puppy and kitten snuggling together.

Did you recently bring home a new puppy or kitten? If you’re looking for puppy or kitten care in San Antonio, the caring team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital would love to help. We provide leading-edge (yet affordable) veterinary care for pets in the San Antonio, Helotes, and Leon Valley areas.

Starting out your life with your kitten or puppy is incredibly exciting. It can also cause all sorts of questions to pop up in your mind. Here are some of the most common kitten and puppy care questions we get—along with answers to help guide your first days with your new furry friend. 

Puppy and Kitten Care 101

Does My Kitten or Puppy Need Shots? 

All puppies and kittens should receive vaccinations to protect them from dangerous diseases. Here’s what a typical vaccine schedule looks like for puppies:

  • Round 1: Your puppy will receive a DAPPv vaccine—which protects against adenovirus, canine distemper, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and hepatitis—along with a general dewormer. This first round is typically given at 6-8 weeks of age. 
  • Round 2: Puppies get a DAPPv booster plus a Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine and more dewormer. A puppy should receive this second round somewhere between 9 and 11 weeks. 
  • Round 3: DAPPv and Bordetella boosters plus a rabies vaccine and a final round of dewormer at 12 weeks. 

If you’re asking yourself, “Does my cat need shots too,” the answer is a heartfelt yes. Here’s the typical vaccine schedule to protect kitties from diseases: 

  • Round 1: Kittens receive the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine, the feline distemper (FVRCP) vaccine, which protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia—along with a general dewormer. Kittens are typically between 6 to 8 weeks for this round.
  • Round 2: Your kitty will get FeLV and FVRCP boosters at around 10-12 weeks of age, along with a general dewormer. 
  • Round 3: Cats can receive their first rabies vaccine plus FeLV and FVRCP boosters at 14-16 weeks old. 

As your San Antonio vet, we will take the time to explain and discuss each vaccine. We can also help guide you if you do not know your new pet’s medical history or don’t have their vaccination records. 

When Should I Schedule a Wellness Visit for My New Pet?

As soon as possible! Young pets have brand-new immune systems and can get sick easily. This changes as they receive their immunizations and grow bigger and stronger, but having a relationship with a veterinarian is key to a healthy early life. 

Your puppy or kitten should see the vet several times throughout their first year. During these visits, the veterinary team will:

  • Assess their health
  • Give vaccinations
  • Examine/clean your pet’s teeth and mouth
  • Test and treat for parasites
  • Provide advice on nutrition, exercise, behavior, and more
  • Discuss spay/neuter timelines
  • Prescribe heartworm and flea/tick preventives
  • Microchip your pet
  • Test your pet’s blood and urine for a baseline wellness profile

With this preventive veterinary care, we can help your pet live a long and happy life. If you’re looking for a San Antonio vet, contact us today. We look forward to providing you with excellent kitten and puppy care in San Antonio.