Puppy and Kitten Season: Part Two

Puppy and Kitten

Congratulations!  You have picked out the perfect friend- your puppy or kitten is sniffing around the house, your small animal is in its cage, your lizard or snake is basking under a heat lamp, and your fish is exploring its tank.  If you read Part 1, you’re already an expert at choosing the best pet for you and your family.  In Part 2, we will talk about keeping your pet healthy with good lifestyle choices, safety around the home, medical checkups, and vaccinations.

  1. Indoors Only, Please! While the great outdoors has its charms, it can be dangerous or deadly for a pet, especially a puppy or a kitten.  Resist the allure of the dog park, groomer, or neighborhood strolls until about a week after they have received their last vaccination and have been microchipped.  Even then, dogs (and some cats) should be on a leash with a well-fitting collar and harness.  It is safest to keep cats indoors.  Predators, getting lost, fleas and other parasites, poisoning, heatstroke, and being hit by cars are just some of the dangers pets can face when outside.  Kittens and puppies, with their weaker immune systems, should also not be around other pets outside the household.  If it’s socialization you’re after, some pet stores host puppy play groups where everyone is vetted and up to date on their vaccines.
  2. Vaccinations: What to Get When. Just like with kids, puppies and kittens need vaccinations and booster shots to keep them healthy.  The California Veterinary Medical Association recommends vaccines around 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, 12-14 weeks, and at 15-17 weeks.  Many people ask us: why so many booster shots?  It’s because their immune system is developing.  Young animals get some of their early immunity from their mother’s milk.  When they start eating solid food, this immunity goes away and they lose that protection.  The booster shots help them build up immunity as they grow.  Vaccinations do cost money, but treating these diseases is a lot more expensive than preventing them.  For example, the DHLPP vaccine that prevents six diseases, including parvo, is $62.60.  The treatment for parvo can cost over a thousand dollars.  Yikes!  That’s a big sticker shock!  Spending that money on prevention makes a lot of sense, right?  And don’t forget your adult cats and dogs- they need to be up to date on their vaccines, too.  Have questions?  Give us here at Amigo Animal Hospital a call at (714) 894-5558, and check the bottom of this blog for links to easy-to-read charts for cat and dog vaccines.
  3. Home Safety: Watch Out For Wires. Baby-proofing isn’t just for humans.  Pets are notorious for eating, destroying, and chewing on things that they shouldn’t.  Go around the house at your pet’s eye level and clean up items they can choke on, pick up food scraps, put cleaning chemicals out of reach in secure containers, secure wires and chargers, and clean up sharp items on the floor or sticking out of surfaces.  Keep windows and doors closed or make sure they have pet-proof screens, and if you have a pool, keep it covered when you are not actively using it.  Don’t always count on an opening being too narrow for a pet to get through- our pets are experts at squeezing their bodies through amazingly small openings.
  4. Healthy Eating: Human Food?  No Thanks! There are plenty of healthy choices out there for pets, and, unfortunately, plenty of unhealthy ones.  For dogs, foods with grain are best, as they promote heart health.  Brands like Iams, Purina, Royal Canin, and Hills are great.  Cats can enjoy these brands, too.  While there is a lot of talk about raw meat, it’s a big no.  Raw meat diets can have bone splinters, and bacteria, and may even contribute to making you and your family sick.  Table food is another big “Nope!” for dogs and cats.  If you can’t resist their begging, put them in another room while you eat.  Lots of our favorite foods are toxic to cats and dogs, and those that aren’t can make them obese or lead to serious health problems down the road. 

We’ve outlined some of the basics for making your new pet healthy and happy.  But don’t go showing off that veterinarian degree yet- there are a lot more things to learn about pet care.  If you want to learn more, you can visit your local library, read articles online from reputable sites, such as the American Kennel Club and PetMD, and you can text or call us at (714) 894-5558.  We also have puppy, kitten, and adult dog and cat packages to help you save some money.  From all of us here at Amigo Animal Hospital to all of you, we wish you happy tails and wet noses until we meet again.

Join us next month when we bust some common pet care myths and tall tales!

Links to vaccine schedules:

Cats: https://www.thesprucepets.com/kitten-vaccine-schedule-4165446

Dogs: https://www.thesprucepets.com/puppy-vaccine-schedule-2804982 (note: Leptospirosis is a core vaccine in California)

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you


13951 Milan St. Westminster, CA 92683

Phone: (714) 894-5558

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Amigo Animal Hospital


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm




8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm