Puppy and Kitten Care

Getting the Right Start in Life

Get Your Puppy and Kitten off to a Great Start at Bayview Veterinary

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Raising a puppy or kitten is fun but can also be a BIG job, so please rely on our team to answer your questions along the way.

Basic Pet Care Needs

There are certain basic pet care needs that you should address before you even bring your new puppy or kitten home. These include:


  • A Sturdy Pet Carrier—A pet carrier can prevent a stressed pet from creating a dangerous situation in a moving vehicle.
  • Dishes, Collars and Bedding—Make sure these items are suitable for your pet’s size and needs.
  • Safe and Appropriate Toys—When it comes to toys, be certain that toys are properly sized for your pet.
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
Kitten Behavior

7-14 Weeks
Provide an outlet (such as a cat tree) for your kitten’s natural scratching behavior. If you notice a preference for a specific texture or orientation (horizontal or vertical), get scratching posts that mimic this.

Purchase a high-quality kitten food, such as Purina Pro Plan, and follow the serving guidelines on the product.

Position a litter box or two in easily accessible areas. We recommend a minimum of one box per cat per floor. Scoop daily and clean weekly (or as needed) to ensure appropriate elimination behavior.

3-6 Months
Regular play times are important for the growth of your kitten and in developing your bond. Avoid rough play as this will encourage inappropriate nipping/scratching.

Schedule your kitten’s spay or neuter surgery. This important procedure should occur by the time your pet is 6 months old.

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
Puppy Behaviors

8-12 Weeks
Puppies this age are very playful and curious, so it’s important to puppy-proof your home. Your puppy may whine and cry the first few nights, and this is a normal response to a major life change. Support your new pet with love, toys, and encouragement. Create a routine and stick to it. Security and predictability are crucial.

Purchase a high-quality puppy food, such as Purina Pro Plan, that lists a whole meat source as the first ingredient. Follow the serving guidelines.

Everything your puppy encounters will have a lasting impact, so remember this when determining house rules. We recommend a “puppy class” for controlled socialization with other friendly puppies and their owners. In general, take things slowly and keep experiences positive.

12-16 Weeks
This period is when your pup discovers where he falls in his pack (your family). Your role is to become the pack leader. Be consistent with rules and avoid dominance games such as tug-of-war or wrestling.

Reward all positive behaviors.

Consider starting a puppy obedience class.

5-18 Months
Many of the behavior issues encountered during this time (urine marking, roaming, inter-species aggression, increased dominance) are reduced or eliminated with spay or neuter surgery.

Energy levels are high and exercise, both mental and physical, plays a large role in keeping your pet happy, healthy, and well-behaved.


Puppies and kittens are curious and tend to wander. Each year, millions of pets go missing and are not returned home. A microchip installed at our clinic can help ensure that your pet will be found more quickly should he or she go missing.

Microchipping is a simple and painless procedure during which a chip the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades. The chip will remain for life. The microchip contains your name and information so that if your pet is lost, it can be scanned and returned to you. It has a unique identification number, which is added to a national pet registry.

Most veterinarians and animal shelters have devices for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost pet is found and the microchip is scanned, the national registry is contacted so pets and their parents can be reunited. 

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