Indian Tree Animal Hospital

Puppy & Kitten Care

Bringing home a new kitten or puppy is a very exciting experience. While adapting to your new family member, and gushing over their cuteness of course, it’s important to remember scheduling veterinary appointments at an early age for preventative care such as vaccinations and parasite control. Help give your pet the healthiest start to his or her life by scheduling an appointment with one of our veterinarians right away.

Puppy Wellness Exams

There are few things more exciting than welcoming a new puppy into the family. Puppies are adorable, playful, and require experienced veterinary care during their first year of life to thrive into adulthood.

At Indian Tree Animal Hospital, our veterinary team has years of experience caring for pets of all life stages; however, what’s special about puppies is their undeveloped immune systems. This makes puppies prone to life-threatening parasite infections, viruses, and more.

At your puppy’s first appointment, your veterinarian will establish a baseline of health and inquire about any known medical history you may have on your new pet. From there, we are able to closely monitor their health status during the first year of life by recommending carefully timed wellness examinations. In addition to a gentle and comprehensive physical examination, you can expect your veterinarian to provide a recommended vaccination schedule, give dewormers, and discuss topics such as microchip insertion and spay/neuter procedure. 

Having a puppy is like having a human baby. It requires time, energy, and patience. At Indian Tree Animal Hospital, our doctors and staff are here for you and your new pet every step of the way. Please feel encouraged to call us or schedule an appointment if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or behavior. 

Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccination series should be started at 8 weeks of age, and needs to be boosted every three to four weeks until the animal is 16 weeks of age. Puppies will receive a one year rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age and again the following year. A breakdown of these vaccinations can be found on our preventative care page.

Kitten Wellness Exams

Bringing home a new kitten is exciting. Just think about the many years of unconditional love and friendship to come! Amid all the excitement, it’s essential to call your veterinarian to schedule a first appointment for your new kitten as soon as possible. 

At Indian Tree Animal Hospital, our team of trained doctors and staff are highly experienced to prepare your kitten for a healthy life with you. To do so, we must establish a baseline of health for your pet and discuss any known medical history with you.

Keeping up with recommended and routine veterinary visits during the first year of life is especially important, as kittens have immature immune systems vulnerable to infections, such as respiratory illnesses and parasites.

During your kitten’s wellness visits, you can expect your veterinarian to perform a gentle nose-to-tail physical examination. In addition to a physical examination, your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule, administer dewormers, and discuss important topics such as microchip insertion and spay/neuter procedure.

The doctors and staff at Indian Tree Animal Hospital are here to help you be a successful and responsible pet parent to your new feline friend. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions or concerns. It’s what we are here for!

Kitten Vaccinations

Vaccination series should begin at 8 weeks and receive booster vaccinations every three to four weeks until 16 weeks of age. Kittens will receive a one year rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age and again the following year. Information about core and non-core vaccinations can be found on our preventative care page.

Multi-Cat Households

Bringing a new cat into a single or multi-cat household requires patience and slow introductions. Typically, cats are most compatible with siblings they grew up with, but it’s entirely possible for cats to learn to live harmoniously as companions. This is dependent on their unique personalities. Even if your cats do not become best friends, more times than not, they will acclimate and learn to coexist in the same household over time. 

Before you bring your new kitten home, it’s important to be prepared with separate food and water dishes in neutral spaces, one litter box for each cat and daily scooping, scratching posts, and opportunities for playtime. We also strongly recommend you have your new kitten tested for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

To safely introduce a newcomer to your current cat family, take your time, go slow, and follow these tips:

  • When you first bring your new kitten home, keep them in another room separate from your other cat(s) where they cannot see each other. This gives them time to smell each other through the door.
  • After they take in each other’s smells, it’s time to let them see each other. Place your new kitten safely in a cat carrier and place the carrier in a common area of the house.
  • Next, let your kitten out of the carrier so they can interact.
  • Use your best judgement and call us if you have any questions or concerns at all.  

If your cats seem to be stressed or are not getting along, consider using pheromones, such as a Feliway Diffuser.

Spay/Neuter Procedure

Most pet dogs are spayed (females) or neutered (for males) to remove reproductive organs and prevent pregnancy. But health issues provide other compelling reasons for spaying and neutering dogs.

