Our Vet Team Answers Your Puppy and Kitten Questions

Are you concerned or puzzled about what you need to do to keep your new puppy or kitten healthy and happy? Here are some answers to frequently asked puppy and kitten care questions, as answered by our vet team at New Hope Animal Hospital.

image of a puppy

  • How do I get my puppy or kitten's life off to a healthy start? Puppies and kittens should have their first wellness exam by the time they're between 6 and 8 weeks of age. We can evaluate your pet inside and out, check for diseases or infestations, administer vaccinations and advise you on best practices for caring for your new friend.
  • Is de-worming a common treatment for puppies and kittens? Puppies and kittens are indeed vulnerable to internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms and other worms. These parasites can do your puppy or kitten significant harm. Administering multiple de-worming treatments during the first year is standard operating procedure for puppy and kitten wellness.
  • Why are vaccinations so critical? Puppies and kittens haven't yet developed their own antibodies against the many deadly infectious diseases they're exposed to. Several rounds of vaccinations against rabies, distemper and other diseases trigger the immune system to start manufacturing those antibodies and reinforce your pet's immunity to them.
  • Why would puppies or kittens need spay and neuter surgery? Spaying or neutering puppies and kittens can convey important health benefits. By sterilize these animals before they reach puberty, your Durham and Chapel Hill veterinarian can ensure that they never experience the heat cycles that compel potentially hazardous behaviors. It also eliminates the risk of certain reproductive cancers right from the beginning of their lives.
  • Should I start my puppy or kitten on a pest prevention program? After the age of 4 weeks, our vet center can safely prescribe flea and tick preventatives for your little friend. Until then, you'll want to maintain careful grooming and housekeeping practices to keep these invaders at bay. A major flea infestation can draw enough blood to threaten the life of a baby animal.
  • What (and how much) should I feed my puppy or kitten? Puppies and kittens require plenty of protein to help them grow and thrive. Choose pet foods specially formulated for puppies or kittens (taking care never to confuse the two) and follow the label's directions for portion sizes and feeding schedules.
  • How much activity does my puppy or kitten need? These bundles of energy generally need at least one substantial play or exercise session each day. Regular exercise keeps your pet from becoming overweight, builds strength and coordination, and gives you a chance to bond with your playmate.

Bring Your Durham and Chapel Hill Questions -- and Your Pet -- to Our Vet Center

Your veterinarian at New Hope Animal Center will be happy to answer any additional puppy and kitten questions you may have in Durham or Chapel Hill. Call (919) 490-2000 to schedule an appointment!

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