Caring for your pet’s puppies and kittens

Puppies

Vaccinations

Puppies should be vaccinated against: canine distemper, canine parvovirus, hepatitis and Leptospirosis.

An initial course of vaccinations for puppies comprises of two injections two to four weeks apart.

The first of these is usually given when the pup is 8 weeks old and the last after 10 weeks old.

Vaccinations thereafter are required annually, and will include a through health check.

puppies
Parasite Control

Ticks, fleas, worms, skinlice and mites can be a particular problem for pups and there are some infections that pups can pass on to the people at home, so we strongly encourage regular and thorough parasite control. Parasite control may be formulated according to specific needs and circumstances but in broad terms our advice would be to treat all pups with a monthly dose of Advocate to eradicate and prevent fleas, lice, mites, hookworm, roundworm, threadworm and especially lingworm. In addition to monthly Advocate treatments we would also advise administering a dose of tapeworm treatment every six months.

Of particular concern at the moment is lungworm. please see our section on this for more information.

Socialisation

Every year many dogs are euthanased or rehomed because of behavioural problems which may have been avoided if the pup had been given the opportunity to develop social skills while still very young. The experiences the pup has in the first 16 to 20 weeks of their life will lay the foundations for their personalities for the rest of their lives.

socalization

Social skills in dogs, just as in human beings, must be learned and if they are not learned in these crucial first weeks of life (this is called the imprinting period) the pup may never be able to acquire these essential skills. We strongly advise socializing pups as soon as they join your family. How and when you can socilize them depends on where they are in the process of their primary vaccinations. Please discuss this important aspect of caring for your puppy with any of our vets or nurses.

To optimize the development of social skills in pups we strongly advise taking your puppy to training classes, this will allow them to meet other families and puppies of all shapes, ages, and sizes in a fun and rewarding environment for both you and your puppy. These classes will be structured around basic obedience training but the main reason they are there is how to get along with people and other dogs. Training with your puppy will also help build a very close and strong relationship with them. Please contact us if you have any concerns about your puppy.

nutritions
Nutrition

What we feed pups and how fast they grow is incredibly important for pups especially the large and giant breeds. Our vets and nurses are always ready to discuss what to feed pups and how much to feed them

As your pup grows we will arrange regular puppy checks, just like regular health checks for children, to monitor their growth, social development and to answer any questions you may have.

A further benefit of regular puppy checks is that they soon associate visits to the vets with lots of fun, cuddles and treats. this sets their attitude towards visiting the vets for the rest of their lives. A pup who enjoys visiting their vet will grow into an adult who sees visits to us as a great day out. This means that neither you nor your dog will find future visits to our practice stressful and allows our staff to forge strong relationships of trust with all our patients. we also offer a steady stream of tasty treats for visiting pups and dogs to appleal to all the canine foodies out there to win their hearts and minds.

 

Kittens

Vaccinations

The full course of vaccinations for your kitten can start at 9 weeks of age and will protect them from Feline Enteritis, Cat Flu anf Geline Leukaemia.

The full course of vaccinations consisis of two injections with a gap of 3-4 weeks in-between each one.

We then recommend a booster vaccination once a year for the rest of their life.

 

Parasite Control

Unfortunately your kitten may bring a few unwanted additions into your home and treatment for fleas and worms is very important. We recommend monthly treatment for fleas and worm treatment every three months. There are also monthly treatments now for ear mite cure and prevention.

 

Neutering

Both male and female cats can be neutered from the age of 4 months. Neutering or castrating a male cat will prevent him from developing all the unwanted characteristics and behaviour of a tom cat. Tom cats’ urine has a very strong and unpleasant odour which is very difficult to get rid of. They will also wander much greater distances in search of love and adventure and may consequently get themselves into dangerous situations, such as busy roads and cat fights. Many unneutered male cats will be seen at the surgery with infected bite wounds. Neutering your male cat will also ensure he cannot father any unwanted kittens.

All the cats in your local area will have established territories as determined by themselves with little regard for our gardens and fences. This means that another cat very likely already considers your garden to be part of their terriorty. Once your kitten ventures into your garden they will have to stake their claim for ownership of this territory and this may lead to unavoidable arguments with another cat. By neutering your cat they will likely only get into arguments to maintain their ownership of your garden. Un-neutered tom cats are likely to be much more ambitious and will attempt to acquire a much larger territory and are much more likely to get into many more fights than neutered cats.

un-neutered cats are also less likely to “back down” during a fight and thus are more likely to subtain more frequent and more severe injuries.

Neutering or spaying a female cat will of course prevent her from having kittens. Some people would like their cat to have a litter before spaying, we don’t necessary recommend this as it has no health benifits at all and only adds to the number of kittens that need a good home, so please think carefully!

 

Nutrition

kittens should be fed several meals a day of a small quantity. In the wild they would catch and eat up to 20 mice, so they are designed to eat little and often.

We recommend a mixture of wet and dried food. As cat’s don’t drink as frequently, much of their fluid intake can come in the form of wet food.

It is important to have a water source in a separate area to their feeding area, and a large dog sized bowel to encourage them to drink, and reduce the incidence of cystitis.