Puppies, Kittens, Pocket Pets

Young Pets

Your New Puppy

Medical Care—As soon as your puppy comes home, schedule that first check-up. Bring a stool sample to this visit, so the doctor can check for internal parasites. It is also a good idea to bring any available vaccination and medical records. Expect a thorough physical exam, and don't forget to bring any questions or concerns you may have-we are your medical partners in the health and well-being of your new pet.

Pet Vaccinations—Mother's milk offers pups some protection from disease, but that only lasts a few weeks. As they are weaned from their mother, puppies are given vaccines to protect them from disease. The "puppy series" gradually builds immunity during the first few months, usually beginning with the first medical exam at around 6-8 weeks.

"Puppy Series" vaccines may include:

  • DHPP Vaccine (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parainfluenza/Parvovirus)—Given at 6 weeks, at least three doses
  • Rabies—Given at 16-18 weeks
  • Leptospirosis—Given routinely with DHPP vaccine
  • Bordatella—Given at 12 weeks

See our Vaccinations page for more information on vaccines.

Nutrition—Good quality puppy food is important. Never give your puppy table food, as it can cause intestinal problems. Remember to keep fresh, clean water available at all times. Call our office for recommendations on feeding your new puppy, or ask us at your check-up.

Spaying/Neutering—Unless you intend to breed your dog, we recommend spaying or neutering your puppy at around six months of age. An altered pet lives longer and generally has fewer medical problems and a better temperament if this is done at an early age.

Puppies need a safe, comfortable environment in which to live, as well as regular exams, vaccinations and parasite prevention, socialization, and behavioral training. At Grady Veterinary Hospital, we help you create such an environment. We enjoy meeting every new puppy and we hope to make your experience a rich and rewarding one.

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too." ~ Samuel Butler

Your New Kitten

Medical Care—As soon as your kitten comes home, schedule that first check-up. Bring a stool sample to this visit, so the doctor can check for internal parasites. It is also a good idea to bring any available vaccination and medical records. Expect a thorough physical exam, and don't forget to bring any questions or concerns you may have-we are your medical partners in the health and well-being of your new pet.

Vaccinations—Mother's milk offers kittens some protection from disease, but that only lasts a few weeks. As they are weaned from their mother, kittens are given vaccines to protect them from disease. The "kitten series" gradually builds immunity during the first few months, usually beginning with the first medical exam at around 6 weeks.

"Kitten Series" vaccines may include:

  • FVRCP (Feline Distemper)—Given at 6 weeks, at least three doses
  • Rabies—Given at 14-16 weeks
  • FeLv (Feline Leukemia)—Given at 8 and 12 weeks

See our Vaccinations page for more information on vaccines.

Nutrition—Good quality kitten food is important. Never give your kitten table food, as it can cause intestinal problems. Remember to keep fresh, clean water available at all times. Call our office for recommendations on feeding your new kitten.

Spaying/Neutering—We recommend spaying or neutering your kitten at around six months of age. An altered pet lives longer and generally has fewer medical problems and a better temperament if this is done at an early age.

Your New Ferret

Popular for their size and friendly disposition, ferrets can be great pets, but they require appropriate care. They live a relatively long time for small pets-6 to 10 years-and as such require a rather large commitment.

Placement—Ferrets may bite, so they may not be a good choice for families with young children. They generally get along with dogs and cats if introduced carefully, but should not be placed in homes with birds, rodents, or small reptiles.

Vaccinations-General recommendations are as follows:

  • Ferret Distemper at 8 and 12 weeks, then annually
  • Rabies at 14 weeks, then every 3 years

Spay/Neuter-A male ferret is known as a hob, and a female is known as a jill. Get a spayed/neutered ferret, if possible, as breeding is not recommended. Most ferrets from farms or pet stores will already be altered. If not, have the ferret altered at the age of six months. The AAHA reports that neutering is necessary for jills to avoid deadly aplastic anemia. Altering a ferret may actually improve its disposition, diminishing aggression and territoriality.

Nutrition-Ferrets are carnivores and require a high meat protein diet. Specialty ferret foods are recommended and fruits and vegetables make a nice treat. Fresh water must be available, and is best served in a bottle since ferrets may play with water in a bowl.

Read more about caring for a ferret.

"If a ferret bites you it is nearly always your own fault."
~ Phil Drabble

Your New Pocket Pet

Rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, and guinea pigs are often called "pocket pets" because they are small and inexpensive. These small animals have specific diets, housing, and handling requirements, and each one requires special care and attention. Before you purchase one of these pets, be certain that it meets your needs and expectations. If you aren't sure, contact our office for recommendations.

Read more about choosing and caring for a variety of pocket pets.

An excellent rabbit resource is the House Rabbit Society.

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.”
— Cynthia E. Varnado