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Start off on the Right Paw

Congratulations on your new addition! Whether you’re a new owner or a veteran pet parent, it’s important to schedule a wellness exam with us right away. In the beginning, multiple visits may be required to ensure the healthy growth and development of your new pet.

The following care plans are typical for most puppies and kittens, but our team will always check to make sure individual needs are met.

Kitten

Kitten Schedule

8 Weeks

  • FVRCP #1 (feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia)
  • Feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) #1 (non-core vaccine)
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Feline leukemia/Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) testing
  • Begin parasite prevention protocol
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Litter box training

12 weeks

  • FVRCP #2
  • Feline leukemia vaccine #2
  • Stool exam and deworming

16 weeks

  • FVRCP#3
  • Rabies vaccine

6 months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping
  • FeLV/FIV testing

Kitten Behaviors

7-14 Weeks

Provide an outlet for your kitten’s natural scratching behavior (e.g., a cat tree) and note whether there’s a preference for a specific texture or orientation (horizontal or vertical).

Purchase a high-quality kitten food and follow the serving guidelines.

Position a litter box or two in easily accessible areas. We recommend a minimum of one box per cat per floor. Scoop daily and clean weekly to ensure appropriate elimination behavior.

3-6 Months

Regular play times are important for proper growth and to develop your bond.

Avoid rough play and discourage inappropriate nipping/scratching.

Puppy Schedule

8 weeks

  • DHPP #1 (distemper/hepatitis/leptospirosis/parainfluenza/parvo virus)
  • Bordetella vaccine, if needed
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Begin heartworm prevention
  • Begin parasite prevention
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Behavioral training

12 Weeks

  • DHLPP #2
  • Dental assessment
  • Optional Lyme vaccine #1 (non-core)

16 Weeks

  • DHLPP #3
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Optional Lyme vaccine #2 (non-core)

6 Months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping

Puppy Behaviors

8-12 Weeks

  • Puppy-proof your home. Provide lots of love, toys, and encouragement. Security and predictability are crucial.
  • Purchase a high-quality puppy food and follow the serving guidelines.
  • We recommend enrolling in a “puppy class” for controlled socialization with other pets and their owners.

12-16 Weeks

  • This is when your puppy discovers where he or she falls in the pack (your family). Your role is to become the pack leader.
  • Be consistent with rules and avoid games of dominance.
  • Reward all positive behaviors.
  • Consider starting a puppy obedience class.

5-18 Months

  • Energy levels are high, so be sure to provide plenty of outlets for exercise and mental stimulation.

Microchipping

Microchipping your new puppy or kitten is essential to his or her safety. Please visit our page on Wellness & Preventive Care for more information about this important practice.

Puppy

On the Web

American Animal Hospital Association:

WebMD Pet Health Center:

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