We recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as you bring your new pet home. During your visit, we’ll review any prior veterinary records and perform a full physical exam. We’ll also discuss nutrition and behavior counseling, vaccination schedules, parasite prevention, and spay/neuter surgery. For your pet’s first visit, we strongly recommend bringing a fecal sample to the visit, as puppies and kittens are often born with intestinal parasites.
Puppies and kittens receive antibodies from their mother that protect them from disease. However, those antibodies wear off quickly after weaning. To boost their immune systems, they’ll receive a series of vaccines.
Puppies and kittens will receive the core vaccines, rabies and distemper (DHPP for puppies and FVRCP for kittens). We may also include some noncore vaccines depending on their level of risk. We commonly give the feline leukemia vaccine to kittens for an extra layer of protection, whether they’ll be outdoors or indoors. Meanwhile, puppies often benefit from the leptospirosis vaccine as it is very common in the environment.
Training and socialization are critical for helping puppies and kittens grow up into confident, well-behaved adults. Start training early and help them learn where to go to the bathroom, places they should avoid, and behaviors you accept and those you do not. Using gentle but firm commands and lots of positivity is key!
For socialization, expose your young pet to as many new experiences as possible (in a safe and controlled setting). Take them out to the dog park to learn dog manners; visit pet-friendly stores to get used to people; bring in visitors to your home to introduce them to family and friends; and expose them to all sorts of noises like traffic, electronic beeping, your phone’s ring, etc. If you have any trouble with your pet being aggressive, fearful, or anxious with new experiences, remove them from the situation as quickly as possible and try again another day. For behavioral advice and training tips, visit us! We’ll be happy to help.
Spay and neuter surgery is one of the first things we’ll talk about at your new pet’s first appointment. This surgery is highly beneficial to their long-term health for several reasons:
- Spay and neuter surgery helps eliminate the risk of certain cancers including testicular, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
- Surgery significantly reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors in females and prostate problems in males.
- It helps curb undesirable behavior such as mounting, urine spraying, and aggression in males and roaming to find a mate for both males and females.
- Spay and neuter surgery also helps curb pet overpopulation by decreasing the number of unwanted litters. These pets would otherwise be abandoned to shelters, or possibly euthanized due to shelter overcrowding.
Being born with worms is pretty common for puppies and kittens as they usually get them from their mother. With a fecal exam and some deworming treatment, your pup or kitty will be as good as new. Plus, we’ll start them on parasite prevention to keep intestinal worms, heartworms, fleas, and ticks away from your precious furry friend.