Part I: Choosing a Veterinary Practice & Daily Care
Congratulations on /your decision to adopt a puppy, kitten or older pet! Bringing a new pet home is exciting and can be hectic, especially around the holiday season. Being prepared for the arrival of your newest family member will make the transition smoother and allow you to focus on building a strong bond with your new pet.
This 3-part blog series originally posted in March 2013, but since this time of year is popular for pet adoptions our focus for November isPuppies, Kittens & Older Adoptions.
Preparing for Your New Pet
- Part I: Choosing a Veterinary Practice & Daily Care
- Part II: Creating A Pet-Friendly Home
- Part III: Nutrition & Training to Support Development
Choosing a Veterinary Practice & Daily Care
You’ve made a very important decision: choosing the perfect pet for your family. The next big decision is finding the right veterinary practice to give your dog or cat a lifetime of health care, and to support you with the best in pet services and information.
Choosing a veterinary practice for overall wellness
Just like choosing a family doctor and dentist, you’ll need a veterinary team that can provide a lifetime of care and wellness to your new pet.
In the first year, your new puppy or kitten will require several wellness checks to monitor his or her development and administer needed vaccinations. This is also your opportunity to ask the veterinary medical team questions and learn about pet health and wellness topics. Spaying or neutering your pet is important unless your plans include showing or breeding.
“Your dog or cat is family. Our relationships with the people who care for us and our family have everything to do with trust. Is this someone who values our family and can help us make important decisions about health care? It’s vital that the medical team caring for your pet understands the importance of this bond and spends as much time as you need to guide you through the medical care options that are best for you and your pet,” said Dr. Laura Weis, owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital.
Here are a few tips for choosing the right veterinary practice to meet your needs and handle the lifetime care of your new pet.
- Determine the type of practice you prefer. Both small and large practices offer their own advantages and you need to decide which type is a better match for you and your pet.
- Request an interview to learn more about the practice and meet the staff.
- Does the practice offer wellness plans to help you schedule key examinations and manage the costs associated with caring for your pet?
- Does the practice keep up with the latest advances in diagnosis, treatment and technology? How are referrals to specialists and emergency care handled?
Pets, like children, require a lot of loving attention and daily care. Daily care includes love and attention, feeding, dental care, exercise and proper training.
- House breaking and introducing the new puppy or kitten to your home and which behaviors are acceptable—or not—will require a lot of your attention. Be patient, consistent and positive.
- Choose a high-quality food formulated for puppies and kittens to promote healthy growth and development. Ask your veterinarian about the brand and type of food they recommend for your puppy or kitten. (We’ll take a closer look at nutrition in Part III.)
- Fresh water is essential. Whether inside or out, no matter the season or scenery, your dog or cat needs access to fresh water. Going for a walk on a hot summer day? Take a portable bowl and ample supply of water. If the dog or cat is outside during the winter months, make sure the bowl isn’t a block of ice.
- The dental health of your dog or cat should begin now by creating a daily routine of teeth brushing. Your veterinarian can help you with proper brushing technique and explain the benefits of dental examinations as your pet ages. Dental disease is diagnosed in 75% of dogs and 65% of cats over the age of three. Daily brushing and regular exams will reduce dental disease.
- An active pet is a happy pet. Dogs need regular exercise—going for walks and play time to chase a ball or tug on a rope or toss around a squeaky toy are great activities. If your dog is very energetic and social, consider doggie daycare, trips to a dog park, advanced skills training or work as a therapy dog.
- Pets that get regular exercise and have a variety of toys are less likely to get into trouble because of boredom or lack of positive attention.
- Cats love climbing. Provide a variety of climbing and scratching posts, small toys like a ball with a bell or catnip-filled mouse. A window perch or outdoor enclosure is great for bird watching and bug chasing.
Schedule an initial examination and consultation for your new puppy, kitten or adopted pet at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital by calling 215-345-6000. Our staff is dedicated to lifetime health and wellness. Doylestown Veterinary Hospital earned accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association, known for leadership in the veterinary medicine and pet care industry, by meeting rigorous business practice standards. In addition to veterinary care, our family at Holiday House Pet Resort offers lodging for dogs and cats, grooming, training, daycare and special events.
Holiday House Pet Resort hosts a Puppy Social Hour every Thursday from 7 – 8 pm to begin socializing your puppy with others. Meet other forever families, talk to our staff about all things puppy, and learn about the benefits of dog training.