prescriptions can protect a puppy from contracting deadly diseases, from heartworm to parvo. The four core vaccines include:

  • Distemper-Hepatitis-Parainfluenzo-Parvo (commonly referred to as a distemper or a distemper-parvo vaccine; DHPP): This vaccine protects a dog from four potentially fatal viral infections. Distemper is a contagious viral infection that attacks a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological systems; Hepatitis most commonly damages the liver, but it can also affect the kidneys, spleen and/or lungs; Parainfluenza virus is a respiratory infection that is spread rapidly between dogs; Parvo targets the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in anorexia, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Parvo also suppresses the immune system and unfortunately, can even affect the heart. DHPP is a core vaccine that is needed by all dogs. Going without is very risky and the results can be fatal.
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough): For dogs who hit up the dog park, are kenneled for vacations, or go to day care, this vaccine prevents the bacterial agent Bordetella bronchiseptica from wreaking havoc on your pup’s upper respiratory system. Most refer to this condition as kennel cough.
  • Leptospirosis: If your pup loves puddles or ponds, this vaccine protects again Leptospirosis, a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria which can be found in  contaminated water and soil. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people.
  • Rabies: Spread through an infected animal’s bite, rabies is tragic; an animal suffers greatly and it is often fatal, affecting the gray matter of a dog’s brain and its central nervous system. The Rabies vaccine is for sure one that is needed by all dogs.



For the whole enchilada, make sure you go through our New Puppy Checklist – it’s a comprehensive list on what to do and where to start:


Puppies are curious, mischievous, and very adventurous. They learn about their environment by trying out everything – whether that’s jumping into life head-first or gobbling up an object. Now is the perfect time to enroll in dog health insurance, before pre-existing conditions can discourage you. With Healthy Paws, any licensed vet is covered, including specialists and emergency animal hospitals, as well as alternative care. Enrolling your puppy in pet insurance is the best idea for the health of your pet and your wallet. Coverage for your pet’s lifetime means financial confidence when faced with the ever-growing expenses in veterinary care.

Adopting a new pup? Check out our dog and puppy insurance and learn how you can save up to 90% on vet bills over the course of your canine’s life. You can start by getting a free quote.


colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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