Female dogs have a high incidence of cancers of the reproductive system. Spaying removes the ovaries and the uterus, preventing the production of estrogen, which leads to most of the reproductive cancers. Unspayed older females can contract a life-threatening infection of the uterus, call pyometra. This infection is caused by problems with progesterone, another female hormone which is eliminated through spaying. Female dogs should be spayed before their first heat, if possible, which generally occurs between six months and one year of age.

Males that are not neutered often exhibit extremely aggressive behaviors, which can be dangerous to them, other animals and people. A dog that was well-behaved and calm in its youth can suddenly show a pack mentality and become more aggressive, chase cars, try to get loose to roam freely, or bark and growl a lot -- all as a result of high testosterone levels. Many of these habits become hard to break. A male dog neutered between six months and one year of age will retain its youthful calm.

Spaying and neutering are common surgeries. Your dog may be under the weather for a few more days as a result of the surgery, but will heal within a matter of a week or so.


Accidents happen all too easily and quickly, even to the most conscientious pet owners. In fact, approximately 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen from their families each year. That’s a lot of pets! 

For your pet’s safety and your peace of mind, we recommend all dogs and cats be microchipped as a part of essential preventative care. Because microchips maximize the likelihood of a lost pet returning home to his or her family, we recommend microchipping your pet sooner rather than later.

Microchips are inserted subdermally between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to administering a vaccine and can conveniently be done during a routine appointment. Once the microchip has been inserted, it’s your responsibility to register your pet’s microchip in the national database with the unique serial number attached to the microchip and your current contact information.

Importantly, to ensure your pet’s microchip is reliable for a lifetime, it’s critical that you update your contact information in the database should you ever change home addresses or phone numbers. Without current contact information registered, you will not be able to be contacted if your pet is found! 

For the most comprehensive identification, Indian Tree Animal Hospital also recommends pet parents use breakaway collars and ID tags. While these forms of identification are not as foolproof as a microchip, they can help people identify your pet as a lost family pet who may need to be rescued.

Dental Care for Puppies and Kittens

The sooner you start caring for your pet's teeth, the longer they will live! It's true: periodontal disease is directly related to geriatric diseases such as liver, kidney, heart, and nervous system diseases. If you can keep your pet's mouth healthy they will live longer healthier lives.

The baby teeth of puppies and kittens erupt at 3 to 6 weeks of age. Adult teeth replace these by 6 months of age. Most people adopt pets between 6 and 12 weeks of age, so this is a perfect time to begin proper home dental care. When the adult teeth erupt, they should be brushed daily. This is much easier if your pet is already used to having its mouth and teeth handled.

Start within a day or two of bringing your new pet home. Pet the muzzle with your finger. Start at the side of the nose and rub your fingers along the muzzle and whisker. Then do the other side. Cats often do this naturally as part of their play with you. Do not let your pet bite your finger, even softly in play. Such behavior is not teeth brushing; it is early aggressive mouthing behavior. If s/he does, stop your "brushing" training say "NO!" firmly, and resume the petting gently. This may be as far as you will get the first day or two. Be sure to only go as far as you can successfully.

Build each day on the previous day's success. You may only be able to put your hand on the muzzle the first day or two. This is fine, just remember to go slow and make it fun and part of the play you do with your pet. Use lots of praise and even a treat, if that helps. After your pet is used to the top muzzle (maxilla) being handled, start "petting" the bottom muzzle (mandible). Start in the front and rub your finger along each side. Get up close to the lips.

It is important to do this every day. Only then will it become a habit and part of your pet's daily life. It is actually easier to do it daily than every other day, or weekly, or monthly. By doing it daily, your pet looks forward to it and will train you to remember it. Some pets actually come running for the attention when they see the toothbrush.

Gradually, after 1-2 weeks, you will be able to "pet" the gums with your finger or a soft bristled toothbrush. This should only take 30 seconds. Try to put your finger along the gums to the last molars (below the eye). By 6 months of age, your pet will be so used to having its mouth, teeth, and gums handled, brushing those new white adult teeth will be easy.

Join the Indian Tree Animal Hospital Family Today!

Located in the Highlands neighborhood of Arvada, directly Northwest of Denver. We are right off of Wadsworth Blvd and W 80th Ave near the Indian Tree Golf Club and Shopping Mall.

Phone: 303-420-4422

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