New Puppy or Kitten? What you need to know…

If you’re a new pet owner, congratulations!

Many people get new puppies or kittens this time of year. Being a pet owner is an exciting experience and one that can make life rich. So if your wondering what to do now, here’s what you need to know…

Within the first week of owning a new pet, he or she needs to visit the vet. Puppies and kittens have immature immune systems that make them susceptible to viruses and parasites. Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated at regular intervals, at roughly 2, 3, and 4 months of age, to provide protection against viruses. They also need to be treated every 2-4 weeks with a de-worming medication to get rid of intestinal worms.

Your veterinarian will talk to you about potty training, behavior modification and, most importantly, how to socialize your new friend. Socializing your new pet in the first 4 months is very important. They tend to approach new things with a positive attitude and remember their experiences positively. If you are careful to invest in your pet during the first year of his or her life, you will likely have a good friend for life. If you miss this opportunity, you may spend the rest of his or her life dealing with undesirable behavior.

And don’t forget to puppy or kitten proof your house. Every year veterinarians see illness and injuries from pets eating candy or other human food, ingesting household cleaners or other toxins, and chewing on power cords. Give your pet the best chance to succeed by giving him or her a consistent diet of quality pet food, clear boundaries, consistent correction, and lots of positive attention.

Congratulations on your new puppy or kitten, and don’t forget the best time to spay or neuter is 3-6 months of age!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Boyer

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