Puppy and Kitten Care: We Get You and Your Pet Off to the Right Start

puppy and kitten care

Early checkups and the right care will ensure that your brand new puppy or kitten gets the best start possible. Your puppy or kitten should have regular annual checkups to enable you and your vet to stay on top of the unique health issues faced by young pets.

Basic Pet Care Needs

Before you bring your new puppy or kitten home, you should make sure that you are equipped to handle their basic pet care needs, such as:


Puppies and kittens are curious and tend to wander. Each year, millions of pets go missing and are not returned home. A microchip installed at our clinic can help ensure that your pet will be found more quickly should he or she go missing.

Microchipping is a simple and painless procedure during which a chip the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades. The chip will remain for life. The microchip contains your name and information so that if your pet is lost, it can be scanned and returned to you. It has a unique identification number, which is added to a national pet registry.

Most veterinarians and animal shelters have devices for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost pet is found and the microchip is scanned, the national registry is contacted so pets and their parents can be reunited. At Irondequoit we use the ResQ system.

Take a look at Ripley’s Story for an example of how microchipping is important.

Healthcare Services

Regardless of your young pet’s needs, at Irondequoit we will provide first-class services to keep them healthy and playful. Some of the other services we provide are:

Scheduling an Appointment

It is important to schedule your new pet’s first checkup as soon as possible. During this appointment we will perform a complete head-to-toe physical examination to check for any potential healthcare issues.

In addition, we will create a course of disease and parasite prevention protocols which we will tailor to your pet’s needs. We will also provide nutritional counseling and advice regarding socialization, behavior and house training.

You will need to schedule several visits during your puppy or kitten’s first year of life, to ensure they get proper monitoring, vaccinations and preventative care. Here is a typical schedule for a puppy or kitten’s first year, though each pet is unique and your schedule will be tailored specifically to your pet.

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 testing
  • Begin parasite prevention protocol
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Litter training guidance

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

Puppy Schedule

8 weeks

  • DHLPP #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 guidance

12 Weeks

  • DHLPP #2
  • Dental assessment

16 Weeks

  • DHLPP #3
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Rabies vaccine

6 Months

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

On the Web

For more on puppy and kitten care, please take a look at the official AVMA YouTube Channel.

The AAHA Pet Health Library is an excellent resource for information regarding raising young pets:

WebMD also has an excellent Pet Health Center:

For more information about microchipping, vaccinations, or any other of our health and wellness services, see our first-time visitors page and please drop us a line.