By July Hebbel of Tauranga, Te Puna, Katikati and Papamoa Village Vets

Summertime in the veterinary industry also means puppy and kitten season. But along with the excitement and cuteness of the new furry or fluffy addition, also comes plenty of responsibility, hard work and most probably a handful of frustrations along the way.

If you are thinking of adding a new pet to your household, or have recently acquired one, it’s important to educate yourself on the responsibilities of being a new pet owner. Our pets obviously need plenty of love, care and affection, but good intentions also need to go hand in hand with plenty of sound knowledge.  Our tips below will hopefully make the first year a smoother one.

Vaccinations
It is strongly recommended that all puppies and kittens be fully vaccinated, as this will help protect them from potentially fatal diseases. They will require rounds of vaccinations, starting at 8 weeks, then 12 and finally 16 weeks of age. At a vaccination appointment, puppies and kittens receive a full health check.

De-sexing
If you don’t plan to breed your puppy or kitten, there are good medical and behavioural reasons for desexing. We strongly recommend speying and neutering.

Behaviour
Puppies and kittens are very vulnerable and are completely reliant on their owners to take care of them. A puppy or kitten’s long term behaviour is influenced by their parents characteristics, their environment and what they are exposed to during their critical ‘socialisation period’.  This period is between 3-12 weeks in puppies and 2-7 weeks in kittens. Therefore as a new owner, you have a big effect on their adult behavior.

Nutrition
Putting some thought into what you are feeding your new pet is part of giving them a great start to a long life. At this young age, they are growing very fast and getting the correct balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is essential. If fed poor quality foods they may fail to thrive, be more susceptible to disease, and could have permanent issues later in life.

Fleas and Worms
Regular flea and worm treatments are very important, particularly in young animals. If untreated they will almost certainly suffer from parasitism, which can make them seriously ill, and some of these parasites can even cause disease in humans.

Microchipping
Microchipping and registration is quick and painless and ensures your pets safety; and is a council requirement for dogs. Microchipping means that if your pet goes missing, they will quickly be identified as belonging to you. This can be done at the time of vaccination, and is just another simple procedure.

Tauranga, Te Puna, Katikati and Papamoa Village Vets’ Puppy and Kitten Promotion is now in full swing. Our team are meeting gorgeous new family additions and helping them on their way to becoming valued family members. 

If you have a new puppy or kitten, give us a call or come in and see us – let us help you make providing the best care for your puppy or kitten simple and more affordable. Not only will we get all your vaccinations sorted, we will talk you through everything you need to know about being an owner of a puppy or kitten!  Our Kitten and Puppy packs include discount vouchers for 20% off de-sexing, discount vouchers on selected food and flea treatment plus lots more goodies!