Puppy and Kitten Care: Beginning a Lifetime of Good Health
Even before you get your new pet, Huntington Veterinary Hospital is here to help. We like to share what we know and welcome a chance to advise clients. Allow us to help you in selecting the right animal and breed for your family and lifestyle. If you are getting a dog from a breeder, we’ll let you know what to ask, as well as provide information on acquiring OFA certification and CERF exam (credentials certifying puppy health).
Welcoming Your New Puppy or Kitten to Our Practice
HVH is eager to get your new puppy or kitten off to a great start. The first, most important step, is bringing your new pet in for a comprehensive first exam. This appointment provides the foundation for your pet’s health and longevity. We’ll have a lot to discuss, so we set aside 40 minutes for this initial appointment. During this appointment, we’ll also provide some basic training information.
We work to make this visit stress free—a positive first experience will set the stage for a lifelong relationship. It can be problematic for owners if their pet hates the vet. We certainly don’t want that. Cats in particular have a reputation for this and many owners dread bringing their cats in to us. As a feline-friendly practice, we are skilled in gentle handling and address the other special needs of cats.
Puppy and Kitten Exams
Just as in life for human children, puppies and kittens require physical exams and vaccinations to get the right start.
Below are our recommendations for your puppy’s or kitten’s first year.
Bring us your puppy or kitten for a comprehensive physical exam as soon as possible. This will give us an opportunity to assess your new pet’s overall health and to begin administration of tests and vaccines. For example, it is not uncommon for puppies and kittens to have worms, fleas, and ear mites. You’ll want to tend to that right away for the health of your pet and household.
Due to their immature immune systems, puppies and kittens must receive a series of properly staged vaccines. We follow AAHA protocols for vaccinations.
We recommend that puppies are tested for heartworm at six months of age and that kittens are tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS at their first visit, if not done previously.
We will also discuss and recommend other services, such as spaying, neutering, microchipping, and the like. We’ll also provide an introduction to training and behavior.
If your pet gets lost or goes missing, a microchip dramatically increases your chance of locating your pet. Microchipping is easy and painless. It can be done as an office procedure or while under anesthesia during the neuter or spay surgery.
Microchipping provides permanent identification and protects your pet from loss. We offer HomeAgain® for pet identification. Thousands of pets that have been implanted with the HomeAgain® chip have been reunited with their families. Read answers to common questions about microchipping and the HomeAgain system.
We look forward to meeting your new friend and to being a resource for many years to come. Please contact us to set up your important puppy or kitten exam.