Compassionate Puppy and Kitten Care

When you bring your puppy or kitten for their first visit with us, they receive our special Baby Gift Bag, valued between $60-$90, from their new medical team at Pekin Veterinary Clinic. As one of the gifts for puppies, they receive a gift certificate for their first ‘puppy cut’ at Aboard the Ark Groomers – don’t forget your camera for this big event!

All of our babies get lots of kisses and a treat during their medical check ups and a plush toy to snuggle after those scary surgical visits. “Bair Huggers” are heated warm-air pillows used for your pet’s comfort and to keep their body temperatures up during dental or surgical procedures. We share lots of love and kisses to make our visitors feel comfortable and safe.

Vaccination Recommendations

We recommend the puppy and kitten series of vaccines as a general preventive measure. Not all animals are the same and not all pet owners are comfortable with a generic vaccine schedule. Please discuss your lifestyle and environmental concerns with us and we will prepare a vaccination schedule appropriate for your needs. Typically, the puppy and kitten series would consist of the following recommended vaccines:

Puppies – starting at 6-7 weeks of age

  • Distemper/ Adenovirus/ Parainfluenza/ Leptospirosis/ Parvovirus vaccine every 3 weeks, through 16 weeks of age
  • Rabies at 16 weeks of age
  • Bordetella vaccine as early as 3 weeks

Kittens – starting at 6-7 weeks of age

  • Rhinotracheitis / Calici virus / Panleukopenia vaccine every 3 weeks through 12-13 weeks old
  • Rabies at 16 weeks of age
  • Bordetella as early as 8 weeks for best immunity
  • Feline Leukemia for all kittens

Visit our Vaccinations page to find additional information and details regarding disease prevention for your pet.

Bringing Home Baby

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is much like bringing home a new baby – you need to buy equipment, prepare for the car ride home, and educate yourself on the types of activities they like, appropriate feeding, and health care.

Before you bring your new puppy or kitten home, schedule your first veterinary appointment. You will want to be sure they are in perfect health, free of any congenital traits or other medical conditions. Initial puppy exams begin with a ‘kissing tour’, so our medical team can meet your new family member. Next is a thorough physical exam and intestinal parasite test. Feeding, behavioral concerns, socialization, potty training, and disease prevention topics will also be discussed. You will want to find out exactly what the breeder (or humane society) has done for your new baby, such as puppy or kitten vaccinations, deworming, and whether the puppy’s tail has been docked and the dewclaws removed. Your veterinarian will need all of this information along with your pet’s approximate birth date – please share these details at your first visit.

Next, purchase a sturdy travel crate for your new pet. Many animals feel more secure in an enclosed space. An unrestrained puppy or kitten can be a real driving hazard, especially if he or she climbs down by the pedals or jumps onto your shoulder. Having your puppy or kitten in a carrier is also helpful in case the animal vomits, urinates or defecates, which some will do if they are nervous. Some pups do better if they are held or snuggled in their blanket. This is fine as long as the puppy has relieved himself very well and the person holding the pup is NOT also the driver!

The sense of smell is very important to puppies and kittens, and it will make them more comfortable to have something that smells like their former home. Perhaps you can take a towel or blanket the animal has been sleeping on with you to his new home. You might even make arrangements ahead of time with the breeder or shelter, bringing a towel or small blanket for your pet to sleep on for several days before you pick her up. Place it in the carrier for the ride home and leave it in the carrier during those first few days.

To limit the number of changes your new pet will need to experience it is best to find out what food the puppy or kitten has been eating and feed the same brand for a couple of weeks. When you want to change brands, gradually mix the new brand in with the old brand over a week. Your new baby needs to be fed a diet made specifically for puppies or kittens to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition.

Before you bring your new puppy or kitten home, put his or her food, water, toys, scratching post, and/or litter pan in a quiet room that you can close off like a laundry room or spare bedroom. For puppies, a cage or crate will also work, but choose one that is big enough so that your pet can stand up and turn around. If you purchase a crate large enough for your pet as an adult, you may want to section off part of it so your puppy doesn’t urinate in the back. They don’t like to urinate and defecate in their sleeping area and this may prevent a future problem. The pup will also need a collar and leash, and plenty of love.

Socializing your new pet is important and exposure to humans and other pets is essential to do this. You can never over-socialize a puppy or kitten – exposure to people and pets now helps prevent a shy, fearful, or aggressive pet later.

Puppy Kindergarten

We would like to introduce you to our Puppy Kindergarten. Puppy Kindergarten is designed for all puppies from 6 weeks to 6 months of age to teach them basic obedience, socialization, and confidence. Teaching your puppy to be comfortable while being handled by someone new or being around other animals will help them establish confidence and create a solid relationship for their future visits to the veterinary office or the dog park. From walking on a lead without pulling to learning to sit and stay, this class is designed to give both you and your puppy the start that creates a strong and loving relationship. Puppy Kindergarten is open to the community, come join us.