Puppies & Kittens: Who Doesn't Love 'em?
Congratulations on becoming the new parent of a loveable puppy or kitten! One of our goals at Hefner Road Animal Hospital is to provide education to new pet parents to get their new puppy or kitten off to healthy, happy start in life.
Regular vaccinations are important to make sure you puppy stays healthy. A typical puppy vaccine schedule is:
- 6 weeks—1st DHP-PV-CV (distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parvovirus, parainfluenza, corona), 1st intestinal parasite test (worm test)
- 9 weeks—2nd DHP-PV-CV-KC (oral) (distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parvovirus, parainfluenza, corona, bordetella (oral)), 2nd intestinal parasite test (worm test)
- 12 weeks—3rd DHLP-PV-CV-KC (distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis), bordetella (kennel cough)
- 15 weeks—Rabies, 4th DHLP-PV-CV (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis)
Feeding Orphaned Puppies
- Feed commercial canine milk replacer. Be sure to use one specifically formulated for puppies.
- Your puppy will need to eat every two hours in the first week of life.
- At 4 weeks of age, transition from nursing to eating solid food.
- A high-quality dry puppy kibble can be soaked with warm water and milk replacer.
- By 7 to 8 weeks of age, dry kibble is the optimal food source for your puppy.
Socializing Your Puppy
Socializing your puppy is very important to his or her health. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to help your puppy to be comfortable within human society. Well-socialized puppies usually develop into safer, more relaxed, and enjoyable pet dogs.
- 3 to 12 weeks—Puppies are most accepting of new experiences
- 12 to 18 weeks—The opportunity to easily socialize ends
Here are some ideas:
- Take your puppy to the park only after all rounds of vaccines from a veterinary, due to the risk of parvovirus.
- Meet new dogs.
- Meet new people.
- Walk in the city.
- Let children pet the puppy.
- Take your puppy places where he or she will encounter new sounds and smells.
Note: If your puppy is going to be around livestock, you want to introduce them to all the other animals they will be sharing space with.
While similar to puppies, kittens are a little different. A typical kitten vaccine schedule is:
- 6 weeks—1st FVRCPC-CLC (rhinotracheitis, calici, panleukopenia), 1st intestinal parasite screen (worm test), feline leukemia/feline AIDS test (LK/FIV)
- 9 weeks—2nd FVRCPC-CLC (rhinotracheitis, calici, panleukopenia), 2nd intestinal parasite screen (worm test), 1st leukemia vaccine/feline AIDS (LK/FIV)
- 12 weeks—Rabies, 3rd FVRCPC-CLC (rhinotracheitis, calici, panleukopenia), 2nd leukemia vaccine/feline AIDS (LK/FIV)
- 15 weeks—Rabies booster, 4th FVRCPC-CLC (rhinotracheitis, calici, panleukopenia), 3rd feline AIDS (FIV)
Feeding Orphaned Kittens
Newborn kittens may nurse about every 1 to 2 hours. Later in their development, feeding should be done as follows:
- 3 to 4 weeks—Offer milk replacer from a bowl and then small amounts of moistened kitten food four to six times a day.
- 6 to 12 weeks—Feed four times a day as you gradually decrease their access to milk replacer.
- 3 to 6 months—Feed three times a day.
The Importance of Socializing Your Kitten
It is very important to begin to socialize kittens at the appropriate time. It helps them to be comfortable in their surroundings, making them healthier cats.
- Birth to 3 weeks—Kittens should be handled rarely.
- 3 to 7 weeks—Kittens should be handled more often, so that they become used to the scent of humans and their handling.
- 7 to 12 weeks—Kittens should be comfortable and playful in their surroundings.