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1. When does my puppy/kitten need to be vaccinated?
Puppy and kitten vaccines are started at 8 weeks of age. Prior to this, their immune systems are not fully developed, and they have many antibodies from the colostrum and milk from their mothers. Following the initial vaccine, they are then given two boosters 4 weeks apart at 12, and 16 weeks of age.
2. Is deworming really necessary?
Deworming is important to keep our pets parasite free, especially because our pets interact with the environment with their nose and mouth in addition to their paws. There are many types of parasites around, and depending on the geographic location, activities, and age of your pet dictates how frequently and what type of deworming medication we recommend.
Puppies and kittens can acquire some parasites directly from their mothers through the milk. In addition, due to their immature immune systems, they are less able to deal with infestations resulting in higher parasitic burdens. Therefore, it is vital to deworm our young animals.
Parasitic eggs and larvae can be present in the environment anywhere. Most of them are transmitted in a fecal-oral fashion (ie. fecal contamination of the environment, objects, or via grooming which are then ingested). Others are transmitted through 'intermediate hosts' like mice, fleas, rabbits etc. Being bitten by fleas, or eating rodents and other critters are a great way to ingest worms, eggs, or larvae. Farm and rural areas are also potentially higher risk areas due to the multitude of animals and wildlife that roam about. For these reasons, we recommend more frequent deworming if your pet is a hunter, or you like to enjoy parks and other high traffic animal areas with your pets.
Unlike tick and flea medications, deworming is not a preventative, but rather a one time treatment. Therefore, it is something which needs to be repeated. How frequently depends on the risk of exposure and is something you should discuss with your veterinarian.
4. Travelling with Pets
Depending where you are travelling, and who you are travelling with, there may be different requirements for your pet to travel with you. Please ensure you are aware of the requirements well in advance of your planned travel to ensure that everything can be completed on time.
- For Air Travel, please contact your airline for their flight requirements. Many will often require a health certificate confirming the animal is in good health to travel. Another thing to consider discussing with your veterinarian is anti-anxiety medications for the travel if you know your pet gets stressed out easily, as flying can be quite a stressful event for pets.
-For international travel, it is important to thoroughly research the requirements, and these differ drastically depending where you are going. This may include microchipping, specific vaccine and deworming (internal and external) protocols and timelines, Rabies titres, health certificiates, as well as a visit to the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for a stamp of approval from an official government official. This process may be quick, but can also take several weeks to complete all the steps, so it is important to ensure you have everything in order. We have provided a few links here to help get you started. We are able to fill out the forms for you and try to help you find everything you need to the best of our ability, but ultimately it is your responsibility to provide us with any forms that you may require.
(Please confirm the accuracy of this information with an official government agency of the country that you are travelling to)