Everyone loves puppies and kittens.. but the first year sure is a busy one! We’ve put together a few pointers to help you get started.
Vaccinations are extremely important and protect against diseases that can be fatal. At a vaccination appointment, puppies and kittens receive a full health check and they are also checked for heart disease, hip dysplasia, knee abnormalities, hernia’s, retained baby teeth, undershot/overshot jaws and retained testicles! You will also be given a lot of behavioural advice, information regarding flea & worm treatment & advised regarding optimal speying/neutering times. Kittens and puppies usually require 3 vaccinations, with their final vaccination at 14-16 weeks of age.
We strongly recommend speying and neutering. Speying dogs prevents a life-threatening infection called a pyometra, as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer. Neutering reduces wandering & aggression in dogs and in cats reduces fighting and abscesses.
Microchipping is also recommended, so 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 injection.
Nutrition is also an important consideration. Both puppies and kittens grow at a phenomenal rate & in general are fully grown by a year of age. When we consider that humans require 18 years to physically mature, it becomes obvious that feeding a premium food is necessary in the first year. This is even more so for large breed puppies, which can easily develop joint deformities if their food has calcium imbalances or if they grow too quickly.
Socialisation of puppies is essential. We run puppy preschools to help with this. These are run over 4 weeks and teach both puppy and family. Its amazing to watch how the puppies gain confidence and progress.
So if you have a new furry addition to the family, come and see us! Our amazing puppy and kitten promotion has just started, so give us a ring and talk to the team!
Nina Smith BVSc