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Puppy and Kitten Care Tips

Posted In: Behavior & Training, Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Are you considering adopting a puppy or a kitten? Or have you recently added a new puppy or kitten to your family? If so, you’ll want to give him or her a good start. Here are a few tips from AMCMA:

Schedule a veterinary appointment right away. Even if your puppy or kitten is up-to-date on vaccinations and appears healthy, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will document your new puppy or kitten’s medical history and determine when his next vaccinations are due. Puppies and kittens need three rounds of vaccinations in their first year. So, you will want to make sure you know when it’s time for another one.

If your puppy or kitten is not spayed or neutered yet, ask your veterinarian when you should schedule the surgery. AMCMA offers low-cost spay/neuter surgeries with top-notch care including anesthesia, monitoring, and post operation pain medications. Learn more about our low-cost spay/neuter program: SNIP.

Your veterinarian will recommend a de-wormer for parasites. Did you know that most puppies and kittens are born with worms? Some are impossible to see with the naked eye, and some can be passed to humans and other pets. Your veterinarian will probably recommend at least two rounds of de-wormer, even if your puppy or kitten does not appear to have them. This will eliminate any eggs or larvae, as well as mature worms.

Your veterinarian will also get your puppy started on flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. If you have a puppy, you’ll want to be sure he is protected from these parasites year-round, and it is recommended that preventatives are started when the puppy is eight weeks of age. Kittens should be on year-round flea and tick preventative at eight weeks old as well.

Come up with a plan. When raising a puppy or kitten, consistency is key. Make sure your entire family is on board with training and that you are all using the same methods. Nothing is more confusing than when different people expect different things. For example, if one family member allows the puppy to jump up on them, the puppy will jump on everyone – even small children or elderly family members. Likewise, if one person plays too rough with the kitten, she will continue to play rough with everyone, and this can lead to the kitten scratching and biting people.

Puppy- and kitten-proof your house. Puppies and kittens can be quite curious, and young dogs especially can be destructive. Puppy- and kitten-proof your house as much as possible. Hide electrical cords, pick up valuables like eyeglasses, put medications in a cabinet, and restrict access to rooms that pose a danger risk. Invest in a crate for your puppy so that he will be safe when you are not home to supervise him. Bonus – using a crate can also help with puppy housetraining!

Get your puppy or kitten comfortable with nail trims. You can’t start this early enough. When puppies and kittens don’t have their paws handled or their nails trimmed on a regular basis, they grow up not liking it, and it can be very difficult to cut a dog or cat’s nails when they aren’t happy! Touch your puppy or kittens paws and extend his nails so that he is comfortable with this type of handling. When he needs nail trims, be sure to just cut the tips so you don’t cause pain or bleeding.

Puppies and kittens are adorable, fun, and full of energy. Adding one to your family is life changing. By implementing these tips early on, you can help your puppy or kitten to grow into a happy and healthy companion who will love you unconditionally.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.