Puppies & Kittens:
They’re Only Young Once

| San Fernando Valley Veterinarians: Puppy & Kitten Care  Photo

You’ve taken the leap and made the commitment of becoming a pet owner. Congratulations are definitely in order! Also in order are a few words about what’s in store for you during the next year.

The First Year

For the first year of your pet’s life, he or she will be categorized as a puppy or kitten. During this period, puppies and kittens experience rapid growth and many changes. A qualified veterinarian is necessary to oversee your pet’s health and to provide you with information and advice during this time. The veterinarians at Winnetka Animal Clinic are definitely here to help.

At 6–8 Weeks of Age

Once your puppy or kitten is between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, he or she is ready for the first visit to our hospital. Expect your newbie to receive a complete checkup, including a dental exam, first set of vaccinations (DHLPP #1), deworming preventive, flea prevention treatment, and a consultation on diet and nutrition.

Deworming your new pet is very important, as sometimes worms are passed from mother to offspring during birth. Eradicating the worms is significant in terms of public health.

Equally important is establishing year-round flea treatment, as fleas can cause allergies, carry disease, and infest a household. The best preventive for these parasites is to stop them before they get started.

The typical wellness and vaccinations schedule for most pets includes:

  • 3 weeks after the first visit, your pet will receive a second set of vaccinations (DHLPP #2/FVRCP #2), as well as a second deworming preventive.
  • 3 weeks later, he or she will receive a third set (DHLPP #3/FVRCP #3).
  • 3 weeks later, he or she will receive a one-year DHLPP/FVRCP, one-year rabies, and optional 6-month bordatella for kennel cough (dogs only).
  • At 5 to 6 months of age, your pet is eligible for spay or neutering, something we highly recommend. Microchipping is also very important, as every pet shelter has a microchip reader. While the procedure can be done at anytime, the spay or neuter provides the perfect opportunity.
  • 1 year after the third set of vaccinations, your pet will receive a 1-year checkup, 3-year DHLPP or FVRCP, and 3-year rabies shot.

From that point on, your pet will receive an annual checkup that includes a dental exam, diet consultation, and any appropriate booster vaccinations. Your puppy or kitten’s first booster is good for one year. All boosters after that will be good for 3 years.

Any DHLPP, FVRCP, rabies, or bordatella vaccine administered during an annual checkup is always done at half price!

FYI… We also hold a half-price clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. During that time, our on-duty vet tech will administer vaccinations or boosters at half price to any pet that has been seen by the doctor within the last year.


For more information about puppy and kitten care, or to make an appointment for your pet, we invite you to contact us today. A friendly member of our staff will be glad to assist you.