Puppies & Kittens: Care Tips for Owners

The doctors and staff of the Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital would like to congratulate you on the new addition to your family. The first few months are important in your puppy’s or kitten’s development. It is important to ensure good health with proper veterinary care. You will also make many other decisions to get your “youngster” off to a good start. Just like old dogs, even the most experienced pet parent can learn new tricks and tips for raising wonderful companions.

Below is a brief discussion on important puppy and kitten care topics.

Veterinary Visits

Within a week of your new pet’s arrival to your home, please schedule a visit for the puppy or kitten wellness exam. Did you know that 95% of puppies and kittens are born with worms? Intestinal parasites are very common in puppies and kittens. Left untreated worms can be serious and may cause dehydration and even death. You will want to address and eliminate intestinal parasites right away. At this first exam, we’ll discuss many topics—from health to behavior. When you first visit the veterinarian, keep your manner matter-of-fact and tone of voice cheerful. Resist the urge to soothe whining or meowing, since it may reinforce fearful behavior. You want to raise a dog or kitten that does not dread veterinary visits.

Vaccinations & Preventives

We will develop a vaccination protocol specific to your pet, tailored to their lifestyle and the risks they will encounter. We will also recommend a protocol for prevention of fleas, ticks, and heartworm. All dogs should be on heartworm treatment year round.

Spaying or Neutering

Recommended at six months of age, we feel all pets should be neutered or spayed. There are a number of health and behavioral benefits. Intact or unneutered male dogs are more likely to roam and fight. Unspayed females can come into heat after six months and the cycle can last 21 days. During the heat cycle females spot blood and attract males, an avoidable nuisance. Heat cycles also increase the risk of mammary cancer (breast cancer). If spayed before the first heat, the incidence is rare. At Wellesley-Natick Hospital, we also practice laparoscopic spaying techniques that vastly diminish pain and reduce recovery time.

Microchipping

Microchip 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.


Ask for Our Puppy Pack …

We’ve assembled a number of informational brochures and handouts in our puppy pack. We cover everything from common health issues and diseases to how to choose chew toys. Our puppy pack is chock full of useful tips and is a sort of manual for puppyhood. We’ve even included a list of local groomers and trainers.

We look forward to meeting your new puppy or kitten and to being a resource for many years to come!
Please contact us for your next appointment

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