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Welcoming a new Puppy or Kitten

Knowledgebase

The first 2 months in the new home

Congratulations! Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know about puppies and kittens!  There are a few things that you need to know, in order to give your puppy the best start to life in your home. You can have a read over our essentials list here too!

Medical Essentials

Health Checks

We recommend that you book your puppy or kitten in for a vet check within 3 days of acquisition, to ensure that your new pet is fit and well. Responsible breeders will often insist on a vet check within a few days of rehoming as a part of their “health guarantee”. Your puppy or kitten will receive a full health check by a veterinarian when they are presented for the initial vet check, and also at each vaccination.
We recommend vaccinating at the following ages
6-8 weeks old (this is often given whilst in the care of the breeder or rescue organisation).
11-12 weeks old
16 weeks old
When you visit the vet clinic keep your pet in your arms or in a carrier until you enter the consult room.
*Do not allow your pet into public places until your veterinarian advises that it is safe to do so.

Parasite Prevention

Worms and fleas can cause significant illness in puppies and kittens, large infestations have been known to kill young animals. As such, we recommend that you routinely treat the following parasites:

  • Intestinal worms: every 2 weeks, and then switch to monthly treatments when your pet is over 12 weeks old
  • Fleas: monthly, ensuring the product is appropriate for the puppy or kittens age
  • Heartworm (for dogs only): monthly, or via a long-acting treatment eg Proheart

It is extremely important that you weigh your pet prior to every treatment, and give a dose that is appropriate for their current weight.

If you have any questions about what to use… when and how, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly nursing staff will happily provide advice over the phone, over the counter, or you can request a complimentary nurse health check for more detailed discussion, weight check and assistance with the administration of any products purchased on the day.

Health issues

Please do not hesitate to seek veterinary attention for your puppy or kitten if they are acting flat or unwell in any way. Young animals can deteriorate quickly.
Click here for more information on what to do in an emergency.

Physical and mental growth

Diet

In the first week at home, feed your new pet the same diet it was fed by the breeder or rescue organisation. This should reduce the chance of a stomach upset from a drastic diet change. Once your puppy or kitten has settled into the new environment, consider changing the diet, and do so via a slow transition over a week or so.

Growing animals, need a food with increased amounts of energy, protein and balanced nutrients compared to adults. We recommend that you feed a balanced diet, specially formulated for puppies or kittens to ensure they grow to their full potential and avoid any diet-related health issues.
In Australia, all pet foods must clearly state if they are a complete diet for pets, or a supplement, there are alot of different brands and types of food on the market, and it can get overwhelming. We can help you choose the best option ensure proper bone and muscle growth and a complete diet.

Foods to avoid:

  • bones (raw and cooked)
  • raw meats, particularly chicken.
  • home cooked diets, unless the diet was formulated by a veterinary nutritionist.
  • hard chews & treats

Identification

The breeder or rescue organisation should provide you with a microchip certificate and a partially completed transfer of ownership form. It is important that you complete your sections of the form and return it to the relevant microchip database as soon as possible. It can take weeks for the form to be processed!
Please contact our clinic if you have any questions about microchips and the transfer process.
In addition to the microchip, your puppy should wear some sort of external, waterproof identification that clearly displays your phone number.

Other things to organise early on!

Puppy Preschool Classes

It is extremely important that you give your puppy a range of positive, and varied, social experiences before they are over 4 months old, which is the approximate time that their “socialisation period” ends. Puppy Preschool Classes at Newtown Veterinary Clinic are held regularly, and we can only offer a limited number of places in each class, so we recommend that you book early, call us as soon as possible to secure your puppy a spot.

Pet Insurance

We strongly recommend that you consider pet insurance and encourage you to do your own research on which policy is best for your pet and financial situation. Standard inclusions vary from policy to policy, and prices vary depending on the pet’s breed and age. Some insurance companies will allow you to sign up online, or over the phone. Most require a health check, performed by a veterinarian, prior to providing comprehensive cover.

Vaccination

Our pets need vaccinations to protect them from diseases, some preventable diseases are fatal so vaccinations are important! We recommend vaccinating at the following ages
6-8 weeks old (this is often given whilst in the care of the breeder or rescue organisation).
11-12 weeks old
16 weeks old
First adult vaccination is due 1 year after completion of the puppy vaccination course.

Desexing

Desexing a pet is a common surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. The most common age to desex your pet is between 4 and 6 months, our vets are always happy to discuss the best time and option with you.

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