Puppies and kittens grow at a fantastic rate, and starting them off on the right paw sets them up for a long and full life. Northern Valley Animal Clinic will partner with you to provide the best preventive care for the newest member of your family.
Wellness Puppy and Kitten Exams
Our veterinarians recommend your puppy or kitten’s first wellness exam is around 8 weeks of age. They will check your new pet from nose to tail, looking for any subtle signs of concern, and will provide you with tips on proper nutrition and training to ease the difficulties of house breaking and behavioral issues.
Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Schedules
- Distemper combination—Puppies are given their first distemper combination vaccine at 8 weeks of age. They receive boosters three to four weeks apart until they are 16 weeks old, and then annually as adults.
- Rabies—Puppies are given their first rabies vaccination at 16 weeks of age, and then receive a booster at 1 year old. After that, dogs are given rabies vaccinations every three years.
- Non-core vaccinations—Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, bordetella, and canine influenza are considered non-core vaccinations, which means that they are given to puppies based on your puppy’s unique lifestyle and risk factors. Our veterinarians will work with you to determine the best vaccination schedule for your puppy.
- Distemper combination—Kittens are given their first distemper vaccination at 8 weeks of age and receive boosters every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks of age. From then on, they receive an annual booster.
- Rabies—Kittens are given their first rabies vaccination at 16 weeks of age, and then receive boosters annually as adults.
- Feline leukemia—While it is recommended that all kittens be tested for feline leukemia, the vaccination is only given to kittens at risk of contracting the disease. Our veterinarians will work with you to determine your kitten’s level of risk and whether the vaccine is appropriate for his or her situation.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)—FIV is a non-core vaccine given only to cats at risk of contracting the disease. Our veterinarians will work with you to determine your kitten’s level of risk and whether vaccination is the appropriate course of action.
- Ticks and fleas —Care has to be taken when choosing a preventive for puppies and kittens, as the wrong dosage can be toxic to their small systems. Our veterinarians will advise you on safe and effective flea and tick preventives.
- Heartworm —Depending on your puppy’s date of birth, he or she may need to be tested for heartworm before beginning preventives. Our veterinarians will work with you to determine proper preventive measures.
- Intestinal parasites —Northern Valley Animal Clinic recommends all puppies and kittens be screened for intestinal parasites and treated as needed. A stool sample will be analyzed at our in-house lab and you will have the results before you leave your pet’s appointment.
Between the ages of 6 and 8 months, our veterinarians recommend puppies and kittens are spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering not only prevents unwanted litters, but it also provides a number of health and behavioral benefits, including:
- Preventing cancers related to the reproductive system and hormones
- Preventing territorial urination by males
- Preventing females urinating around the house as an advertisement of heat cycle
- Preventing male dog roaming
- Reducing male aggression
Pet surgery at Northern Valley Animal Clinic is done using a surgical laser, which provides a safer procedure and allows pets to recover much quicker and in more comfort than traditional spaying and neutering.
If you have any questions about your puppy or kitten’s health, contact the helpful staff and veterinarians of Northern Valley Animal Clinic .