Are you enjoying your new puppy or kitten? Or perhaps you’re considering adding a new puppy or kitten to your family sometime soon. Whether you’re a new pet owner or a seasoned puppy and kitten rasier, we want to be your resource for pet care questions and advice.
Puppy and kitten wellness begins with an understanding that pets are most vulnerable to disease and parasites in their first year of life. We prioritize the health of these youngsters, beginning with proper nutrition, parasite prevention, and vaccine protocols. Read on for more information about the importance of puppy and kitten care.
Plan to bring your new puppy or kitten to see us within the first 48 hours of adopting them. This allows us to ensure they are in good health, and to answer any questions that may already be coming up for you. Baby animals bring so much joy to our lives, but they are also a lot of work!
Puppy and Kitten Care
Proper preventive care is vital to your new puppy or kitten’s future wellness. At your first appointment, we’ll discuss comprehensive wellness. This includes:
- A complete physical examination
- Parasite screening
- Preventive deworming
- Nutritional consultation
- Behavior consultation
Nutrition For Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens have specific nutritional needs in the first year of life to support their growth. Puppy and kitten formulas are rich in protein to support the development of strong bones, teeth, and muscles. There is a lot of information about pet nutrition – some of it false – on the internet, and so we are happy to give our recommendations and answer any questions you may have.
Parasite Testing and Prevention
Parasites threaten your new puppy or kitten’s health and development by damaging vital organs, which can cause long-term health problems and even death. In some cases, parasites can be transmitted from pets to humans. Parasite screening is important for all pets, and especially for puppies and kittens. We will screen for:
- External parasites – fleas, ticks
- Internal parasites – heartworm, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms
By working together to evaluate your pet’s lifestyle, we can tailor a parasite prevention plan that will protect your puppy or kitten for life.
Vaccinations for Puppies and Kittens
Young pets receive immunity from their mothers, but this wears off over time. Because no one can predict when mother’s immunity will wear off, puppies and kittens require a series of vaccines to make sure they are protected from infectious diseases.
Vaccinations to protect against canine infectious diseases are:
- DHPP – distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus
- Lyme disease
- Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) or dog flu
Vaccinations to protect against feline diseases may include:
- Feline leukemia
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
- Feline respiratory diseases – rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia
Spaying and Neutering
To ensure your pet’s best health, we recommend spaying (females) and neutering (males). This procedure can lengthen your pet’s life, reduce behavioral issues, and protect them from accidents and injuries resulting from roaming. Spaying and neutering is often recommended between 4 and 6 months of age, but can be done as early as 8 weeks. We can answer any questions you may have at your pet’s exam.
What If My Pet Gets Sick?
Watch for any of the following signs in your pet and call us immediately or seek veterinary care right away. Puppy and kitten illness often means an emergency.
- Lack of appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Swollen or painful abdomen
- Lethargy (extreme tiredness)
- Difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or coughing
- Pale gums
- Swollen, red, or goopy eyes
- Nasal discharge or sneezing
- Inability to pass urine or stool
Behavior, Training, and Bonding With Your New Puppy or Kitten
Entire books have been dedicated to behavioral training of puppies and kittens. By remaining positive, patient, and optimistic, you’ll form a bond with your new pet that will last a lifetime.