The doctors and staff of the Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital want to make sure that your puppies and kittens get the absolute best start on life. A healthy puppy or kitten has the greatest chance of thriving in your home and growing up to be a well-loved member of your family. To ensure this, we make sure to meet the physical and behavioral needs of your youngest pets. Even the healthiest puppy or kitten needs to be seen by our veterinary staff within a few days of entering your home. This way we can assess the little one’s health, answer any questions, and forge a special bond between your young pet and our office staff.
The Right Start Requires the Right Care!
- ALL puppies and kittens require veterinary care to make sure that they get the best start for a long and healthy life. Their moms’ milk is not adequate protection against disease!
- ALL puppies and kittens need a complete physical examination and a few laboratory tests to make sure that any potential problems are promptly diagnosed and quickly treated.
- ALL puppies and kittens need a series of several vaccinations and de-wormings, along with laboratory tests.
Our doctors recommend the following first steps for your young puppies:
- First physical examination at approximately 5-7 weeks of age to make sure that the little one is growing properly and that no congenital problems exist. This hands-on physical is quite extensive and includes examining the eyes, ears, mouth and teeth for proper development, as well as checking the heart for murmurs, and making sure that the pet’s organs and musculoskeletal system are growing correctly.
- First vaccination at 5-7 weeks of age, then every 3 weeks until at least 17-19 weeks of age. For most pets, the vaccinations will be a combination injection of several protective vaccines. Some will be injected under the skin; others given as nose drops.
- First rabies vaccination at 17-19 weeks of age. All dogs require a vaccination to protect against rabies. This vaccine is boostered one year later.
- Firsts for Puppies - In addition to vaccines, puppies also need fecal testing for intestinal parasites and treatment as recommended. Most treatments are given by mouth, right in the office. Also, all puppies will be started on heartworm preventive, as well as flea and tick control, on their first visit.
Our doctors recommend the following first steps for your young kittens:
- First physical examination at approximately 6-8 weeks of age to make sure that the little one is growing properly and that no congenital problems exist. This hands-on physical is quite extensive and similar to the physical examination performed on young puppies.
- First vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age. For most kittens, the vaccinations will be a combination injection of several protective vaccines.
- First rabies vaccination at approximately 16 weeks of age. All cats, including indoor cats, require a vaccination to protect against rabies. This vaccine is boostered one year later.
- Firsts for Kittens - In addition to vaccines, kittens also need testing for intestinal parasites and treatment as needed. Also, testing for feline leukemia and FIV is highly recommended and performed on the first visit to our office. In addition, heartworm, flea, and tick prevention are started as early as possible.
In addition, the doctors and staff are thrilled to discuss nutrition and behavior and to make recommendations regarding diet, early training, socialization, and house-training. The staff and doctors are eager to provide practical tips and suggestions for all issues. We welcome questions and look forward to meeting the newest additions to your family.