Preparing for Your Puppy or Kitten

Part I: Overall Wellness & Daily Pet Care

Puppy-meal-0224131-300x225Congratulations on your decision to adopt a puppy or kitten! Bringing a new pet home is exciting. March 23rd is National Puppy Day but Doylestown Veterinary Hospital (DVH) is celebrating puppies and kittens all month long! We have six very good reasons to celebrate, so we invite you and your new puppy or kitten to be part of our family.

The DVH medical staff has been fostering and caring for Allie and her six puppies. Thanks to the quick actions of Lulu’s Rescue, also located in Bucks County, the life of a pregnant dog was saved. Allie gave birth not long after a flight from a shelter in North Carolina. All six puppies are receiving the loving care and medical attention needed in preparation for the adoption process and transition to forever families.

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 puppy or kitten. Introducing our three-part blog series:

Preparing for Your Puppy or Kitten

  • Part I: Overall Wellness & Daily Pet Care
  • Part II: Creating A Pet-Friendly Home
  • Part III: Nutrition & Training to Support Development

DVH is dedicated to the overall wellness and safety of your dog. Socializing and training your new puppy is an important part of the bonding process. In March, receive $50 off obedience training for your puppy at Holiday House Pet Resort when you bring your puppy to DVH for its vaccinations.

Holiday House Pet Resort also 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.

Helen-030113-300x300Daily Care & Overall Wellness

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 relationship with the people who care for us and our family has 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?
Daily care

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.

Next week, don’t miss part II of our blog series on Creating a Pet-Friendly Home for tips on safety, establishing house rules, and setting up areas for feeding, sleeping and house training.

Call Doylestown Veterinary Hospital today at 215-348-4344 to schedule an appointment for your new puppy or kitten. Our staff is dedicated to the lifetime health and wellness of your pet. In addition to veterinary care, our family at Holiday House Pet Resort offers lodging for dogs and cats, grooming, training, daycare and special events. We are a comprehensive pet care facility located in Doylestown, PA.