Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers!

When is a puppy or kitten old enough to come home with me?

The standard age that a puppy or kitten is able to leave their mother is 6-8 weeks. Before this age, there are many immunities, nutrients and skills that they get from their mother. It is important they have this time together for a healthy start.

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How many vet visits will my puppy or kitten need?

When first taking a new friend home, it is important to follow vaccine protocols. This means at least three visits to the vet during their first few months. These visits should occur at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age, they will receive vaccines and deworming medication, and each time a full physical exam will be performed; this will enable the veterinary health care team to be sure that your puppy or kitten is getting the appropriate treatment. After that, a scheduled appointment for spay or neuter procedures should be arranged, followed by yearly exams for vaccines.

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Is it better to feed my pet dry food or wet food?

The benefits of wet food vs. dry food are often misunderstood by pet owners; one is not better than the other, as both have benefits. Dry food can help with keeping the teeth clean, whereas the added moisture in wet food can help with hydration. Wet food also has no preservatives. Your Veterinary Health Care Team can custom make a food plan, with either wet or dry food, or a combination of both, depending on your pet’s individual nutritional needs.

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How many litter boxes should I have for my cat(s)?

The general rule of thumb is 2 boxes per cat. If you have a multi-story home you you may want to  place a litter box(es) on each floor so that the cat doesn’t have far to travel when the urge arises.  This is especially true for senior cats as traveling up or down stairs could be difficult if they have arthritis.

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How can I exercise my overweight pet?

A great option for cats is hiding some of their food.  Making them search for their food in different areas and heights exercises both their bodies and their brains.  Chasing an object is another fun idea, find out which is their favorite toy and give it a toss. For dogs, increasing the frequency and or intensity of walks is a good start.  As long as your dog doesn’t have any reason to not run, a game of fetch, or anything that involves running around is a good way to lose weight.

Always take things slow at first, if your pet has been overweight for a while they are more likely to have sore, stiff joints.  Sudden increase in exercise could cause pain and avoidance behaviour.

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Why is my cat suddenly urinating outside the litter box?

There are many reasons why your cat may urinate outside of the litter box. If there is a change in the cat’s environment (a recent move, a new person, even a change in type of litter used), it can cause stress and litter box avoidance.  If he or she has a urinary tract problem (infection or crystals) it will cause discomfort when urinating.  A senior cat with arthritis, could find it difficult to get in and out of a litter box, especially if it has high sides.  In any case, consulting your Veterinarian is the best place to start to solve this issue.

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Why is fasting important for some procedures?

Fasting is important for procedures which require the animal be anesthetized, such as spaying or neutering. With anesthetics, there is a risk that the animal may vomit and block the airway making it difficult for your pet to breath. When fasted, there isn’t anything solid in the stomach that can cause this.

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Why do I need to bring my pet back for a recheck once medicine is finished or after a procedure?

A recheck exam with a technician or a veterinarian informs the Veterinary Health Care Team of the progress that you pet is making once treatment has been provided. Recheck after a course of medication enables the vet to be sure that the issue is resolved, or tells them if further treatment is needed. After a medical procedure, it is very important to be sure there is adequate wound healing or to check incision sites. It is in you pet’s best interest to be sure that any issue is completely resolved.

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What could be making my pet itchy?

An itchy pet can be caused by many different things. The primary suspects in this case could be due to food allergies, environmental allergies, or FAD (flea allergy dermatitis). Food allergies can be hard to identify and may take time and effort on the pet parents part to treat. Environmental and Flea allergies are more easily identified and treated. But no matter the situation, a visit to your veterinarian is recommend. Your veterinarian can recommend products to help alleviate your pets discomfort as well as start them on a correct treatment plan.

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How can I best treat my pet for fleas and or ticks?

You can find many home-made remedies on-line that will give you a quick fix by killing the fleas on your pet. These remedies unfortunately do not kill the eggs that will be both on your pet and throughout your home. This means that within a month of application your pet will have fleas again. Products found in pets stores will work, but can also be hazardous to your pets health. We recommend Revolution. Revolution kills both fleas and their eggs both on your pet and in your home. It is a topical, once a month medication that is applied from May to November. Because this product is considered a medication, we do require that we have Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR). If we have never seen your pet, an exam will be required, however if your pet has been to the clinic within the year then we can prescribe it to you.

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