Kitten and Puppy Care Checklist: What New Pet Owners Need to Know

By December 18, 2012Uncategorized

During the holiday season, many families welcome a new puppy or kitten into their home. If you have recently added a new addition to your family, our kitten and puppy care program includes a wellness checkup, vaccinations, and puppy or kitten training recommendations.

Kitten and Puppy Care: First Steps
kitten and puppy care in Greenbrae.jpgOur veterinarian put together this checklist to help new pet owners be sure their new puppy or kitten gets a healthy head start:

#1: Wellness checkup. It is not uncommon for young animals to contract parasites or worms. During a wellness checkup, our vet will test for heartworms and confirm that your pet is parasite free. We will also recommend a heartworm medication and flea/tick preventative that is safe for your pet.

#2: Vaccinations. Puppies and kittens are susceptible to illness because their immune system is still developing. Core vaccinations will help protect your pet from highly contagious diseases. Depending on your pet’s age, several rounds of core vaccinations may be necessary to ensure full protection. Our vet will make a vaccination recommendation during the first wellness checkup.

#3: Proper nutrition. A healthy diet will give your young pet the nutrients he needs to grow and be strong. Young animals may have unique nutrition needs, especially if your pet develops a food allergy or intolerance to certain ingredients. Our vet can make food recommendations based on your pet’s current diet and lifestyle.

#4: Obedience training and housebreaking. Whether you’re teaching a kitten to use the litter box or housebreaking your puppy, we know the early obedience training process can be a challenge. Remember, the behaviors you teach and reinforce now will set the groundwork for a fulfilling relationship with your pet. Socialization is also important for young puppies. If you are struggling to teach your dog basic commands or need extra help, our vet can recommend early training and socialization programs.

#5: Spay and neuter. Our vet recommends spaying or neutering pets before they reach adulthood. Doing so helps reduce the risk for certain cancers and eliminate some behavioral issues.

Will you be adopting a puppy or kitten this holiday season?