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A Great Start to a Healthy Life

Congratulations on your new family member! This is a very fun and important time in your lives. At Stone Ridge Veterinary Hospital, we recommend puppies and kittens receive more frequent care to ensure healthy growth and development. The following schedules are typical for most young pets, but our team will always check to make sure specific needs are addressed:

Kitten and Veterinarian

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/Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) testing
  • Begin parasite prevention protocol
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Litter box training

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
  • FeLV/FIV testing

Kitten Behaviors

7-14 Weeks

Provide an outlet for your kitten’s natural scratching behavior (e.g., a cat tree) and note whether there’s a preference for a specific texture or orientation (horizontal or vertical).

Purchase a high-quality kitten food and follow the serving guidelines.

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 to ensure appropriate elimination behavior.

3-6 Months

Regular play times are important for proper growth and to develop your bond.

Avoid rough play and discourage inappropriate nipping/scratching.

Puppy Schedule

8 weeks

  • DHPP #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

12 Weeks

  • DHLPP #2
  • Dental assessment
  • Optional Lyme vaccine #1 (non-core)

16 Weeks

  • DHLPP #3
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Optional Lyme vaccine #2 (non-core)

6 Months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping

Puppy Behaviors

Puppy Behaviors (8-12 weeks)

  • Puppy-proof your home. Provide lots of love, toys, and encouragement. Security and predictability are crucial.
  • Purchase a high-quality puppy food and follow the serving guidelines.
  • We recommend enrolling in a “puppy class” for controlled socialization with other pets and their owners.

Puppy Behaviors (12-16 weeks)

  • This is when your puppy discovers where he or she falls in the pack (your family). Your role is to become the pack leader.
  • Be consistent with rules and avoid games of dominance.
  • Reward all positive behaviors.
  • Consider starting a puppy obedience class.

Puppy Behaviors (5-18 months)

  • Many of the behavior issues during this time (urine marking, roaming, inter-species aggression, increased dominance) can be reduced or eliminated with spay/neuter surgery.
  • Energy levels are high and mental and physical exercise play a large role in keeping your pet healthy and well-behaved.

Puppy Training

Having a pet adds great joy and pleasure to our lives. To gain the most out of your relationship, it’s important to train your new puppy to ensure his or her safety and enhance your everyday lives. That’s why Stone Ridge Veterinary Hospital offers 8-week training courses to encourage proper socialization and behaviors. For more information about training your puppy, please contact us.


Microchipping your new puppy or kitten is crucial to his or her safety. Please contact us for more information about this important practice.


On the Web

American Animal Hospital Association:

WebMD Pet Health Center:

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