Puppy & Kitten Info

So I have a new puppy….

When do they need vaccines?

Puppies need their first vet visit and round of vaccinations at 6 weeks of age. We will do a full physical exam, administer their vaccinations, deworm them, and can answer any puppy care questions! Their next visit is at 8 weeks, at 12 weeks, and at 1 year old. See our handy dandy chart below for a quick reference!

PuppyVxSchedule

My breeder/shelter gave my puppy some vaccinations already. Now what?

That’s great that your puppy already has a head start! Please bring your vaccination records so we can verify them and make sure we know exactly what your puppy needs next. Then we will continue with their schedule according to their age.

What are “optional vaccines”? How do I know which ones my puppy needs?

Some vaccinations are considered optional,

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*Image courtesy of Pexels.com

meaning that they are important in animals that are at-risk for the disease that the vaccine is specific to, but not all dogs necessarily need them. We have outlined our optional canine vaccines below:

  • Bordetella vaccine aka “Kennel Cough”: This vaccine is optional but very commonly used. This vaccine is very important in any dog that has any contact with other dogs. Some boarding kennels and groomers require this vaccine due to the high risk of kennel cough in places where dogs meet. It is safe for any dog to receive this vaccination but if you are not sure whether your dog needs it or not, feel free to ask!
    • For example: groomers, boarding, pet sitters, dog parks, stray animals
  • Rattlesnake vaccine: This vaccine is used as a preventative in at-risk pets and as a treatment. We recommend this vaccine in any dog that will spend a lot of time outside. This is especially important in hunting animals! We also administer this vaccine in pets that have been bitten by a snake.

What kind of food should I feed my puppy?

The most important thing to remember with puppy nutrition is that they need a well-balanced, puppy-specific diet. Their nutritional needs are very different from that of a cat or adult dog. With that being said, everyone knows that it can be difficult to keep puppies from eating other pet’s food. If your puppy accidentally eats all the cat’s food don’t panic! This happens all the time. It just isn’t suggested for long term use. Our doctors recommend

Hills
*Image courtesy of Petco.com

Hill’s Puppy Food for your puppy. It provides science-proven balanced nutrition and is puppy-approved tasty. We most frequently recommend that your puppy receive small-breed or large-breed specific food because their metabolic requirements are different based on breed. We carry most Hill’s dog foods in our clinic so feel free to pick up a bag during your next visit! Other dog food brands that are comparable in nutritional quality are Purina and Royal Canin brands. At the end of the day, it is best if your puppy receives a well-balanced commercial puppy-specific dog food. Check out our online store for all your dog food needs!

Wet food or dry food? Wet food is yummier and keeps them well-hydrated but at the end of the day dry food is great too. If the budget is a key player, we suggest using dry food and free access to water with some wet food for occasionally treats.

I want to get my puppy spayed/neutered. At what age should this be done?

Our doctors suggest that all pets be spayed or neutered at 5-6 months of age. This is before they reach sexual maturity, preventing any surprise pregnancies and hugely minimizing the risk of cancer later in life. Although this is what we recommend, animals can be spayed or neutered at any time past this age, so do not hesitate to schedule an appointment if you want to wait until they are older. If you have other spay/neuter concerns check out our “Common Client Questions” page!

 

I can’t wait to take my puppy to the dog park/groomer/other place! When is it safe for them to be around other dogs?  

We highly recommend keeping your puppy at home until

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*Image courtesy of Pexels.com

they have had their 12-week shots! Diseases such as distemper and parvovirus are extremely  contagious and puppies are the most susceptible to them. Risks such as these are significantly higher for puppies that are not finished with their vaccination schedules.

If you have other dogs in the household, as long as they are up-to-date on their vaccinations, your puppy should be okay. However, be aware that there are lots of outdoor dogs that roam in the Oklahoma country. It is highly recommended that your puppy not spend very much time outside due to the risk of coming into contact with unvaccinated dogs.

My cat hates the new puppy. How do I fix that?

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*Image courtesy of Pexels.com

Honestly time is your best friend here. Make sure that your cat has access to a calm, puppy-free hiding spot such as a bedroom so they can get away from all the puppy energy when they want. Then a slow introduction is best. Initially, your cat will probably be standoffish when the puppy wants to play or get near their food, but over time they will get to know each other and things will settle down.

I want to train my puppy to sit/stay/etc. Do you have a local trainer that you recommend?

