If you haven’t been the proud owner of a puppy or kitten before, you could be forgiven for thinking that caring for one is just like looking after a smaller and younger version of an adult pet. However, much like the needs of a human child vary from a human adult, your infant furbaby has a few unique care requirements that you must meet if he is to develop into a healthy, active and happy adult animal.
Our expert animal care team have extensive experience in caring for all ages of pet, including puppies and kittens, and understand the way in which conventional adult pet care must be adapted to suit the needs and requirements of a much younger animal. Here are some of the key elements of our puppy and kitten care services, which we carry out right here at our clinic in Geneva, OH
ROUTINE VACCINATIONS AND PREVENTATIVE CARE
Preventative care is one of the most important responsibilities of looking after any pet, irrespective of their age. There are many different infectious diseases, parasites and other nasty illnesses that can affect our pets, and while your furbaby is young and his immune system is still developing, he is particularly at risk of contracting something that will make him sick.
Preventative care tends to fall into two categories. The first is routine vaccinations, which begin as young as 6 weeks of age. In your pet’s first year, he will have more vaccinations than he will as an adult. This is because it is necessary to build up his immunity to specific diseases, which is done through a series of injections spread weeks apart. Exactly which vaccinations your pet will be offered will depend on his individual circumstances, and our veterinary team will create a vaccination schedule tailored to his requirements.
The second element of preventative care is protection against the parasites that pose a threat to his health. These cannot be protected against using vaccinations (except for in the case of heartworms which can be prevented using 6-monthly injections), and instead require topical or orally-swallowed medications given monthly to keep your pet safe. Again, we will be able to advise you which preventatives your puppy or kitten needs and set you up with a schedule of preventative care, explaining the importance of administering the relevant protection on time.
One of the first priorities of any pet owner should be ensuring that their furbaby has had his/her reproductive organs removed. In the case of females, this is known as spaying, while in males it tends to be referred to as neutering or castration. This service is important for several reasons.
Firstly, it has distinct benefits for the health of your pet. Animals who are spayed/neutered early on in life are less likely to go on to develop a range of serious illnesses including uterine infections, breast tumors, testicular cancer, and prostate problems.
Secondly, Spaying/neutering helps to curb some of the less desirable behaviors that your pet might otherwise exhibit. These include spraying urine, roaming, and aggression.
Finally, by choosing to prevent your pet from reproducing, you are taking an important step to help reduce the frightening number of dogs and cats living in shelters and foster homes across the country. Countless animals are abandoned each year, with many more euthanized because there are simply not the resources to accommodate them.
PUPPY/KITTEN SPECIFIC ADVICE
Raising a puppy or kitten is often compared to raising a curious toddler and it is easy to see why. Your new furbaby will have very little sense of danger, will not understand what behaviors are expected of him, may struggle to feel safe and understand those people and other animals around him, and will have no concept of toilet training. This makes raising a puppy or kitten a huge learning curve for inexperienced and sometimes even experienced owners.
Our expert veterinary team can help with a range of important aspects of puppy and kitten care including:
- Advice on what your pet should be eating, how much and how often
- How to successfully toilet train your pet
- How to socialize your pet to feel safe and secure around other animals and people
- How to train your pet to respond to basic commands such as his name
- How to groom your puppy or kitten and care for his teeth (yes, grooming and tooth brushing are essential elements of his care)
- Advice on the importance of microchipping
- Troubleshooting any problems that you might experience with any of the above
Make sure that your new pet has the best start in live by ensuring that he receives the proper care from the moment he arrives in your home. Contact our offices today to schedule a first visit for your puppy or kitten.