Getting your young pet used to being handled will help them be more at ease when the time comes to bring them in to the vet, says Dr. Jeff Dand of Cadboro Bay Veterinary Clinic.

Getting your young pet used to being handled will help them be more at ease when the time comes to bring them in to the vet, says Dr. Jeff Dand of Cadboro Bay Veterinary Clinic.

New furry family member? Avoid a ruff start with these pet-purrfect tips

Vet weighs in about starting your puppy or kitten off right

So, you’ve added a new puppy or kitten to the family and you want to give them the best start possible.

What’s on the daily, weekly or monthly checklist to achieve that for your young pet? An age-appropriate diet is critical, as is exercise. But what about training? There are definitely better ways to prepare them for life than simply teaching them basic commands, says Dr. Jeff Dand with Cadboro Bay Veterinary Clinic.

Practice makes perfect

Did you know physically handling your pet is equally important to their development? Things like playing with or touching your pet’s feet, mouth or ears – mimicking what a veterinarian might do in a checkup, or preparing them for teeth brushing – are also good ideas, Dand says. So is socializing them with many different people and other animals, as well as getting them used to riding in a pet carrier when they’re feeling well.

“A lot of people will train their pets how to sit or stay, but might not get them accustomed to travelling in a car, or having their feet touched so they’re comfortable when it’s time to trim their nails,” he suggests.

Make going to the vet a positive experience

If you only bring your cat or dog to your veterinarian for a potential problem, they’re more likely to suffer anxiety over the experience, Dand says. Normalizing a trip to the vet early in their life is good preparation for having regular wellness exams later, and for those times when they need more specific care.

“Make your vet part of the family so the pet is comfortable seeing them in situations when they’re not feeling well,” he says. It also helps having a reward system in place for good behaviour. “So many dogs don’t like going on the weigh scale, but in our clinic, dogs run in and sit right on the scale and wait for a treat.”

Nutrition is important, so here’s some tips on early feeding:

  • Not all foods are created equally, but higher-priced products aren’t necessarily better for your puppy or kitten
  • Many vets undertake ongoing education about nutrition. They can help you separate the substance from the claims and pick the best option for your pet
  • It’s important your pet doesn’t grow too fast or learn unhealthy eating habits. The routines and patterns they develop in that first year become ingrained
  • Usually the ingredients are listed in order by weight and the addition of water or moisture can greatly alter that. Do your research and check with your vet to find whether manufacturers are adding water to boost the weight of proteins, for example.

*****

To learn more, follow Cadboro Bay Veterinary Clinic on Facebook, or book your pet’s appointment at 250-477-9061 or info@cadbayvet.ca.

Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

With local high schoolers unable to have a traditional graduation ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions, Amica Douglas House celebrated the momentous occasion of eight of their dining room servers. (Courtesy Amica Douglas House)
8 Greater Victoria teens don fancy dresses, celebrate grad with seniors

With celebrations nixed, Amica Douglas House hosts event for its serving staff

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read