Puppies & Kittens

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Congratulations on your new puppy or kitten!

There’s a lot of joy - and probably some nerves - to be had. Read on to get vet-approved guidance on making sure that your new furry family member has his or her best start in life.

A heartwarming cartoon illustration of a kitten and a puppy sitting together, highlighting the value of preventive care for pets.
Open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year... same day appointments and urgent drop-offs welcome!
Primary and urgent care, under one roof.
Easily book online or text us.
Modern, warm clinics with unlimited free treats.
Open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year... same day appointments and urgent drop-offs welcome!
Primary and urgent care, under one roof.
Easily book online or text us.
Modern, warm clinics with unlimited free treats.


Preventive care is the number one investment a pet parent can make to ensure their puppy or kitten gets as many healthy and happy years as possible.
Preventive care is best started early — and the first step is making sure that all essentials of preventive care (e.g. puppy/kitten exam, initial vaccinations, and spaying/neutering) are taken care of at the appropriate time.
A devoted veterinarian holding a cat, maintaining eye contact with the camera, emphasizing the significance of preventive care for feline well-being


Daily Appointment Availability

We’re here for you when it matters most. Our clinic doors are open everyday, 365 days a year - including weekends and holidays, and we accept same day appointments and urgent drop-offs.

Caring, Experienced Veterinarians

Our seasoned team specializes in both primary and urgent care. From unusual symptoms to evident injuries, you can count on us for exceptional care.

A Stress-Free Modern Clinic

Whether a dog or cat is brought to Sploot for routine dental care or tooth extraction, our stress-free clinic, friendly staff, and serene clinic environment makes the experience as calm as possible.

In-House Radiology & Lab

Radiographic exams and/or blood testing needed for virtually all surgeries. We offer these services in-house for your convenience.

Step by step guidance for your first few months as a new puppy or kitten parent!


Learn the Pet Parenting Fundamentals

There are a few things a new pet parent should know to provide the best care possible for their fur baby. A few of the fundamentals include:

Home preparation for your new pet

Training best practices

Socialization tips

All of the above (and more) are covered in our FREE, comprehensive puppy and kitten guides.
The Ultimate Pet Parent’s...


Schedule Your Very First Puppy or Kitten Visit

Give your new puppy or kitten the strongest start possible with early preventive care. Puppy and kitten exams help to monitor your pet’s growth and development while ensuring overall good health.
A lovable dog wearing our sploot bandana, adding a touch of charm to a playful puppy exam.

What’s Included in a Puppy or Kitten Exam

Give your new puppy or kitten the strongest start possible with early preventive care. Puppy and kitten exams help to monitor your pet’s growth and development while ensuring overall good health.

A Comprehensive Snout-to-Tail Examination

Our veterinarians will examine your puppy or kitten’s ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, gums, posture, and more. Veterinarians also ask pet parents about the puppy or kitten’s feeding habits, elimination patterns, behavior, and other details.

Vaccination Recommendations

Our veterinarians will recommend a schedule for core vaccinations as well as other needed vaccinations based on location and lifestyle.

Time for All Your Questions

Curious about your puppy or kitten’s behavior, training, nutritional needs, spaying/neutering, early signs of allergies, and so on? Whatever questions you may have about your new furry family member, one-on-one time with our vets is always a meaningful learning experience.

When to Schedule Your First Puppy or Kitten Exam

It is recommended to schedule your puppy or kitten’s first wellness exam as soon as possible after bringing them home.

However, if you notice anything concerning your puppy or kitten — whether it’s unusual lethargy, loss of appetite, being underweight, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on — we recommend setting up an urgent appointment. We accept same-day appointments and urgent drop-offs.


Boost Your Young Furry Friend’s Immunity

Vaccinations strengthen your pet’s immunity against transmissible disease. Because puppies and kittens are more prone to acquiring diseases and tend to have more serious symptoms than adult pets, early vaccination is strongly recommended.
A cute dog illustration in the splooting position

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Core Vaccines
The DHPP vaccine, is a combination vaccine for dogs that provides protection against several infectious diseases: Distemper, Adenovirus (hepatitis), Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza. These 4 highly contagious diseases are classified as either generally fatal or known to cause serious illness.
Also known as the kennel cough vaccine, the Bordetella vaccine protects dogs and cats against Bordetella bronchiseptica, a bacterium that causes a highly contagious respiratory disease.
The rabies vaccine for dogs is a crucial preventive measure against the deadly rabies virus which targets the central nervous systems of mammals.
The leptospirosis vaccine builds up a dog's immunity against leptospirosis, a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria — which can be carried by backyard wildlife or present in infected soil, puddles, and stagnant water.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
The canine influenza vaccine protects dogs from the highly contagious canine influenza virus. The canine influenza vaccine helps reduce the severity of the disease and minimizes the risk of transmission to other dogs in communal settings, such as dog parks, kennels, and daycare facilities.
*The schedule for administering the first dose of the rabies vaccine may vary depending on region.
*Generally recommended for dogs in Denver & Chicago.
A playful cartoon illustration of a blissful cat, lying on its back with legs in the air, exuding pure feline joy.

