Puppies, Kittens, and Cuteness Overload: New Pet Care Tips from the Pros

A tan puppy licking a kitten

Welcoming a new puppy or kitten into your family is probably one of the cutest, sweetest, and most delightful experiences in life. It’s also a major lifestyle adjustment! Young animals require around-the-clock attention, and providing them with the right amount of love, exercise, socialization, and training are only a handful of the many components of new pet care.

Whether you adopted a puppy or kitten over the holidays or you’re planning to get one in the near future, the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center has you covered with our new pet care tips!

The First Visit

One of the first things you should schedule is a visit with your new pet’s health care team. A puppy or kitten will need to see us more frequently during their first year of life. These visits will include the following services:

  • Nose-to-tail physical exam – Your pet will be thoroughly examined for illness and abnormalities. If your pet has breeder or adoption medical records, bring these along to your appointment.
  • Diagnostic testing – Most puppies or kittens are born with some internal parasites, which can be harmful to your pet and others in your home. Your veterinarian will ask you to bring a fresh stool sample for testing and will discuss appropriate parasite prevention for your pet.
  • Vaccinations – Your new pet’s vaccination protocol will begin around 8 weeks of age. Puppies and kittens require 3-4 sets of vaccines during the first year of life and yearly boosters after that. Until your puppy or kitten is fully vaccinated, they’re susceptible to a large number of deadly diseases and should be kept away from areas where pets congregate (dog parks, boarding kennels, grooming salons, etc.).
  • Spaying/neutering – If your new pet hasn’t been spayed or neutered, your veterinarian will discuss the procedure with you. Having your pet spayed or neutered will not only prevent unwanted litters, it can also reduce the occurence of certain health and behavioral problems.
  • MicrochippingHaving your pet microchipped will significantly increase the likelihood of a happy reunion should they become lost. The procedure is painless and can be performed right here in our office during your pet’s visit.

New Pet Care at Home

Establishing a relationship with your veterinarian is important to your pet’s long-term health, but the rest of their care is up to you!

  • Exercise – All animals need daily exercise to burn off energy and maintain a healthy weight. Each day, commit to a walk, a game of fetch, or indoor playtime with your new pet. Get the family in on it, as well!
  • Socialization – Exposing your (fully vaccinated) pet to as many people, places, and animals as possible will result in a happier, more well-behaved companion. Ethical and humane obedience training for puppies is also extremely important.
  • Dental care – Most pets develop some form of dental disease by the time they reach the age of 3, but this statistic can be turned around with good at-home care and professional dental cleanings. Young pets are more readily accepting of tooth brushing than older animals, making now the perfect time to introduce them to the activity.

If you need to schedule your pet’s first wellness exam or have additional questions about new pet care, please give us a call. We can’t wait to meet your new addition!

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