Is it time for you and your family to adopt new animals for the holidays? How do you know which pet is best? This can be a difficult decision, here are some pointers that may help; consider how much space you have for the animal… maybe apartment lifestyle is not the best living conditions for a Great Dane or Labrador. How much time will you be able to devote to your pet, if you are unable to go on walks or runs, maybe a kitten/cat will work better for you and your family. Do you have children? Do you have allergies? How do you feel about shedding? Are you a high energy person or laid back?
Now that you have a new bundle of energy, what do you do? These small creatures are loads of fun and now a family member. Just as children they need their vaccinations, preventative care, and attention. The body receives antibodies from the mother through the milk, as they get older those antibodies will slowly disappear and vaccinations are required to teach the body how to produce an appropriate immune response. Vaccinations typically start at 6-8 weeks of age and continue every 3 weeks until they are 12-16 weeks of age. Then depending on the lifestyle of your pet, vaccinations are yearly. There are core vaccinations and there are lifestyle vaccinations. The core vaccinations for puppies are canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. The kitten core vaccinations are Feline distemper, calicivirus, herpesvirus and Rabies. Life style vaccinations include Leptosporisis, Lyme, rattlesnake, Bordetella, influenza, and feline leukemia. It is also important that a stool sample is taken and looked under the microscope for intestinal parasites so the animal can be dewormed properly. There are some intestinal parasites that can be zoonotic, meaning we can also contract them…gross. Other preventative care for your pet is monthly heartworm/flea preventions, spay/neuter and dental exams with dental cleanings. Lastly, puppies needs to be entertained, consider obedience training, or finding friends for play dates, take them for hikes or walks/running weekly. This will help keep your pet happy and healthily. Please contact your veterinarian if you have any questions.