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

The FVRCP vaccine is a combination vaccine for cats that protects against 3 transmissible viral infections: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Panleukopenia (FP). 

All 3 of these viruses are highly contagious and potentially life-threatening to kittens. Two of these viruses (FVR and FCV) are carried for life once a cat is infected; they have no definitive cure.
The FeLV vaccine helps to build an active immunity against Feline Leukemia Virus, an incurable retrovirus that invades blood-forming tissues and the immune system.
The rabies vaccine for cats is an essential preventative step against the lethal rabies virus that affects the central nervous systems of mammals. This vaccine enhances the pet's immunity, substantially lowering the risk of rabies contraction.
*Generally recommended for cats in Denver & Chicago.

Want to get on top of those vaccinations?


Keep Parasites Away

Keep your puppy or kitten parasite-free with preventive deworming. Puppies and kittens are particularly susceptible to getting intestinal worms (and some may even have them at birth). And while breeders and rescues may deworm puppies and kittens, there are several common parasites that a general deworming does NOT cover.

Fecal testing and thorough deworming is highly recommended. Our veterinarians will recommend the safest and most effective deworming medication.
 A cartoon illustration of a dachshund caught in a playful stretch

Deworming Schedule for Puppies

Starts At
2 weeks old
Repeats At
4 weeks old
6 weeks old
8 weeks old
6 months old
1 year old

Deworming Schedule for Kittens

Starts At
2 weeks old
Repeats At
4 weeks old
6 weeks old
8 weeks old
6 months old
1 year old


Plan Ahead for Spaying and Neutering

An endearing image of a puppy eagerly prepared for spaying and neutering, emphasizing responsible pet care
Spaying and neutering offer a scope of health and behavioral benefits for pets — thereby contributing to a longer and happier life. Studies show that these procedures help prevent certain types of concerns in pets.

Spaying and neutering also puts a stop to accidental breeding which can contribute to pet overpopulation. Both procedures are required by some municipalities in the USA and are endorsed by organizations like Humane Society International and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

When to Schedule Spaying or Neutering

We recommend that female dogs get spayed at 6 months of age. Meanwhile, male dogs can be neutered between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

Cats can be spayed or neutered a bit earlier, at around 4 months of age.

Ready to ace preventive care?


How can I prevent my puppy or kitten from getting sick?

Puppies and kittens, with their developing immune system, are generally more susceptible to getting sick than adult dogs. This is why it’s important to do the following measures to keep your puppy or kitten in good health:

  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Provide a nutritious diet that supports their development
  • Avoid exposing young pets to other animals until critical vaccinations are complete (i.e no dog parks, pet stores, or any place where strange animals could have stayed in.)
  • Get vaccinations as soon as it’s recommended by the veterinarian
  • Have regular veterinary check-ups for complete preventive care
What health problems should I look out for in my puppy/kitten?

Some of the most common health problems for puppies and kittens include digestive problems, respiratory infections, parasites, and injuries. Regular checkups, vaccinations, and diligent preventive care practices help in reducing the risk of developing these health issues.

When should I bring my new puppy or kitten to the vet?

It is recommended to bring your new puppy or kitten to the vet as soon as possible for their first wellness exam. This allows the veterinarian to monitor their growth, screen for health issues, and administer vaccinations as soon as it’s needed.

How often should I bring my puppy or kitten in for check-ups?

Puppies and kittens typically require more frequent check-ups than adult pets to ensure their healthy growth and development. Our veterinarian will recommend a schedule based on your pet's specific needs.

What vaccinations does my puppy or kitten need?

Our veterinarians can help you create an individualized vaccination schedule for your puppy or kitten, which may include core vaccinations (e.g. for rabies, distemper, feline viral rhinotracheitis) and recommended non-core vaccinations (e.g. for bordetella, leptospirosis, and chlamydia felis)

What is the difference between core and non-core vaccines?

Vaccines are either core or non-core. Core vaccines are routinely recommended because they address common diseases for all pets. Non-core vaccines are recommended by veterinarians based on specific needs.

