Category Archives: New Pets

Caring for Kittens

By Tristan Clark DVM

At Copper Hill Animal Clinic we know that spring and summer is a popular time for families to adopt kittens. If you’re searching to add a little loved one to your home here are some tips for a smooth, healthy transition!

When introducing a kitten to a new home make sure to introduce him or her slowly to other pets you already have and always supervise. Toys are a great idea for them to play with but make sure that they aren’t being eaten too!

Offer a complete cat food that is formulated for kittens. Most kittens are able to transition to at least a wet diet by roughly six weeks of age. If your kitten has not already been fixed, we recommend having them spayed or neutered between four and six months old.

Kittens are easy to potty train−just showing them the litter box is usually enough. However we recommend using regular, non-clumping kitty litter to start with. Some kittens don’t like the feel of clumping litter and can form an aversion to it. Also, when adding another kitten to a household with other felines, consider adding in an extra litter box as well. Ideally, there should be one more litter box than the total number of kittens in the home.

Many kittens are born healthy but others may harbor viruses, bacteria or parasites. It’s recommended that any kitten going to your home be tested for such diseases and given the appropriate treatment by a veterinarian.  Monthly preventatives are also recommended for the prevention of fleas, ticks, ear mites and intestinal worms too. A few recommended preventatives include Revolution, Frontline and Advantage, as well as many others and can be used as early as eight weeks of age.

As always, work with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns in providing a new, safe home for your fuzzy kitten! And if you happen to be looking for an addition for your family we have several wonderful kittens in need of adoption at Copper Hill Animal Clinic in excellent health and well socialized!

Adopting a Shelter Dog

By Tristan Clark, DVM

Adopting a new member of the family from the shelter can be a challenging but rewarding process. Many people are determined to adopt a puppy. Know that the older and bigger a dog is, the less likely someone else will adopt it. Puppies in shelter situations are under incredible physical, emotional and mental stress and many run the risk of growing into an adult with severe temperament issues.

A puppy is a basket of unknowns. You can tell if it’ll be a small or large adult, but you may not be able to predict whether it will weigh 40 pounds or 80. Grooming requirements may vary over time and genetic problems may not be exhibited until adulthood. Adopting an adult dog lets you skip some of these issues, plus most are already housebroken.

Before going to the shelter, research the breeds you’ll consider. Know that many wonderful dogs may be mixed exhibit behaviors of both breeds. If possible, take someone with you who is knowledgeable.

Read the dog’s reaction to you when you make eye contact. A dog that looks away is showing submissive behavior, which can be great for a family dog. If it responds with affection that’s a good sign too. Be alert to aggression as this dog will need careful work.

No matter what type or age of dog you adopt, know that there will be some difficulty and surprises ahead. Many dogs may have a short-term problem, such as an ear/skin/respiratory infection and may already be under treatment at the shelter. It is quite likely you will have to provide some level of training. If you already own other pets, make sure the shelter dog doesn’t have a history of aggression with cats or dogs. If you have young children, choose a dog that has a more laid back personality, one that can handle sudden yells/screams and hair pulling. Consider if this dog will fit in with every member of your household.

Above all, keep in mind the chemistry between you and the dog. Adopting a new animal is an emotional experience but can result in love that lasts a lifetime. And remember, Copper Hill Animal Clinic offers a free first exam for all shelter adopted pets.