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Main Street Pet Care- Puppy and Kitten Care Pt. 1- December 31, 2013

Dr. Ben Leavens discusses proper care of new puppies and kittens including finding a vet and crate training.

Modified from Vetstreet.


Puppies and kittens are without a doubt some of the most adorable things on the planet. Parenting a new pet, however, is no walk in the park. Here’s a guide to help you care for the new addition to the family.


When the time comes to finally bring your new puppy home for the first time, you can pretty much count on three things: unbridled joy, cleaning up your puppy’s accidents, and a major lifestyle adjustment. As you’ll soon learn, a growing puppy needs much more than a food bowl and a doghouse to thrive. And while it may be a lot of work initially, it’s well worth the effort. Establishing good and healthy habits in those first few sleep-deprived weeks will lay the foundation for many dog-years of happiness for you and your puppy.


1. Find a Good Vet

The first place you and your new puppy should go together is, you guessed it, straight to the vet for a checkup. This visit will not only help ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of serious health issues, birth defects, etc., but it will help you take the first steps toward a good preventive health routine. If you don’t have a vet already, ask friends for recommendations. If you got your dog from a shelter, ask their advice as they may have veterinarians they swear by. Local dog walkers and groomers are also a great source of ideas.


2. Make the Most of Your First Vet Visit  WE HAVE PUPPYCARDS AND KITTENCARDS.

Ask your vet which puppy foods he or she recommends, how often to feed, and what portion size to give your pup.

  1. Set up a vaccination plan with your vet.
  2. Discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal.
  3. Learn which signs of illness to watch for during your puppy’s first few months.
  4. Ask about when you should spay or neuter your dog.


3. Establish a Bathroom Routine  CRATE TRAINING

Because puppies don’t take kindly to wearing diapers, housetraining quickly becomes a high priority on most puppy owners’ list of must-learn tricks. According to the experts, your most potent allies in the quest to housetrain your puppy are patience, planning, and plenty of positive reinforcement. In addition, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a carpet-cleaning battle plan in place, because accidents will happen.

Until your puppy has had all of her vaccinations, you’ll want to find a place outdoors that’s inaccessible to other animals. This helps reduce the spread of viruses and disease. Make sure to give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to potty outside and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing her when she has accidents indoors.

Knowing when to take your puppy out is almost as important as giving her praise whenever she does eliminate outdoors. Here’s a list of the most common times to take your puppy out to potty.

  1. When you wake up.
  2. Right before bedtime.
  3. Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.
  4. When your puppy wakes up from a nap.
  5. During and after physical activity.


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