Caring for your New Puppy or Kitten 101
Canine influenza- can be started at any time, 1st shot is followed by a booster 2-3 weeks later and then after that it can become yearly. Our vaccine covers both strains of canine influenza, H3N2 and H3N8.
Bordetella- this yearly oral vaccine is for kennel cough, kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Symptoms include coughing, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite, low fever, and lethargy. If you board your animal, some kennels require a booster every 6 months, make sure to give the kennel a call to see what their particular requirements are. They will require us to send over records. If your animal is not up to date, we would be more than happy to schedule you for an appointment.
Leptospirosis- this vaccine is for Lepto (leptospirosis), Lepto is a zoonotic disease (you can get it from your pet) that affects different individual animals differently. Some animals get over it quickly, others react severely and in come cases it can lead to death. Symptoms are similar to canine influenza and kennel cough making this a hard disease to diagnose. If your pet is at a higher risk (will go to rural areas, wooded areas, beaches, any place where they could come into contact with livestock or wildlife) we highly recommend vaccinating.
DA2PP- this vaccine is for canine distemper virus, hepatis, canine adenovirus-2, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. These diseases are extremely serious and can cause death. Your dog should be given 3 boosters between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks, each one given 3-4 weeks apart. After the initial set of shots, you dog should be vaccinated a year later. After that they can be vaccinated every 3 years.
FVRCP- this vaccine is for Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus/Herpesvirus 1 (FVR/FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPV). These diseases are extremely serious and can cause death. Your cat should be given 3 boosters between the ages of 6-16 weeks, each one given 3-4 weeks apart. After the initial set of boosters, your cat should get another vaccination a year later. After that your cat should be vaccinated every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia Virus- This disease is the leading killer in cats. It weakens the immune system which increases the chances of getting other diseases, causes blood disorders, and is the most common cause of cancer in cats. Initially there are usually no symptoms. Symptoms usually creep on the animal over weeks, months, or even years leading to the overall health of the cat to progressively deteriorate. Your cat should been vaccinated at 6-8 weeks and 10-12 weeks of age and after that it should be vaccinated yearly.
Both Canine and Feline Vaccinations:
Rabies- Rabies should be administered around 3 months of age then a booster should be given after a year. After that it can be given yearly (if it is a rabies 1-year booster) or it can be given every 3-years (if it is a rabies 3-year booster). The rabies vaccine is required by law. Rabies is a zoonotic disease (it can be transferred from animals to people) this disease is extremely serious. It leads to death in animals and can lead to death in humans if the human is not treated within 24 hours. If you or your animal is bit by a wild animal or other pet that you do not know, you need to seek out medical attention immediately.
More information on Vaccines:
Simple Outline of Vaccines for Dogs and Cats:
At Laurelwoood Veterinary, each time your pet comes in for a vaccination (6 weeks to 1 year) they should also be given a physical exam to make sure that they are developing properly. After that, they should come in yearly for a physical exam. If your pet is up to date on their physical exams and just need to come in for some vaccines they do not need to get another physical exam.
Basic Care for your new Puppy/ Kitten:
Behavior- it is normal for puppies and kittens to play rough as long as they are both enjoying it and aren’t getting hurt (drawing blood). If you are unsure, we recommend that you that you separate them and if they both run back to each other wanting to play then they are both enjoying it, if one runs to the other and the other looks unsure or uncomfortable then we recommend you keep them separated for a while.
Feeding- we recommend giving unlimited access to food and water until 10 weeks of age. When you hit the 10 weeks age switch to 4 meals a day then at 12 weeks switch to 3 meals a day. Around 12 to 16 weeks you should begin potty training. The most important thing is to have a schedule and keep it the same everyday for example feed at 7am, 12pm, and 4pm. Keeping a schedule will help you potty train as well.
Potty training- keeping a tight feeding schedule is important. It will help regulate their digestive system and their bowls making it easier for you to determine when they need to go. If they have accidents in the house it is important to thoroughly clean the area. Any lingering smell isn’t only unpleasant for you but it also tells the animal that that is a potty spot and they will be more likely to go there again. Supervision is key, so make sure you look for signs that your animal needs to go (restlessness, pacing, etc.) and put them in a spot where you would like them to go (litter box, outside on the lawn, etc.).
Toys- most toys that are sold in pet stores are safe for your puppy and kittens however, it is important to supervise your pet when they are playing with these toys. If you have a puppy that is teething, it is possible that they can tear apart the toy and ingest the stuffing, squeaker, or parts of rope that can lead to choking or intestinal blockage. We recommend shopping for toys that are chew resistant, supervising them when they are playing, and taking the toy away when you can no longer supervise them. Cat toys with feathers or other delicate dangling things can be hazardous for kittens as well. It is important that you supervise them as well.
Treats- it is important to pick out teats that are the correct size for your new puppy or kitten. Treats that are too small can be a chocking hazard. Avoid giving bones that can break off into shards such as deer antlers, pig's feet, etc. Avoid giving your dog your left overs as well, chicken bones, beef bones, lamb bones, etc can also break off into shards and are not safe for your dog. Even bones you can buy at the pet store can be potential chocking hazard. Just like with toys, it is best to supervise your dog when giving them treats or bones and taking them away when you have to step out. Cats are a bit easier, however, bone shards can also be hazardous for them. If they bring home a dead bird or rat, it is important to dispose of the carcass and make sure that when you do so the cat cannot get it. When giving cats treats, supervise them to make sure that they do not choke. For both cats and dogs, we do not recommend giving them human food. It is best to only feed your pet food that is made for them. We know it is tempting, but it is for their health. However, if your dog or cat gets into human food here are some lists on safe and unsafe foods. If you are concerned about what your pet has ingested, call the ASPCA Poison Control at (888)-426-4435 or give us a call at (650)-341-7741.
Laurelwood Veterinary Clinic
Call Us: (650)-341-7741