There are a lot of great trainers in our area! We highly recommend Tulsa Dog Training Club. They are in Tulsa and welcome all ages and breeds! The are American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned and teach more advanced topics such as nosework and agility! Find their contact info below:

TulsaDogTrainingClub

We also recommend the training classes at your local Petsmart & Petco. These have the advantage of occurring in multiple locations multiple times a week. They have group training, individual training, obedience training, tricks, and much more! Please find their contact info below:

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So I have a new kitten…

When do they need vaccines? 

Kittens need their first vet visit and round of vaccinations at 6 weeks of age. We will do a full physical exam, administer their vaccinations, deworm them, and can answer any kitten care questions! Their next visit is at 8 weeks, at 12 weeks, and at 1 year old. See our handy dandy chart below for a quick reference!

KittenVxSchedule

 

My breeder/shelter already gave my kitten some vaccinations. Now what?

That’s great that your kitten already has a head start! Please bring your vaccination records so we can verify them and make sure we know exactly what your kitten needs next. Then we will continue with their schedule according to their age.

What kind of food should I feed my kitten?

The most important thing to remember with kitten nutrition is that they need a well-balanced, kitten-specific diet. Their nutritional needs are very different from that of adult cat.  Our doctors recommend Hill’s

HillsCatFood
*Image courtesy of Hillspet.com

Kitten Food for your kitten. It provides science-proven balanced nutrition and is kitten-approved tasty. We carry most Hill’s cat foods in our clinic so feel free to pick up a bag during your next visit! Other cat food brands that are comparable in nutritional quality are Purina and Royal Canin brands. At the end of the day, it is best if your kitten receives a well-balanced commercial kitten-specific cat food. Check out our online store for all your cat food needs!

Wet food or dry food? Wet food is yummier and keeps them well-hydrated but at the end of the day dry food is great too. If the budget is a key player, we suggest using dry food and free access to water with some wet food for occasionally treats.

I want to get my kitten spayed/neutered. At what age should this be done?

Our doctors suggest that all pets be spayed or neutered at 5-6 months of age. This is before they reach sexual maturity, preventing any surprise pregnancies and hugely minimizing the risk of cancer later in life. Although this is what we recommend, animals can be spayed or neutered at any time past this age, so do not hesitate to schedule an appointment if you want to wait until they are older. If you have other spay/neuter concerns check out our “Common Client Questions” page!

My other cat(s) don’t like the new kitten! How do I fix that?

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*Image courtesy of Pexels.com

Don’t panic. That is a very common response to new animals in the house. The best thing to do is introduce them slowly. We suggest keeping them in separate rooms and slowly letting them have access to each other. For example, keep the kitten in a bedroom initially and crack the door. This way the kitten and your other cat can touch noses through the door and run away if they need to hide. Then slowly let them into a shared space. Eventually, things will calm down and they will get used to each other.

I already have a cat. Will they share a litter box? 

Once cats are used to each other and they have been introduced, they should learn to share a litterbox. However, it is highly recommended that you have 2 litterboxes if you have 2 cats. If you have more than 2 cats, you should have 1 more litterbox than the number of cats (Ex: If you have 3 cats, you should have 4 litterboxes). Why? This way if one is taken or one cat is territorial of their chosen litterbox, there is always another box they can use. This is the easiest way to avoid spraying wars in your house!

What is declawing? When should it be done? Are there alternatives? 

Declawing is the amputation of the last toe bone that contains the nail. The equivalent in humans would be if you amputated the end of your finger at the last knuckle. It is done to prevent unwanted scratching of furniture and destruction of property however, there are much safer, more humane options to avoid scratching.

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*Image courtesy of Petco.com

Cat’s are trainable, especially at a young age. When a kitten is young is the perfect time to teach them where it is appropriate to scratch and to tolerate nail trims. Scratching posts are a great alternative to declawing. Teaching a kitten that they can scratch a scratching post but not furniture can be quite simple. This in addition to frequent nail trims is a wonderful method of avoiding declawing. Another alternative is called capping (see below). Rubber caps are attached to the nails, dulling them without removing them. That way if they try to scratch furniture, no damage is done.  We can even apply them here in the clinic!

Why bother with alternatives if a declaw is so effective? It is amputation of 4 toes on each front paw. That is a lot to heal. Scratching is a

Softpaws
*Image courtesy of Cattime.com

completely natural habit of cats. It is required to keep their claws sharp and functional.  It is simply an instinct that has kept them effective hunters. We can never predict the future. One day your cat may end up being an indoor-outdoor or outdoor-only pet. Cats need their claws to climb and protect themselves if they are going to be outdoors. Declawing has also shown to affect their behavior. Cats can become less amendable to humans and less social after being declawed. However, if declawing is your option, it is safest if it is done before a year of age.

Don’t see your question or think we missed something? Feel free to contact us with your questions or comments!