Are you getting a new puppy or kitten?
Congratulations! We are looking forward to meeting the newest member of your family! Below you will find some guidelines about common topics and vaccinations. It is recommended to bring in your new pet within the first 48 hours of he or she coming home. Doing so the doctor can make sure your new pet is healthy and growing properly so far. We also strongly recommend bringing in a stool sample as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for young animals to have intestinal parasites, which could be spread to your other pets or family members. At your pet's first visit we answer any questions you may have as well as help with any concerns. A few common topics that new pet owners often have questions about are:
Potty Training - With a puppy, you should take them out 20 minutes after any food or water. Also keeping them in a crate overnight or while you are away will encourage the pup to not have accidents (This will not eliminate them totally, accidents may happen!) Another suggestion is take the pups age in months and times by 2, this is the maximum amount of time the puppy should wait in between bathroom breaks. An example is if your puppy is 2 months old, then four hours is the maximum. Until your puppy is potty trained, it is a good idea to limit his or her water intake overnight. Kittens tend to learn to use a litter box pretty quickly. If your kitten is having accidents, he or she may need to be confined to the room with the litter box at first.
Feeding Guidelines - Each animal has different dietary needs. A general guideline is 1 cup of food per 20 pounds of body weight. We recommend feeding a puppy three times a day at least for the first six months up to a year old. During your appointment the doctor can advise a specific plan for your new pet. We also offer a great veterinary exclusive diet that our front desk staff could help you learn more about.
Crate Training - Essential to begin the training of your new puppy. The crate provides a safe and secure place for the new member of your family. It is not only important for potty training but is vital for the safety of your puppy. A crate will prevent any unwanted behaviors such as, chewing, licking or eating inappropriate objects. It will also serve as a den or safe haven for your puppy. When purchasing a crate, keep in mind the mature size of your dog. Make sure that larger crates come with a divider. While the puppy is small, the divider must be used to create a smaller area within the crate, just enough so the puppy may turn around and lie down. The puppy should be contained in a small area to deter him/her from going to the bathroom in the crate. This method teaches the puppy to learn how to go extended periods of time without going to the bathroom. Whenever the puppy is not being supervised he/she should be crated. This prevents accidents and is the best way to ensure the puppy is safe. Reference the potty training section for the maximum amount of time the puppy should be crated for. Whenever putting the puppy into the crate or taking them out, make sure they have an adequate amount of time to go to the bathroom. This prevents accidents within the crate. When first bringing the puppy home, line the crate with an old towel or blanket that can be easily washed or thrown away. It is not uncommon for the puppy to have a few accidents when first being introduced to the crate. Simply, remove the soiled linens and clean the crate with a good deodorizer made specifically for dogs. Naturally, the puppy will learn that it will not want to go to the bathroom within the crate and this will teach the puppy to hold its excrement until it is let out. The first few days to a week may be rough. Puppies need time to adjust to their new home and crate. They will often cry, howl, bark, and whine while in the crate. Some puppies may even chew at the bars of the crate, so a coated metal crate is ideal. Never acknowledge these behaviors. The puppy should be ignored when acting inappropriately and slowly these behaviors will cease. When beginning the crate training process do not leave food or water within the crate while you are gone, this will prevent the puppy from over drinking or eating and having an accident. Young puppies should never be left for more than 6-8 hours within the crate. The best way to help a puppy to adjust is to begin feeding them in the crate. This makes the crate a positive place. Also give the puppy treats while they are quietly laying in the crate. Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your new puppy adjust. Also provide safe, indestructible toys to keep your puppy occupied while in the crate. Over time the puppy will associate the crate as a safe place for him or her to relax. It may not always be an easy process but it is the best way to train your new puppy/dog.
Puppy Vaccination Plan:
8 weeks old - DHPP #1 (Canine Distemper Combo)
12 weeks old - DHPP #2
16 weeks old - DHPP #3, Rabies
1 year old - DHPP and Rabies (both 3 year vaccines now)
These are the only two vaccines that we recommend to all canine clients at NHVH. We have several other vaccines available that we tailor to your pet's lifestyle. While you are here for your appointment the doctor can discuss what would be the best for your pet.
Kitten Vaccination Plan:
8 weeks old - FVRCP #1
12 weeks old - FVRCP #2, FELV/FIV Test
16 weeks old - FVRCP #3, Rabies
1 year old - FVRCP and Rabies (both 3 year vaccines now)
These are the two vaccines that we recommend to all feline clients at NHVH. We also offer FELV (Feline Leukemia) and strongly recommend this vaccine for any cats that go outdoors.