Puppy & Kitten Care:
Laying a Healthy Foundation
Once you decide to add a new member to your family, the excitement and anticipation will build until that special day when you’re able to bring your new puppy or kitten home. He or she will require a lot of attention and care at this time, especially since everything will be brand new and inviting. Just as with small children, items you may take for granted could attract your pet, especially if they are at his or her level.
One of the best ways to ensure that your new furry family member gets off to a good start is to schedule a pet wellness exam. This will enable our veterinarians to confirm that he or she is healthy while also providing much-needed protection from parasites and diseases. In addition, we will be happy to address any other kitten or puppy care questions you may have.
New Pet Exam
Typically, puppies and kittens arrive at their new homes between 6–8 weeks of age. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible after bringing your new pet home. Please bring any previous pet health records you may have for your puppy or kitten, along with a small stool sample.
Our veterinarians will give your pet a comprehensive nose-to-tail exam to see if there are any health issues or congenital abnormalities present. We also will conduct intestinal parasite testing through a fecal check, as puppies and kittens frequently become infected either from their mothers or their environment.
We will perform an initial deworming of your puppy or kitten to remove any roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Giardia, or coccidia that may be present. A follow-up deworming will be administered 2–3 weeks later.
Our veterinarians also will take this opportunity to discuss other parasite prevention measures—including flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives—which are needed year round in our region.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we believe in tailoring pet vaccinations to suit your pet’s individual needs. When you bring your puppy or kitten to see us, we will discuss your pet’s lifestyle and living environment to determine which pet vaccines are required.
For puppies, the core dog vaccines are rabies and distemper. In our region, it’s also highly recommended that dogs receive the Lyme disease vaccine. Optional vaccines—which are recommended for canines who will be going to the dog park, kennel, or pet groomer—include bordetella and canine flu.
For kittens, the core cat vaccines are rabies and distemper. The feline leukemia vaccination is recommended for those kittens that will be exposed to the outdoors, either directly or through other pets they may come into contact with.
If you would like to learn more about pet vaccinations and how often they should be administered, please visit our pet vaccinations page.
Pet Care Counseling
Proper nutrition is very important for growing puppies and kittens. There are many brands and formulas of pet food available, and it can be difficult to know which one might be right for your pet. Our veterinarians will be happy to provide pet nutrition counseling to assist you in selecting a quality diet.
You also may have questions about house training, grooming, obedience training, and which types of pet toys and play activities will best suit your puppy or kitten. Our veterinarians can assist you with each of these areas. We also can advise you regarding how to socialize your new pet with other animals once he or she is fully immunized.
Spay or Neuter Surgery
We recommend that puppies and kittens be spayed between 4–6 months of age. Not only will this procedure prevent unwanted litters, but also it will reduce your pet’s risk of developing infections and diseases, including certain forms of cancer. At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer low-cost spay and neuter procedures coupled with outstanding veterinary care, so both you and your pet will benefit.
The best way to ensure that your new pet will find his or her way home to you is to provide a permanent means of identification. Shelters across the country are equipped with scanners, and lost pets are checked for microchips as soon as they are brought in. We recommend HomeAgain brand microchips, which are ISO compliant so they are readable internationally. If you would like to learn more, or if you’re ready to schedule this quick and easy procedure for your pet, please contact us!
My pets have been patients at Town & Country Animal Hospital since 1989. The entire team continues to provide an excellent service.