So you have decided to adopt a puppy or kitten to add to your family. Congratulations! Having a pet has its rewards, and there is a lot that is involved in the first 6 months of a puppy or kitten’s life that can seem overwhelming but necessary.
We usually see new puppies and kittens around the time they are 8 weeks old. At this visit, the veterinarian would examine the patient from nose to tail to make sure all is well. If everything looks well, we will introduce their first set of vaccinations. We would also want to deworm them at this time because chances are they have some sort of intestinal parasite that they would have gotten from their mom. We would treat them and send you home with a second treatment to give to your pet in 2 weeks’ time. We should also check a fecal sample as one anti-parasitic medication does not treat all intestinal parasites, and we want to make sure they are completely clear.
We would see them again at 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age for their boosters. After being examined again to ensure all still looks well, they will get their vaccinations. At the 16 week visit, we would give them their rabies vaccination as well.
Between 5 and 6 months of age we would want to consider neutering or spaying your pet. They would need to come in for some pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo the surgery. After the surgery they would go home with some pain relief medications for a couple of days so that they stay comfortable.
After they have their respective procedures, we would not need to see them routinely until their annual check-up which is yearly from their rabies vaccination.
I told you there was a lot involved in the first 6 months of your puppy/kitten’s life! All of what is discussed above is recommended and is the ideal medicine for a great start for your pet, so plan ahead, prepare, and save accordingly.
Written by Josie Mediati, RVT