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Progressive Puppy and Kitten Care in the First Year

Boxer Puppy

Progressive care for puppies and kittens takes a broad approach, addressing all aspects of life during the first year. Greece Animal Hospital offers veterinarians experienced in caring for these young pets.

We are excited about guiding pet owners in topics such as proper growth and development, disease prevention, and the importance of training for appropriate behavior. At Greece Animal Hospital, you will find everything you need from a team dedicated to the needs of pets and their families.

What Puppies and Kittens Need

What will you need on the day you bring your young pet home? Some essentials include:

Pet Carrier
Essential for safely transporting any unrestrained pet. Puppies and kittens can become frightened in a moving vehicle. Panic can cause an animal to become frantic and climb or jump around the car, behavior which is dangerous to drivers, passengers, and pets. A carrier is also convenient if your nervous youngster vomits, defecates, or urinates during the trip. For safety and a sense of security, we recommend keeping young pets in their carrier while in the veterinary waiting room.

Dishes, Bedding, and Collars
These personal items should fit the needs of your young pets. Puppies and kittens should be able to eat and with ease. Smaller, stable water and food dishes are recommended during this life stage, even for larger breeds.

All pet toys should meet veterinary safety standards and be appropriate to age, size, and type. Providing only one or two toys helps prevent overwhelming young pets with too much stimulation.

Our veterinarians are pleased to advise you in providing safe, suitable accessories for your puppy or kitten. Contact us to schedule an appointment for your young pets.

Proper Care in the First Year

We suggest you schedule a complete physical examination for your puppy or kitten right away, to ensure sound condition and good health. During the first visit, expect us to design a disease prevention and parasite control plan tailored to your pet’s needs. In addition, guidance is provided regarding issues such as diet and nutrition, proper behavior, socialization, and house training.

It takes several visits during the first year to provide the complete vaccination protocol, and to monitor health and development. While each pet’s needs may vary, this is a typical first year schedule for puppy and kitten visits.

Kitten Schedule

8 Weeks

  • FVRCP #1 (feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia)
  • Feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) #1 (non-core vaccine)
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Feline leukemia testing
  • Begin parasite prevention protocol
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Litter training guidance

12 weeks

  • FVRCP #2
  • Feline leukemia vaccine #2
  • Stool exam and deworming

16 weeks

  • FVRCP#3
  • Rabies vaccine

6 months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping

Puppy Schedule

8 weeks

  • DHLPP #1
    (distemper/hepatitis/leptospirosis/parainfluenza/parvo virus)
  • Bordetella vaccine, if needed
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Begin heartworm prevention
  • Begin parasite prevention
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Behavioral training guidance

12 Weeks

  • DHLPP #2
  • Dental assessment

16 Weeks

  • DHLPP #3
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Rabies vaccine

6 Months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping


Every year millions of pets go missing, and most are never returned home. Having your pet microchipped is the best way to ensure this does not happen to your companions.

Read about Ripley, one pet’s story.

The microchip, roughly the size of a grain of rice, is implanted between the shoulder blades under the pet’s skin, and remains there for their entire life. The procedure can be performed easily as an outpatient visit.

Each microchip is identified by a unique number. This number is added to a national pet registry along with the pet and the pet owner’s relevant information. Most animal care facilities and shelters are able to detect and read these implanted microchips. When a microchip is found, the registry allows the owner to be contacted.

Greece Animal Hospital Hospital uses the ResQ microchip system. Learn more about the ResQ microchip.

Learn Online

For helpful pet care videos, visit the official AVMA YouTube Channel

For kitten care, visit the Pet Health Center at WebMD: Kitten Care

Learn more about raising pets at the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Pet Health Library:

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