Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. This is a critical time to be hyperaware of your veterinarian’s recommendations about vaccination schedules, deworming (if necessary) and nutrition. Your growing pet’s needs during this time are heightened, so it’s important to follow the recommended schedules in order to set up your dog or cat for lifelong success.
Socialize carefully. Weeks 4 through 12 of an animal’s life are important for proper socialization but also coincide with the period of time known as the “immunity gap,” when animals often stop drinking their mother’s milk but have not yet developed a mature immune system. This puts them at a heightened risk for contracting potentially serious illnesses through environmental exposure, such as parvovirus. It is best to consult with your veterinarian on when it will be safe for your pet to meet other pets, go for walks and/or attend obedience classes.
Provide adequate protein and nutrients to support growth. The protein needs of baby animals are especially high during the first six months of their lives. It is very important to offer a high-quality puppy or kitten food and to remember that large-breed puppies have especially unique dietary needs. Pro- and prebiotics are also crucial for immune system development.