Puppy and kitten care countdown - Key dates you need to know

Welcoming a new puppy or kitten into your home is always a big excitement, and giving them plenty of love and attention will ensure they quickly settle in. But, what's equally important is planning for their continued health and wellbeing. 

To make sure you don't miss those early key milestones, here's a handy list of what to look out for and when:

1. Pet Insurance:  Even before you make a final decision about buying a puppy or kitten it is important that you consider the financial implications. Hopefully you and your pet will have many rewarding years together, so it makes sense to prepare for potential illnesses or problems that might affect them in the future. Read more about pet insurance options here: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/66386/insurance.pdf

2. Register with a vet: The sooner you do this the better. Building a relationship with a vet you trust is key to the long term health of your new pawfect pal. Make regular check-ups part of your care routine to help identify problems early and help keep them in tiptop condition.

3. Microchipping: Dog breeders are legally required to register every puppy and have them microchipped before you can take them home.  (If this has not been done, the advice is not to buy from that breeder.) Your vet will scan the microchip to make sure that the documents you have been given are the correct ones, as mix-ups can occasionally occur. Currently, microchipping is not a legal requirement for cats in the UK although many people choose to do it. Several databases exist such as Petlog (https://www.petlog.org.uk/) and PETtrac (https://www.pettrac.co.uk/).

4. Vaccinations: The environment is full of infectious diseases that are potentially serious for your pet, so it is very important that you follow the recommended vaccination programme:

  • Puppy's primary vaccination course: In the UK, puppies often get their first injections at around 7 weeks of age and the second ones a few weeks later, which help protect them against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, leptospirosis and hepatitis.
  • Kitten's primary vaccination course: They should have their first set of vaccinations around 8 weeks old and the second ones a few weeks later, which commonly protect them against cat flu, feline panleukopenia and feline leukaemia.
  • Puppy and kitten's first booster: Your puppy or kitten should receive their first booster after a year, helping to provide strong immunity. Make sure you keep on top of booster advice from you vet throughout the life of your pet.

5. First flea and tick treatment: Fleas and ticks are no fun for anyone, least of all your fur baby. You can start using FRONTLINE Plus or FRONTLINE Spot On from 8 weeks of age on puppies that weigh at least 2 kg and kittens that weigh at least 1 kg. Some breeders will already have treated your new kitten or puppy, so check first before treating.

One flea can lay as many as 50 eggs in a day and your lovely cosy house can quickly become infested. The good news is that FRONTLINE Plus not only kills fleas but tackles their eggs too, by stopping them from hatching in your home – and it kills ticks too.

There you have it, a few key steps to ensure you give your new puppy or kitten the pawfect start.


FRONTLINE Plus contains fipronil and (S)-methoprene. UK: NFA-VPS. FRONTLINE Spot On contains fipronil. UK: AVM-GSL. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd, RG12 8YS, UK. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group. ©2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Feb 2019. PE2729. Use Medicines Responsibly.