Information about what to expect and how to care for your pets during their lifetime. You can print the text from the pdf.
What should I expect my pet to need in its’ first year? As an adult? As a senior ?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding what to expect from veterinary care for your pet. By outlining the different needs at different life stages you can better plan for your pet. This outline gives the ideal recommendations for most pets. The specific needs for your pet may vary. Please discuss details in your pet’s care with your veterinarian so they can help you with any specific situations that may arise.
Puppies / Kittens
• Puppies and Kittens should not leave their mother before 8 weeks of age
• Deworming for intestinal parasites should start at 2 weeks of age and continue every two weeks until 12 weeks of age and then monthly until six months
• Vaccinations should be given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks then boostered at 1 year of age. Additional vaccinations or boosters may be needed based on your pets lifestyle
• All cats both indoors and outdoors should be tested for Feline leukemia virus and Feline Immunodeficiency virus
• Dogs should be on heartworm preventative starting at 8 weeks of age and then tested at one year of age
• A discussion about spaying or neutering should happen as a juvenile. In many cases, prepubescent spay or neuter ~16 weeks of age may be recommended for your pet
• Micro-chipping a puppy or kitten is ideal to facilitate your pets safe return should they get lost
• Puppy or kitten food should continue until one year of age
• Discuss any behavior concerns you have with your pet. Simple changes in lifestyle may be able to avoid behavior problems in the future
• Discuss flea and tick preventatives needed in your area
From a veterinary standpoint, animals are typically considered adults at one year of age.
• Fecal sample should be tested and a deworming protocol should be established based on your pets lifestyle
• Booster vaccinations at one year of age
• A comprehensive wellness exam should be completed yearly unless changes in your pet are noted sooner
• Microchip should be checked and information updated to stay current
• Junior wellness blood work panel should be completed to establish good adult normals for your pet
• Dental care routines should be established
• Your pets ideal body weight should be discussed and determined
From a veterinary standpoint animals are typically considered seniors at 7 years of age. Animals tend to age twice as quickly after their seventh birthday and their health needs change.
• Because they age so much more quickly now, a comprehensive wellness examine should be completed every 6 months
• Senior wellness blood work panel and urine sample completed yearly gives a veterinarian the opportunity to catch underlying disease many times before the animal shows signs of illness. Abnormalities can be addressed keeping your pet from ever becoming clinically ill
• A stool sample should be checked yearly for intestinal parasites. Your pets routine deworming protocol may change at this time
• A thyroid screening may be indicated for your pet at this time
• Dental health needs for your pet may be changing. Dental health may be one of the best preventative health needs your pet has at this age
• Changing to a senior pet food will help with your pets skin/coat and ability to process protein at this age
• Arthritis medications can maintain amazing quality of life for your pet. The sooner you start some of these medications the better they work
• Based on the breed of your pet, certain illnesses may be more common. Many times routine screening can be done for these common ailments
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