When Should I Take My New Puppy or Kitten to the Vet?

puppy and kitten at the vet

The addition of a new puppy or kitten to the family can be a very exciting and busy time in your life. From getting them settled in to figuring out a new daily routine, becoming a new pet owner can present an array of challenges. Taking your new pet to the vet can clear up any queries or concerns you may have concerning proper care for your pet, whilst also ensuring that your pet is in good health.

When Should You Take Your New Pet To The Vet?

Your new puppy or kitten should be taken in for their first vet appointment anytime between 6-8 weeks old. Between the ages of 6-16 weeks, your pet should have around 4 follow up appointments to monitor their health and to establish what care may be needed going forward.

What Should You Expect When You Take Your New Pet To The Vet?

During their first appointment, your pet will be given a thorough examination of their overall health, to check for congenital defects and external parasites. Deworming medication may be administered at this point, too, to prevent roundworm or hookworm, as well as your pet’s first round of vaccinations. It is at this stage that kittens will also be tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. At around 4 weeks old, your vet will also be able to prescribe flea and tick preventatives, in order to protect your pet from harmful parasites.

During their next few follow up appointments, regular assessments of your pet’s overall health will be made, as well as the administration of other vaccines (such as for rabies or distemper) that may not have been administered in their initial first appointment.

What Guidance and Advice Will Your Vet Provide You With?

As your vet becomes more familiar with you and your pet’s needs, they will begin to create a specific health care plan suited for your pet and their needs. Guidance will be provided, not just concerning the medical aspects of your pet’s care, but also how best to start training them, tips for socializing them, as well as advice concerning food and diet.

A vaccination and medical care schedule may also be provided or discussed, allowing you to fully understand when you should be bringing your pet for check-ups and why this is so important to their health overall. It is important to keep up-to-date with your pet’s vaccinations, especially in their younger years as new puppies and kittens have yet to develop the antibodies required to fend off certain viruses and diseases. Common medical problems (such as heartworm disease, zoonosis and feline leukemia) may be discussed as well, so that you have a full understanding of the precautions you may need to undertake.

Spaying or neutering will also be discussed, and it is highly recommended that you have your pet spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Your vet will talk you through the procedure as well as the benefits that it can have for your pet, including improving behavior and the eliminating risks of certain reproductive cancers.

In addition to this, your vet will be more than happy to address any questions and concerns you may have yourself in order to ensure the best care possible for your new pet.

For more advice on taking your new fury addition to the vet for the first time, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable veterinary team at Richfield Animal Medical Center in Richfield, Ohio at 330-659-6606.