New Family Member

The arrival of your new pet is an exciting time but there is so much to think about during those first few weeks it can often be a little overwhelming. Here’s how we can help…


Vaccinating your pet is a key step in protecting your pet against life threatening diseases, including parvovirus, canine adenovirus and canine distemper virus. These diseases are still diagnosed in the UK, and so pose a constant danger to any unvaccinated animal.  


Puppies get protection initially in life from their mother’s milk and then, as they are weaned, this protection wanes, and thus vaccinations are required to maintain it. Typically, we vaccinate puppies at eight weeks old when off to their new homes. A second vaccine is required when at least 10 weeks old, and then boosters annually are recommended. These first vaccines act to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce a protective response, which the yearly boosters maintain.
For more information on dog vaccinations
and the diseases they protect against, please click



Vaccinating your cat is very important for their health and for the control of infectious diseases; not only for your cat, but for the population as a whole. The greater the proportion of the population that is vaccinated, the lower the risk for your cat, even when they are vaccinated themselves. Kittens can be vaccinated from nine weeks old, with a second vaccine required from 12 weeks old, and then boosters annually.
For more information on cat vaccinations
and the diseases they protect against, please click



Rabbit vaccination is available against two fatal diseases – Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. These are mainly transmitted from wild rabbits, but house rabbits are still at risk as insects are also carriers of both diseases. We strongly recommend that all pet rabbits are vaccinated on an annual basis with the combined vaccination for Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.  Rabbits can be vaccinated ideally from seven weeks of age and yearly booster vaccinations necessary to maintain this immunity. 
For more information on rabbit vaccinations and the diseases they protect against, please click


Our Lifetime Care Club could help you save money on your pets vaccinations.


In April 2015, it became a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped.  Breeders are legally required to microchip all puppies before they are eight weeks old and prior to the puppies leaving for their new home. 

It is not yet a legal requirement for cats to be microchipped, but this is due to change over the coming months with a new law being implemented.  Fortunately, it has become more common as most owners choose to microchip their cats, increasing the chance of being reunited if they are lost or injured. 

To find out more about microchipping, please click here.

Microchipping is included with our Lifetime Care Club.



We recommend that your female dog is spayed either before her first season, or 2-3 months after a season. This is when the hormone levels and blood supply to the uterus are normal. The timing of spaying is dependent upon the breed and its behavioural development; hence this should be discussed with your vet on a case-by-case basis. 


What benefits are there for spaying a female dog? 

  • It prevents infection of the womb (pyometra). 
  • If spayed before maturity, the chances of developing mammary cancer are reduced greatly. 
  • It prevents the bitch coming into season and therefore she will not bleed for up to 3 weeks every 6 months. 
  • It prevents unwanted pregnancies. 
  • When in season, the bitch has an urge to escape in order to find a mate – this is stopped when spayed. 
  • When in season, male dogs will find you from afar and be very persistent in meeting your bitch. 
  • It eliminates the possibility of false pregnancy following a season. This is when some bitches feel unwell, start nest building, may seem aggressive and produce milk. 


The age at which a male dog can be castrated is highly variable and dependent upon many factors including breed and behavioural maturity, with the earliest we would look at doing it would be 6 months old. To castrate a dog, both testes should have dropped into the scrotum. (If the testes have not dropped, you should seek veterinary advice.) There is no upper age.

If you are considering castrating your dog due to behavioural problems, please contact your vet or dog behaviourist. They can advise if the operation is likely to help or make the problem worse. Castration will change the relationship with other dogs in the household, so do get help beforehand. 


What benefits are there for castrating a male dog? 

  • Castration eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer. 
  • It greatly reduces the chances of prostate disease. 
  • It can reduce the risk of perianal tumours and hernias. 


To find out more information on neutering your dog, please click here.


Male and female kittens can be neutered from about the age of 4-6 months. Neutering offers a number of advantages, especially if performed at an early stage.


Female Cats

A female cat can get pregnant from five months of age, so it is best not to let her outside until after she has been neutered.  If this is not done, she will come into season around this time. Pregnancy lasts for around nine weeks and the average size of a litter is 4-5 kittens. A queen can come back into season when these kittens are about six weeks old, so you can see that it is very important to get her spayed to prevent unwanted litters. 


Male Cats

Following puberty, around 6-9 months old, the male cat develops a number of less desirable behavioural changes.  He will become territorial and may start to mark his territory (often the house) by spraying urine.  He will start to enlarge his territory by straying ever further from the house, particularly at night.  It is for this reason that many cats involved in road accidents are unneutered males.  By increasing his territory, he will come into contact with other cats and so fight for dominance. Inflicted fight wounds can result in severe infections and abscesses. Since diseases such as feline leukaemia (FeLV) and feline AIDS (FIV), that cause illness and some cancers, are spread through bites it comes as no surprise to find that those cats most commonly affected are unneutered tomcats.  If your male kitten is castrated, he is less likely to wander, which reduces the chances of him becoming lost and making him more of a companion pet staying closer to home.  Finally, neutering prevents the siring of often unwanted kittens. 


To find out more information on neutering your cat, please click here


Rabbits are social animals and should preferably be kept in pairs or groups, ideally reared together from birth. If opposite gender rabbits are kept together with no intention of breeding, then one or both will need to be neutered from four months old. This principle also applies to same sex pairs too, as rabbits can become quite aggressive towards one another when puberty hits. 


To find out more information on neutering your rabbit, please click here.




You could save 10% on the cost of neutering your dog, cat or rabbit when joining our Lifetime Care Club.


Here at Kings Veterinary Centre, we pride ourselves on offering our own in-house puppy socialisation classes run by our Registered Head Veterinary Nurses. 

Puppy parties are a great way for puppies and new owners to familiarise themselves with the practice environment and allows them to express normal behaviours in a safe, hygienic and monitored manner. With our nurses on hand to answer any questions and cover basic puppy care such as diet, preventative health care and dentistry, it is the perfect opportunity to ensure that we are giving our puppies the best start in life. 

Puppies can attend if they have had their first vaccination, seen one of our vets, and are between 8-16 weeks of age. 


Find out more about our Puppy Parties here.