You’ve picked out your adorable new puppy or kitten to take home — now what? The first step is to contact Leslie Animal Clinic to schedule your initial puppy or kitten visit. There is no better way to celebrate this new addition to your home than a veterinary check-up to ensure your new companion is healthy and strong.

At the initial exam, our medical team meets your new pet and creates a veterinary history for your puppy or kitten. Then our veterinarian performs a thorough physical exam, takes blood for lab work, and runs an intestinal parasite test. Discussion surrounding nutrition and diet, socialization, potty training, behavioral concerns, and disease prevention will occur at this time, so feel free to bring us all of your questions.

Visit our Pet Wellness page for more about what to expect during your wellness exams.

Find out what food the puppy or kitten has been eating and feed that same brand for a couple of weeks. We will advise you about the nutrition and dietary needs of your young pet at your first visit. If you decide to introduce a new brand of pet food, gradually mix the new brand in with the old brand over the next week. A healthy pet will enjoy most good quality pet foods and eating should be a happy time.

We recommend you purchase a sturdy travel crate to transport your new pet to veterinary visits. An unrestrained puppy or kitten can be a real driving hazard, especially climbing down by the pedals or jumping onto your shoulder, and many animals feel more secure in an enclosed space. Transporting your puppy or kitten in a carrier is also helpful if the animal vomits, urinates, or defecates.

Puppy & Kitten Vaccines

We recommend the following puppy and kitten series of vaccines as a general preventive measure. We invite you to discuss your lifestyle and environmental concerns with us, so we may tailor a vaccination schedule appropriate for your needs.

Typically, the puppy and kitten series would consist of the following recommended vaccines:

Puppy Series

  • DA2PP/Bordetella: At 6–8 weeks, booster every 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age
  • Rabies: At 12 weeks

Kitten Series

  • Feline leukemia (FeLV) and FIV test: Used to detect exposure to or infection of one of these viruses and recommended for any new cat coming into the household
  • FVRCP: Start at 6 weeks, booster every 3 weeks for a total of 2 doses
  • FeLv: At 8–9 weeks, booster 3 weeks later
  • Rabies: At 12 weeks

Visit our Vaccinations page to find additional information regarding disease prevention for your pets.

Turn to the professionals at the AAHA website for a wide variety of articles about puppy and kitten care.

Visit the WebMD Pet Health Center for lots of information and videos about caring for your new pet.