Congratulations on becoming a first-time pet owner! Along with the excitement and happiness that a new pet brings into the home, a new pet also comes with a huge responsibility. Whether you recently got a new puppy/kitten or adopted a pet in need of a forever home, Eagle Rise Animal Hospital is here to help you navigate your experience as a dog or cat owner. On this page, you will find everything you need to know to keep your new pet happy, healthy and, most importantly, safe!
Pet Services Your New Pet Will Require in the First 12 Months
Veterinary Exam (First Appointment, Ongoing)
Not only do we want to meet your furry family member, but it’s also important that they get to know us too! During an examination, we spend the time getting to know you, your pet and their lifestyle. In addition, we will complete a head to tail assessment to ensure your pet is healthy. This is also a great time to ask us any questions you may have.
Getting your pet started on a proper vaccination program early will help keep them healthy for life. As the immunity their mother provided them starts to wane, it is important to time the vaccines properly so their own immune system is prepared to protect them from exposure to diseases.
Vaccines help protect against common infectious diseases seen in cats and dogs. They stimulate the body’s immune system to attack and ‘remember’ the infectious organism so your pet can fight against the infection again in the future (if necessary). Without vaccines, many cats will become seriously ill due to a virus in their body that they are unable to fight off on their own effectively. The use of vaccines has prevented death and diseases in millions of pets. Vaccines also protect people from diseases, such as rabies, that can be transmitted from pets to humans.
Dog and Cat Deworming (Week 2 up to 6 months)
Deworming is an important part of your pet’s preventative health care program. Intestinal parasites can occur in both cats and dogs, especially when they venture outdoors. Parasites can deprive your pet of essential nutrients and cause digestive upset. Some can also be transmissible to other animals and humans. Our veterinarians will talk with you about your pet’s risk level for parasitism and set up a schedule for deworming that is tailored to your pet’s needs.
One aspect of responsible pet ownership is having your pet spayed or neutered. Not only are you helping to control pet overpopulation, but spaying and neutering can also help eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of developing certain health and behaviour issues.
Dog and Cat Microchipping (Anytime)
Having your pet microchipped is highly recommended for a multitude of reasons, such as if your dog happened to break free from their collar or if your cat slipped out the front door. If found, a permanent form of identification for your pet will help ensure they make their way back to you. We can complete a microchip service at any time. However, it is most common to do this during the spay or neutering procedure.
It is important to take your pet in for their annual exam to be prescribed a flea and tick prevention medication to protect them from dangerous parasites. It is especially important from the spring to fall season and for pets who travel often. Call us to discuss the importance of year-round parasite prevention.
Nutritional Recommendations for Kittens and Puppies
So you’ve got a new puppy or kitten! Now you need to know the best way to feed them. When it comes to keeping brand new puppies or kittens on a healthy diet, there are a few things that are good to know.
Growing kittens should be fed a kitten-specific diet or an ‘all life stages’ formula until one year of age. (These diets can be found at vet clinics or in pet stores.) For puppies, diet recommendations can vary depending on size. Growing small and medium breed puppies should be fed a puppy or ‘all life stages’ formula until one year of age. Large and giant breed puppies should be fed a diet specifically designed for large breed puppies until 12-18 months of age.
It’s ideal if these products intended for your new furry friend have passed AAFCO (short for Association of American Feed Control Officials) feeding trials rather than just being "formulated to meet" the nutrient profiles for growth. This information can be found on the product label.
Throughout your puppy’s or kitten’s growth, it's important to keep them lean to reduce risks for health problems and ensure a good length and quality of life. Spaying or neutering your pet reduces their calorie requirements so it's important to reduce the amount of food intake they are getting a day to reduce the risks for obesity. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our team to receive diet calculations for your pet.
Puppy Socialization Classes & Cat Training (<12-18 months)
As a puppy or kitten, it is a great opportunity for you to teach your pet healthy habits to maintain as they grow older. Whether it’s puppy socialization classes or feline enrichment games, our team can provide you with different techniques and options for your pet’s behaviour and lifestyle.
Pet Health Insurance and/or Veterinary Savings Account
The investment of a pet is always something to be considered even before adding a new member to your family. In addition to ongoing preventative care and annual check-ups, we encourage our clients to be prepared for any unexpected emergencies that may happen. We recommend looking into health insurance options, such as Trupanion, or opening a ‘Veterinary Savings Account’ and contributing some money each month. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything your pet may need in the future without the additional stress!
At Eagle Rise Animal Hospital, we are here to help you feel confident as a new pet owner! Our compassionate and experienced team of veterinary professionals can answer any questions you may have, as well as provide the necessary information you didn’t know you needed. We will assess the health of your pet and provide recommended treatments. From their early days to their golden years, we are here for all of your pet needs.
You can count on us to provide superior care and excellent service every single time you walk through our doors. Call 250-590-8445 to schedule an appointment and ensure your pet gets the proper care to live a long and healthy life as your right-hand companion.