Congratulations on your new furry family member!  It’s so wonderful to welcome a new pet into our homes, be they an adopted adult animal or a new puppy or kitten.  We recommend a physical examination soon after you adopt a new pet, allowing us to make sure that the pet is healthy and discuss medical, nutritional and behavioural issues that may arise.

We’ve summarized some commonly asked questions here so that you can be fully informed about how best to keep your new pet happy and healthy.  Don’t hesitate to email or call if you have any other questions or concerns that our team can help with.


Puppy vaccines begin at 6 to 8 weeks, and boosters are given at 12 and 16 weeks of age, along with a dewormer and physical exam.  Most dogs are vaccinated against, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis, kennel cough and rabies.  We always discuss your pet’s particular lifestyle when determining which vaccines would be most beneficial.  Please take your puppy to puppy classes — you’ll have a great time and you’ll avoid a lot of potential frustration in the future!

We do recommend that dogs are spayed or neutered in their first year.  There is an increasing body of evidence that shows delaying this surgery for large and giant breed dogs may help prevent some bone disease later in life.  For this reason our clinic tends to recommend neutering larger male dogs (e.g. labs, goldens, Danes) after 10 months of age.  For female dogs this is a bit more complicated because we know that allowing a female to have even one cycle (come into heat) increases their risk of mammary/breast cancer by 200%.  With this information in mind, we tend to spay larger female dogs around 7 or 8 months of age (but the age when a female first comes into heat varies, so this is a conversation to have with your veterinarian).

Useful resources:  WormsAndGerms blog  – + – + – Veterinary (diseases)  – + – + –  Pet Insurance
Parasite Preventions (coming soon)


Kittens require vaccinations at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age, along with a dewormer and physical exam.  The kitten vaccines include feline distemper, upper respiratory viruses, feline leukemia and rabies.  These vaccines are boostered in 1 year, and then every 2 or 3 years after that.  Please feel free to to discuss your pet’s need for particular vaccines with the veterinarian.

Useful resources:

Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

Happily these little guys don’t require vaccines.  We do offer spay and neuter surgeries for rabbits.  Good husbandry (cage enviornment, diet, nail and teeth care) are most important to ensuring pocket pets thrive.