Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is fun for the whole family. Get everyone off to a great start by scheduling an appointment with Rocklin Road Animal Hospital within the first few days of your pet’s arrival. Your veterinary professionals will develop a customized wellness plan for the youngster, providing the best possible care at every stage of your new pet’s life.


If your young pet is to be left alone while family members are at work or school, find a clean, dry space that is safe—most puppies do well in gated areas or crates, while kittens may need to be closed into a room or rooms that have been made safe for them. Provide a warm, dry bed and a source for water at all times. Remove any accessible houseplants or chemicals from this area to avoid accidental poisoning. Most puppies and kittens love to chew, so get down on your hands and knees to identify hazards and remove them from this space. And don’t forget to provide your puppy or kitten with appropriate chew toys.


Young animals have sensitive digestive systems, so we recommend high-quality puppy or kitten food for the healthy growth and development of your new pet. Never give your young pet table food—avoiding table food from the start helps prevent obesity and finicky eaters. Offer fresh water at all times to aid digestion and prevent dehydration. Consult with the professionals at Rocklin Road Animal Hospital regarding an appropriate diet plan, high-quality pet foods, and safe treats for your new pet.


Puppies and kittens are babies and leaving them alone for long periods of time may fail to socialize them. Socializing is critical to avoiding a very shy or fearful pet that may exhibit behavior problems such as biting or scratching. Make sure your new pet has company—lots of it! We will be pleased to recommend resources for training your new pet.


At Rocklin Road Animal Hospital, we tailor your pet’s preventive care to meet your individual needs and lifestyle. However, these are some common vaccines we may recommend for basic puppy or kitten care:


See our article on Puppy Vaccines for more detailed information.

  • Canine distemper/adenovirus type 2/parainfluenza/canine parvovirus—at 6–8 weeks, booster every 3 weeks until 12 weeks of age
  • Bordetella—at 6–8 weeks
  • Leptospirosis—at 6–8 weeks, booster once in 3 weeks
  • Rabies—at 16 weeks

Not a vaccine, but puppies should start on heartworm prevention as early as 6 weeks of age.


See our article on Kitten Vaccines for more detailed information.

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia—start at 6 weeks, booster every 3 weeks until 12 weeks old
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV)—at 8–9 weeks, booster 3 weeks later (usually recommended in outdoor kittens only)
  • Rabies—at 12 weeks
  • 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

Visit our Pet Vaccinations page to find additional information regarding vaccines and the diseases they prevent in pets.

In addition to vaccines, puppies and kittens can be infected with worms while still in the womb or from their mother’s milk and need to be dewormed after they are weaned. Deworming should occur at least 4 times between 7 and 16 weeks of age, with a recheck at 6 months and 1 year of age.

This deworming protocol is the intestinal parasite control program recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Under normal situations, it is rare for children to become infected with worms from animals. However, we strongly recommend good sanitation and parasite control to keep you family’s risk at a minimum.

Learning about kitten/cat socialization is important for a mentally healthy cat.

We recommend all puppies and kittens not in a breeding program be spayed or neutered. When to spay or neuter depends on several factors, which you can discuss with your veterinarian. This results in a healthier pet that will generally live longer and be a happier companion in your home. Learn about this simple surgical procedure on our Spay & Neuter page.

Bring your questions and concerns to your pet’s wellness visits at Rocklin Road Animal Hospital. We look forward to meeting you and the newest member of the RRAH family!