Just like people, diseases can affect your pet’s health, quality of life and longevity.  Unfortunately our pets can’t tell us what symptoms they are experiencing. Sometimes they don’t even show us that they are not feeling well. Our pets age at a different rate than we do. That is why we recommend preventive wellness care such as bi-annual exams and routine bloodwork that can provide important information about the overall health of your pet.  Here you will find general information about caring for your pet.  Visit Lifelearn Client Education Library page for more topics. As always, please call the clinic with specific questions about your pet’s health.  

BEFORE YOU GET A NEW PUPPY

You are finally ready to get a puppy  and start looking for the cutest one out there to bring home. STOP!!!!!  Before you start looking at animal shelters and pet stores, think about what your lifestyle currently is. Too many times people bring home a new puppy without thinking about what will be required of themselves and often get frustrated at the animal because “it isn’t what I wanted in a dog”.  Unrealistic expectations can set any excited pet parent and pet up for failure. So before you start searching for that cute little puppy, set realistic expectations of yourself so that both you and your new puppy are successful.

Questions to ask yourself before getting a puppy or kitten:

How active of a dog do I want?  When looking of a dog, consider your activity level and if you are wanting your dog to be as active as you.
How big of a dog do I want?  That cute little puppy may grow bigger than you realize.  Research the height and weight of the adult dog you are interested in. If you live in an apartment make sure that you familiarize yourself with what your apartment complex breed and weight limits are.
How much time am I willing/able to invest in training?  Answering this question truthfully can help alleviate many common behavior problems. If you honestly don’t have the available time to train your dog, then reconsider if now is the best time to welcome a new family member to house. ia
Can I afford the cost of a dog?  We don’t necessarily think about the cost beyond food, toys, and leashes for our pet.  Call local animal hospitals in the area for pricing on routine vaccinations, spay or neuter, exam fees to get a better understanding of what the first year will cost.
How will the puppy adjust to other pets in the house?  How will the other pets adjust to the new pet?  Not all pets will get along with each other, some pets may not be tolerable of a new member of the family.  It is always recommended to introduce pets under close supervision.

Although kittens will have different requirements than puppies, the same type of questions can be asked before getting a new kitten.  It is important to take your time when considering adding a new family member. With lots of love and thoughtfulness, welcoming a new pet into the house will be exciting for everyone.

For more information about puppy and kitten care, please visit our puppy or kitten page.

Adult Dogs and Cats

While some pets seem to never outgrow their puppy/kitten playful behavior, adult pets will have different medical and care needs.  The type of food, the amount of food, how frequently they go potty are just some of the changes you may notice when your pet becomes an adult.  In general, all adult pets should visit the veterinarian two times a year for preventive care check-ups. Routine examinations and diagnostic testing will allow the veterinarian to monitor your pet’s overall health.

Once your pet reaches the age of seven, he/she is consider a senior pet.  You may start to notice that your pet is less active than before or that they seem to have some difficulty getting up and down stairs. In general, after the age of seven is when you may to start to notice more health concerns with your pet. Routine diagnostic testing should be done, at least, on annual basis. Your pet may need to come in for more frequent exams by the veterinarian.  Early detection of many conditions can make an impact on the overall health of your pet.

With routine exams, vaccinations and diagnostic testing, our goal is to help keep your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible.  Unfortunately,  there will be times that your pet will need to come in for an illness visit.  When your pet is not feeling well, you should schedule an appointment to see the veterinarian.  If you have questions about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, call the clinic. It may be tempting to give over the counter human medications to your pet to help treat the symptoms your pet is experiencing but don’t. Many human medications can be toxic to your pet.  Human medications should only be given under the direction of the veterinarian.
For more information about basic care please visit our Basic Care for Dogs and Cats page.
If you are unsure of which breed might be a good fit for your family, visit Purina’s Cat Breed or Dog Breed selector for more information about breeds.  The information provide on Purina’s website are just recommendations for breeds that might be suitable for your lifestyle.