For both puppies and kittens, initial vaccinations are spaced apart because the time between vaccines is needed to ensure optimal vaccine activity.

Why do kittens and puppies need to be vaccinated early?

Puppies and kittens are not only more susceptible to contracting various diseases than older pets, they also tend to show more serious symptoms. This is because their immunity is still under development.

The best time to vaccinate your kitten or puppy is during the earliest recommended time or as otherwise advised by the veterinarian.

Do I need to follow vaccination schedules?

Yes. Each vaccine has a specific schedule of when the initial shot can be given and when the following shots need to be administered. Following the vaccine schedule diligently is necessary for effectively boosting your puppy or kitten’s immunity to diseases.

How do I prevent and treat fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks cause discomfort for puppies and kittens and, if left untreated, a flea or tick infestation can lead to serious health complications. Our veterinarians will recommend the best prevention and treatment options for your puppy or kitten.

When should I start training my puppy or kitten?

Puppies can be trained at around 8 weeks of age while kittens can start litter training at around 4 weeks of age.

Once it’s time to train your pet, use positive reinforcement to encourage desired behavior. Reward your pet with treats and praise. Patience and consistency is key. It is also recommended to start with basic commands and to keep training sessions short.

For more information about training young pets, refer to our puppy and kitten guides!

How do I potty train my puppy or kitten?

Potty training a puppy or kitten can be a challenging task, but it is important to start early and be consistent. Similar to teaching basic commands, potty training is best done through positive reinforcement. For more information about training young pets, refer to our puppy and kitten guides!

How can I socialize my puppy or kitten?

Socializing your puppy or kitten is essential for their wellbeing. Though it is advisable to start early, it is recommended to wait a few weeks before introducing a new puppy or kitten to other pets so they can first get used to their environment. It is also recommended to only introduce puppies and kittens to other fully vaccinated, healthy pets.

When it’s time to introduce a puppy or kitten to other pets, keep them separate until they get used to each other’s scent. Make sure to do this in a calm and controlled environment and make sure to supervise the entire introduction. For more information about socializing young pets, refer to our puppy and kitten guides!

Can veterinarians help with training or behavioral issues in puppies or kittens?

Yes! You can discuss any training or behavioral problems during your puppy or kitten’s wellness exams.

How often should I feed my puppy or kitten?

It is recommended to feed puppies and kittens three to four times a day until they are around six months old. After that, puppies and kittens can transition to being fed twice a day.

What kind of food should I feed my new pet?

Nutritional needs vary depending on the size, breed, and unique needs of your puppy or kitten. Our veterinarians provide nutritional consultations to ensure that your young furry friend is getting all the nutrients they need for optimum growth and development.

What type of toys are safe and appropriate for my puppy or kitten?

In our puppy and kitten guides, we give recommendations on toys to get for your young furry companion. As a general tip, look for toys that are safe,  non-toxic, and intended for puppies or kittens. Avoid toys with small parts that could be a choking hazard. If you suspect that your puppy or kitten has ingested a part of a toy, reach out to us for an urgent appointment.

When should I spay or neuter my pet?

We recommend that female dogs get spayed at 6 months of age. Meanwhile, male dogs can be neutered between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Cats can be spayed or neutered at around 4 months of age

Are all puppies and kittens safe to spay or neuter?

A pre-surgical examination is done for all pets to ensure utmost safety for spaying or neutering. This pre-surgical exam determines if and when a pet can undergo spaying or neutering.

Should I get pet insurance?

Pet insurance can be a great way to help avoid unexpected veterinary expenses. When choosing pet insurance, make sure to get coverage that is suited for your pet’s needs.

Does Sploot Veterinary Care accept pet insurance?

Pet parents can be reimbursed by their pet’s insurance, as long as the treatment falls within the scope of the plan.

Different pet insurance plans and wellness plans offer different types of coverage. Please contact your provider for questions or clarifications about your puppy’s or kitten’s insurance or wellness plan.

When can I schedule my puppy or kitten’s appointment at Sploot Vets?

You can schedule your puppy or kitten’s visit hours, days, or weeks in advance. If you need an urgent appointment, our doors are also open for same-day appointments and urgent drop-offs!

What payment options are available in Sploot Vets?

We accept cashless payments only; this is to ensure the safety of our clinics and clients. We are pleased to accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as CareCredit and ScratchPay.

A cute dog illustration in the splooting position

Got More Questions?

Feel free to call or text us with any questions you might have about caring for your dog or cat.

Ready For Exceptional Veterinary Care?

We accept scheduled, same day, and urgent drop-off appointments at ALL of our clinics.

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