New Puppy/Kitten Tips
Getting a new puppy or kitten is an exciting event for the whole family and it is important to plan ahead and be aware of the responsibilities that go with raising a pet.
First, deciding between a cat or a dog may be as simple as species preference, preexisting housing conditions or time commitments.
- Cats tend to be self-reliant and require little training on your part and typically make themselves right at home; whereas puppies require a significant time commitment both with obedience as well as potty-training. The effort you put while your pet is young often pays huge dividends when they are older with a well-behaved, confident, and friendly adult cat or dog. Young puppies should be taken to puppy kindergarten for socialization and instruction on potty-training. This typically is a 4-week course and often requires a bit of at home work/socialization. It's great fun introducing your new puppy to the world and watching the little one interact with everything.
- Also consider your housing situation as some dogs need larger exercise and home environments; some breeds are more prone to barking.
- Finally, you will be the most important aspect of developing your dog's personality. But, some dogs that were originally bred for certain purposes may retain those traits or may require more training to reduce those traits compared to other dogs.
- Please don't hesitate to contact us to ask about your very important addition to your family.
Once you pick out your new pet here's what to expect when you bring them in for their first appointment. We encourage you to do that as soon as possible, as this will help you feel comfortable with their health as well as allow us to recognize any health problems that may need to be addressed.
Kittens / Cats
A new kitten / cat exam is exciting for everyone, and we're always looking to make their experience as comfortable as possible.
- We start with gathering history about your cat - please be prepared to answer the following questions for us:
- What food is he/she eating? - we recommend kitten food for all cats under 6-8 months of age. We recommend canned and dry food. Always leave fresh water out for your kitten.
- How is the litterbox usage? - please remember to bring in a fresh stool sample. Generally, cats know to use the litterbox, but it's important to clean it daily.
- Activity level, playfulness, etc?
- We also will address any specific concerns at this time.
- We will perform a comprehensive exam and address any health concerns.
- We recommend that all cats remain indoors and will discuss the benefits as well as the risks of the choice of having an indoor only or an indoor/outdoor cat.
- We will recommend vaccinations specifically tailored for your new cat - but it will include core vaccinations (Rabies and Feline Distemper).
- Often we will recommend that we know the Feline Leukemia Virus / FIV status of your new cat and we can discuss this at the appointment.
- If your cat has not yet been neutered (or spayed), we will discuss the timing of this as well as other elective procedures including microchipping.
Puppies / Dogs
Once you get your new dog, we'll be looking forward to meeting the new addition to the family and getting you all off to a healthy start.
- We start the exam by discussing your new dog - please be prepared with answers to the following questions for us:
- What food is he or she eating? - we recommend breed appropriate puppy food, and we recommend that you follow feeding recommendations on the bag of food.
- How is your puppy's bathroom habits? Are you working on potty-training? Please be sure to bring in a fresh stool sample.
- Activity level, playfulness, etc? Puppies sleep a great deal of the day. But, when awake, they should be playful, curious and very interactive.
- At this exam we can address specific concerns you may have about your puppy.
- We will discuss the risk your puppy has at being exposed to parasites - and what we recommend for protection.
- We will perform a comprehensive exam and will address any health concerns.
- We recommend core vaccinations for all dogs (Rabies and Canine Distemper) and we will tailor our vaccination plan for your puppy based on risk factors.
- If your dog has not yet been neutered (or spayed), we will discuss the timing of this as well as other elective procedures, including microchipping.
There is some good and bad information on the internet. Here are links to reliable websites:
Training your cat to use the scratching post - Cat Hobbyist
Training your cat to use the scratching post - Paw Rescue
Helping with litterbox problems
Potty-training your puppy
Growling, Jumping, and Nipping