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Chris' Pet Tips

Puppies and Kittens        
Your new pet
First vet visit



Bones and fat


Electrical cords




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Get a good start



Ear cleaning

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Pet First Aid
Being prepared
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Not breathing
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What to bring

Food and water

Where to stay






pups and kits

The first six months of life can be one of the best times in a petís life, but it requires some patience and special care from pet owners.


your new pet

Before bringing home your new pet, be sure you allow him enough time with his mom and his littermates to be healthy and well socialized. Your new pet should not leave his family until he is  somewhere between 10 and 16 weeks for kittens and 7 to 10 weeks for puppies.  Once you get him home, and have picked up the litter, collar, leash, pet bed, and everything else you need, you can begin your new life with your pet!


to the vet

The first thing you should do with your new kitten or puppy is make an appointment to see a veterinarian. Babies have weaker immune systems and are more vulnerable to various sicknesses and conditions. Your veterinarian will record your petís weight, perform a physical exam, and possibly do a fecal exam or a blood test, in order to rule out parasites or other potential problems. There are many potential problems, that can be effectively treated if they are caught when animals are young, so seeing a veterinarian early is vital.

Your new little friend needs to be immunized. In the first few weeks of life, you new pet is immune to many diseases because of the antibodies he received from his mother's milk. After weaning, however, he needs to receive a series of vaccines in order to develop immunity on his own. Kitten vaccines are generally a "combination" vaccine for feline distemper and respiratory illness, and can also include feline leukemia. Puppies receive distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, para influenza, parvovirus, and sometimes bordetella. If youíve adopted your puppy or kitten from a humane society or a reputable breeder, he has probably already had his first vaccinations. He needs to continue to be vaccinated every three to four weeks, however, until he is five or six months old and has received his rabies vaccine.  Your veterinarian can discuss with you how often he will need booster shots after this initial time. Remember, your pet needs a visit to the vet every year, not just when he is ill. Practice preventative medicine for the long, healthy life of your pet!


kitten and puppy proofing your home

Your new addition to your family needs a safe environment to live and play in. If you have children, you know that toddlers are  not very stable on their feet, will put EVERY thing in their mouths, and will get into just about everything. Your puppy or kitten is the same way. There are precautions you can take:

  • Remove everything in sight that is small enough to be chewed or swallowed.  Almost any object can choke animals if swallowed, or they could severely damage the digestive system.
  • Block off stairs and ledges with a baby gate. Puppies and kittens can jump or climb surprisingly high, so use a tall gate.
  • Keep poisons  and dangerous materials, such as cleaning solutions, antifreeze, and medications, in a locked cabinet or in a room your pet can't get to.  Donít trust an unlocked cabinet near the ground. Curious kittens and pups have been known to open doors.
  • Examine your house and furniture carefully for small holes or gaps and anywhere else a small animal could squeeze into and get stuck. Kittens particularly, can squeeze into holes underneath box springs and chairs.
  •  Keep the toilet lid shut to ward off problems such as falling in and drowning or ingesting poisonous automatic toilet bowl cleaners
  • Watch out for heavy objects placed on unstable bases, such as an iron on an ironing board. 
  • Pups and kittens chew. Cover electric cords with rugs or plastic cord guards.
  • The attractive, sweet smelling green pool of antifreeze on the driveway is an often deadly drink for dogs and cats. Even a small taste by a pet is enough to poison it. 
  • Some plants may be poisonous to your pet. Azalea, daffodil, rhododendron, oleander, mistletoe, hydrangea, morning glory, dieffenbachia, sago palm, Easter lily, and yew plants can all be harmful or even fatal to animals.
  • Puppies and kittens need a safe place to stay they canít be supervised. You can confine them to a crate or make one room of the house their place  when youíre gone. It should include a soft, warm place to sleep, toys, food, water, and it should be regularly examined for all the above hazards.


Puppies and kittens develop at an amazing rate, and they need a lot of calories and fat, protein, and vitamins to grow properly. As soon as they stop drinking their mothers milk, puppies and kittens require about twice the energy of an adult dog of the same size. As they grow this need gradually decreased until they are adults.

Because of these needs, you're your pet should be fed a high quality puppy or kitten food. You don't want to feed a "maintenance" or "adult" diet because they don't have enough fat or protein for a growing pet. Start by putting out the amount of food recommended by the manufacturer. Watch you're pet's weight. If he seems to be getting thin, feed him more. Most puppies and kittens wonít become overweight during their first six months because they are growing too fast. Starting at about 9 months,  you should start mixing the puppy or kitten food with an "adult" or "maintenance" food.