There is little greater responsibility than taking care of a new puppy or kitten. Your adorable furbaby may be a bundle of fun, but like any animal, is almost completely reliant on you to make important decisions for her about her care. This includes how to keep her healthy and make sure that she grows properly.
When you register your new puppy or kitten with us, we will ask you to bring her in so that we can create her health record. This involves undertaking a first wellness check which will form the baseline of her record and against which future visits can be recorded. However, there are some other important elements of puppy and kitten care that we can help with. These include the following:
One of the most important things to arrange when you first become an owner to a new puppy or kitten is their vaccination schedule. Vaccinations for pets are just like those for humans, and over the years they have saved the lives of countless animals who would have otherwise succumbed to infectious diseases.
Vaccinations work by tricking your pet’s body into thinking they have been exposed to the relevant disease, but since the disease has been altered and made safe, it doesn’t actually cause them any harm. What it does do is teach their body how to produce antibodies to fight the real thing should they ever come into contact with it. However, since your kitten or puppy is still very small, it isn’t safe to give them a full dose of the vaccine at once. Instead, each vaccine is spread over several appointments spaced a number of weeks apart.
Vaccines for pets are divided into ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ varieties. As you might expect, core vaccines are given to all pets of that species, while non-core vaccines are given purely on the recommendation of our veterinary team and based on the individual requirements of your puppy or kitten. We will be able to tell you which vaccinations your furbaby will need and create a vaccination schedule for her to ensure that she receives the right protection. It is important to note that vaccinations only remain effective for a period of time before ‘boosters’ are required. Therefore, it is essential that you adhere to the schedule created for you by our team.
Regrettably, there are other things that can also threaten the health and wellbeing of your new puppy or kitten. Parasites are a prevalent problem amongst pets of all ages that aren’t afforded sufficient protection. Parasites live on or inside your pet, feeding off her blood to thrive. However, it isn’t just blood loss that you need to worry about. The effects of a parasite infestation can be severe, particularly in the case of heartworms, for which dogs are the natural host. An untreated heartworm infestation is almost always fatal. Many parasites also carry diseases that come with their own complications, such as Lyme Disease, which is spread by certain varieties of a tick. Our experienced veterinary team can give you all of the advice and information you need to ensure your pet is protected against all known parasites including fleas, ticks, mites, and worms.
What your pet will eat will change as she grows. While nutrition is important at all stages of her life, it is absolutely essential to get it right when she is an infant as this is when she is doing the majority of her growing and developing. Many inexperienced owners don’t understand what their kitten or puppy should be eating, and what constitutes a healthy portion. Since her stomach will be small, she will need feeding little portions several times each day. Again, our veterinary experts can help you determine which food will be best, and just how much and how often you should be feeding her.
For professional puppy and kitten care services, look no further than the team here at Harbor Veterinary Clinic. We can support you with every aspect of your new furbaby’s care. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your puppy or kitten, by calling our veterinary clinic in Ashtabula, OH on 440-969-6060.