Must Know New Pet Owner Information
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 their forever home, Dartmouth Veterinary 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.
Puppy Vaccinations and Kitten Vaccinations (Week 8, Week 12, Week 16)
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.
Dog Vaccinations and Cat Vaccinations (Every 1-3 Years)
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 Deworming 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.
Dog Spaying & Neutering and Cat Spaying & Neutering (Around 6 months)
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 Microchipping 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.
Dog Flea & Tick Prevention and Cat Flea & Tick Control (Year-round)
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.
Dog Diet and Cat Diet (Anytime)
Although your pet may be more interested in what you are eating, cats and dogs have specific dietary needs based on their age, lifestyle and current state of health. Our veterinarians provide nutrition advice to ensure your pet is properly nourished.
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.
What to Expect On Your First and Future Appointments
At Dartmouth Veterinary 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 902-434-0700 to schedule an appointment and ensure your pet gets the proper care to live a long and healthy life as your right-hand companion.