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Puppies & Kittens Health

Caring for your puppy or kitten

Our top tips for taking care of your new puppy or kitten.

  • Vaccinations
  • Fleas
  • Teeth
  • Microchipping
  • Worming
  • Food


Vaccinations are vital to protect your pet against the most important infectious diseases of dogs and cats in Ireland. A primary course involves 2 injections and this will give your pet immunity for the first year of life. As well as being vaccinated Brittas Vets will give your pup or kitten a thorough health check to detect any other health possible problems. We will also advise you on worming, flea control, feeding and basic training.

Puppy vaccinations:

We routinely vaccinate dogs against Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza. We vaccinate puppies from 6 weeks of age with the second shot given at 10 weeks. All puppies must receive 2 vaccinations between 2-4 weeks apart with the second vaccination given no earlier than 10 weeks of age. Your puppy should be kept indoors for 2 weeks after the last injection.

Kitten vaccinations:

All kittens should be vaccinated against Feline Calicivirus, Feline Herpesvirus, Feline Infectious Enteritis (panleucopenia) and Feline Leukaemia Virus. These vaccinations are generally given at nine weeks of age with a second vaccine given 3 weeks later.

NB. The degree of immunity conferred by any vaccine is variable, depending on a range of factors including those that may stress the animal and influence its response to the vaccine.


Adult fleas jump from the grass or bedding etc onto an animal for a blood feed, they then lay their eggs in the environment hatching out again into adults and the cycle continues. Flea eggs in the outside environment over winter without hatching thus providing new adults for the spring. Therefore any pet at any time can become flea infested, acquiring fleas from eggs in bedding, carpets, outside the house and from other pets. Fleas cause discomfort, allergies tapeworm infestation and may spread disease. Severe infestations can also cause anaemia particularly in very young puppies.

Flea Prevention

At Brittas Vets at present we recommend using Frontline spray or Frontline spot-on treatment (applied every 2 months) or Stronghold spot-on treatment (applied every month).

Flea Treatment

Because flea eggs can survive for long periods in the environment both inside and outside the house effective flea treatment and control involves treating both the house or kennel and the dog.
For treatment, Frontline spray can be used on pups & kittens from 2 days of age and may require a repeat treatment after 1 month.

Stronghold can be used from 6 weeks of age and repeated after 1 month.

Acclaim spray is used in the environment only, NOT ON THE ANIMAL, to kill adult fleas, larvae and eggs.

We at Brittas Vets also recommend vacuuming your home but effective products such as those mentioned above must be used as well.


The first teeth of puppies and kittens are milk teeth. In puppies milk teeth are shed and replaced with adult teeth from approximately 16 weeks onwards. The biting and pulling that pups do at this time is associated with play and learning but also with teething.

Suitable teething products such as Puppy Kong’s are available at the Brittas Veterinary shop. It is also important to begin brushing your puppies teeth daily from the time he enters your home using dog toothbrushes and toothpaste, thereby preventing dental problems in later life.


Microchipping is a simple way to make sure that your pet can easily be identified. The main benefit is that your pet can be returned to you if they ever get lost or stray.

A microchip is a permanent and secure means of identification of your pet - unlike an identity disc or tag which may get lost or be taken off. Each microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) has a unique code which is inserted under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck. Your pet is registered on the national database along with the owner’s name, address and telephone number. Every stray animal is checked for the presence of a microchip. Therefore, if your pet strays and is brought to a veterinary surgery or the dog pound, he/she will be scanned to look for a microchip and you can be reunited.

All puppies must be microchipped before being registered with the Irish Kennel Club.

Another reason to microchip is if you intend to travel abroad with your pet. Microchipping is one of the criteria of travelling abroad under the pet passport scheme.


As a responsible pet owner it is vital that you worm your pet. Puppies and kittens are most at risk from worm infestations. Round worms are passed from the mother in the uterus and after birth through the milk. Heavy roundworm infestations in pups and kittens can be fatal. Roundworms pose a health risk to humans. Tapeworms also affect pups and kittens. Tapeworms pose a health risk to humans. Lungworms also affect pups and kittens more under adult dog and cat health. More about worms under adult dog and cat health.

How to worm your puppy or kitten

All puppies and kittens should be wormed from 2 weeks of age, then every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Then they should be wormed once a month until they reach 6 months and then every 3 months thereafter. The amount of worm dose given to an animal is calculated on its weight, because of the big range in weight differences between dog breeds we at Brittas Vets like to weigh dogs and pups for accurate dosing. However, if you don’t have your dog with you we know on average what each breed should weigh. We generally recommend worming puppies and kittens with liquid wormers prior to weaning at 6 weeks of age. If you follow the above worming regime, remove puppy and kitten faeces from the environment ASAP and wash adults and children’s hands after handling the animals any risk to humans of worm infestation is greatly minimized.


From birth to about 6 weeks old puppies and kittens get most of their nutrition from their mother’s milk. If for some reason the mother is unable to feed her puppies or kittens, they will need to be hand fed with a milk re placer. The Brittas Vet shop stocks puppy and kitten milk replacer. At about four weeks of age (while still with their mother) puppies should be introduced to solid food. Puppy dried food in nut form may be mixed with water to make a porridge consistency and fed to the bitch who allows the pups to eat with her thereby teaching them how to eat solid food. Puppies are usually separated from the mother at about 8 weeks of age by which time they should be weaned onto solid food. The same principle applies to the feeding of nursing queens and their kittens. The Brittas Vet shop stocks puppy and kitten milk replacer Vital Milk Royal Canin for kittens and Puppy Milk Royal Canin for puppies.

How to Feed your Puppy

Puppies MUST be fed a complete Puppy Food in order to grow and develop properly. Feed the best quality food that you can afford because the protein sources in the more expensive foods tend to be of better quality and digestibility. At Brittas Vets we prefer dried puppy food in nut form. Having selected a really good puppy food do not supplement it either with mineral and vitamins or with scraps from the table. On the back of each bag is a feeding chart which tells you how much food to give your pup daily, the staff at Brittas Vets will show you how to read this chart. Measure out the total amount to be fed to your pup daily and divide into 3-4 feeds daily when the pup is very small and then reduce as soon as possible to 2 feeds. Feed your puppy in a quiet place and allow him approximately 20 min’s with the food then take it away, cover it and offer it again to him at the next feed. Do not leave food with puppies all day long. Leave the puppy ad lib water.

How to feed your kitten

Again the same feeding principles apply to kittens. We recommend gradually introducing new food and feeding a good quality complete kitten dry food 3-4 times a day. Some of the better quality kitten foods nowadays have lysine added to them this an essential amino acid combination that supports the immune system in cats and we at Brittas Vets have found this of great benefit to small kittens and to kittens and cats with cat flu virus. At Brittas Vets we know feeding your puppy and kitten properly has lifelong benefits it prevents growth abnormalities and disease. The dog food we sell is selected on this principle. Our flagship product is Royal Canin which we have stocked for many years, we have great confidence in the science behind this brand and its large product range. Another brand which we stock is Burns this brand was originally developed by a Veterinary Surgeon and it takes a very holistic approach to dog and cat nutrition. We also stock PedigreeWhiskas and Redmills. You are welcome to come in to Brittas Vets and our staff will be delighted to help you choose the most suitable food for your puppy or kitten.

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