Pug puppies teeny tinyAdopting a kitten or puppy is an incredibly rewarding experience, but comes with considerable responsibility. Besides getting to know the unique personality of your new furry addition, and integrating him or her into your lifestyle, you’ll need to have all the facets of pet care covered. From nutrition to training, surgery to socialization, we’re here to help you get started.

New To Leon Valley?

If you are new to our veterinary hospital, we gladly welcome you and your young pet. It’s a great idea to get a jumpstart on your young pet’s wellness with an examination soon after you bring him or her home. We can discuss potty training, behavior, nutrition, and anything else you want to discuss about caring for a young pet.

Parasites and Vaccinations

If possible, bring a stool sample with you to your pet’s first appointment. This way, we can address any intestinal parasites and de-worm your pet, if necessary. Also, we can discuss your approach to parasite prevention, such as ticks, fleas, and heartworm, and our recommended vaccination schedule.

Vaccines are critical to the long term health of your young pet. A young pet’s immunity is directly affected by time spent nursing from his or her mother, but generally, a puppy should receive protection from these core vaccines at 3-4 week intervals until about 16-weeks old:

  • Rabies
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis

Likewise, a kitten should receive these core vaccines on the same schedule:

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Calicivirus
  • Herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis)
  • Rabies

When you bring your young pet in for his or her first exam, we can discuss possible lifestyle risks that warrant additional non-core vaccines, such as Bordetella, Leptospira bacteria, and Borrelia burgdorferi for puppies, and Leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis, and feline immunodeficiency virus, for cats. Some vaccines should be boostered each year, others can be given every three years.

The Importance of Spaying/Neutering

Did you know that spaying or neutering your young pet can actually stave off behavioral problems, running away, and even certain types of cancer? Not only completely effective for inhibiting unwanted litters, spaying or neutering also reduces urine marking and aggression with other animals. If you have questions or concerns about this simple surgery, please let us know how we can help.

Microchipping Your Young Pet

Part of a spay/neuter surgery can also include placing a small microchip between your pet’s shoulder blades. Like a collar and tags that can never be removed or lost, a microchip offers security and peace of mind if your pet ever gets lost.

Caring For A Young Pet

We are here to help you in caring for a young pet, and hope you’ll never hesitate to call. Please let us know if you need more information regarding our veterinary services, pet wellness plans, Care Credit, Embrace Pet Insurance, or Pet’s Best Insurance. We also always recommend brushing up on pet first aid basics and how to respond to a pet care emergency.

The learning curve can be steep for a guardian of a young pet, but caring for him or her is possibly one your life’s greatest joys. Congratulations and good luck!