New Puppy/Kitten Care

Both new puppies and new kittens should be examined by a veterinarian within the first week after you bring them home. Many pure-bred pets’ contracts require an examination by a veterinarian within a short period of time in order to be sure you have received a healthy animal that you don’t wish to return. But all pets should be examined for disease and body condition, checked for parasites, and given a wellness examination to be sure they are in good health and receiving appropriate nutrition. We ask that you bring along a fecal sample (as fresh as possible, refrigerate if it cannot be brought to us right away), so that we can make sure your new little friend is not infested with parasites.

At your pet’s first visit, the veterinarian will thoroughly check your pet’s body systems and condition. S/he will discuss with you core vaccinations required to keep your pet in good health, and s/he may recommend additional vaccines and explain why they are important in the central PA region.

New puppies and kittens will require two additional visits to our hospital, ideally spaced four weeks apart, so that they can receive additional vaccinations in each series. Waiting too long means the immune response provoked by the first vaccine is no longer effective, and you will need to start the vaccine series over. When you complete your first appointment, we strongly urge you to scheduled the next two.


​​​​​​​Looking for specific tips on housetraining? Check out this article: Raising Your Puppy: 6 Tips To Help With Housetraining

For information on raising puppies, here’s a great blog titled Raising a Puppy: The First Year. It includes sections on house training, crate training and socialization, all keys to raising a puppy you can live with.

Puppy Vaccines

*Talk with your veterinarian about which ones your puppy should receive. Adjustments may be made for your puppy's size and breed.

DHPP (Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus)

8, 12, and 16 weeks, repeat annually until 2 years of age, and every 3 years thereafter

Rabies

Can be given between 12 and 16 weeks. Give a one-year booster after the initial vaccine, and then every 3 years thereafter.

Bordetella (kennel cough)

Can start at 8 weeks (no booster is needed) and then either annually or every 6 months if needed

Lyme CR

Can start between 8 and 16 weeks with one booster 2-4 weeks later (no more than 6 weeks or puppy must start series over) and then annually

Ultra Lyme

Can start between 9 and 16 weeks with one booster 2-4 weeks later (no more than 6 weeks or puppy must start series over and then annually

Canine Influenza

Can start at 8 weeks with one booster 3 weeks later and then annually if needed

Leptospirosis

Can start at 8 weeks with one booster 3 weeks later and then annually

Lyme/Leptospirosis Combo

Can start between 9 and 16 weeks with one booster 2-4 weeks later (no more than 6 weeks or must start series over) then annually

Rattlesnake

Can start at 16 weeks with a booster in 1 month then annually 1 month before potential exposure


​​​​​​​Many cat owners assume that an indoor-only cat does not need to be vaccinated. Additionally, cats are less likely to be brought to the vet for an annual wellness exam. Cats and kittens should receive the same standard of health care that we advocate for dogs. Dental disease is a common concern, even in younger cats, that can cause them a great deal of pain, and treatment of other conditions, if caught early, can extend the life of your kitty. We understand that cats can be challenging to bring to the vet. Call us today for suggestions and assistance with this.

​​​​​​​Why Does My Cat Need to Be Vaccinated?

For information on how to care for kittens and raise them to become socially well-adjusted adult cats, visit Kitten Care: Must-Know Tips for Raising Kittens

The American Association of Feline Practitioners offers a wealth of information to help cat owners offer their pets the best care possible. Learn more at Cat Friendly Homes

For additional resources on caring for kittens and puppies, look in our RESOURCES section.
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Kitten Vaccines

FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Parvovirus)

8, 12, and 16 weeks (no more than 4 weeks apart) then annually

FeLV Feline Leukemia Virus)

can start at 8 weeks with one booster in 3-4 weeks and then annually

Rabies

Can be given between 12 and 16 weeks. Give a one-year booster after the initial vaccine, and then every year thereafter.

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