What do I feed my puppy or kitten?
Our practice recommends Hill’s Science Diet Puppy and Kitten foods for a well balanced diet. Many “grocery store” diets are high in salt and low in quality proteins and nutrients. Newly weaned puppies and kittens need to be fed at least 3 times daily because of their rapid rate of growth and the small volume of food they are able to consume at one meal. Dry food is better for dental health.. Unlike people – animals do not need a variety of foods and switching from one food to another can cause diarrhea or stomach upset . We never recommend feeding table scrapes
How old must my pet be in order to be spayed or neutered?
Our doctors recommend surgical neutering at approximately six months of age although some animal shelters will neuter healthy puppies and kittens as early as 6 weeks. Neutering not only prevents unwanted litters but also prevents types of cancer and infections of the uterus. It is not necessary to allow your female to come in heat before she is spayed.
How long is a dog or cat in heat?
Dogs usually come in heat twice a year each time lasting around 3 weeks. Cats are seasonal breeders which is why there are so many kittens in the spring. A female cat can have a litter and almost immediately come in season again!
How long is a dog or cat pregnant?
Normal gestation is around 62-65 days.
When do I start my pet’s vaccinations?
Puppies and kittens have some immunity from disease if their mother has been vaccinated but the exact time that this maternal protection drops is different in every animal. Our doctors recommend beginning the vaccination series at 6 weeks of age. These vaccinations will be repeated every 3 weeks per the individual schedule set by your doctor. Rabies – by state law- must be given at 16 weeks of age and repeated at yearly intervals for cats or every 3 year intervals for dogs after the first year.
When can I start housebreaking my puppy?
We recommend that you begin training as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Don’t expect long intervals between “Potty breaks” with really young puppies. Many people like crate training and dogs seem to enjoy having a place that is their own little safe haven. For instructions on housebreaking follow the link to Growing Up With Pets for approved training methods.
My pet has bad breath! Is this normal?
Bad breath is not normal in healthy pets. Foul mouth odor is caused by tarter buildup on the teeth. We recommend a complete oral exam and a though dental cleaning and polishing. Home care is vital to prolong the time between cleanings. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the very best option but oral chews, liquid water additives and tarter control diets are also extremely helpful in keeping a healthy mouth. If left untreated gum disease and tooth decay can cause a buildup of dangerous bacteria in the organs of the body. Contrary to common belief – animals with painful teeth do not stop eating until they are in extreme discomfort. The natural instinct for survival forces them to suffer through the pain to eat. According to the American Board of Veterinary Dentists – complete dental cleanings and examinations can only be performed while your pet is under anesthesia.
What are heartworms?
Heartworms are a parasite of the heart of both dogs and cats . The disease is more common in dogs although more and more cats are being diagnosed due to better lab testing. Heartworm preventatives such as Sentinel are recommended year around in our area of the country. Since the disease is carried from animal to animal by mosquitoes any warm day can cause eggs to hatch and animals to be at risk. Treatment is expensive and carries risks that increase with the amount of infestation. Cats need to be on Revolution to keep them safe from heartworms, fleas and ear mites.