Nothing brings joy to a household like the introduction of a new puppy or kitten. The playful antics of these little guys secure them in our hearts immediately and set the stage for a lifelong love of the new family member.
Always remember that taking care of a new puppy or kitten’s medical needs is vitally important. Just like with babies and toddlers, kittens and puppies are prone to a variety of problems to which adult pets are less susceptible.
Since puppies and kittens have immature immune systems they are much more susceptible to several potentially life-threatening diseases (such as parvovirus in dogs and distemper virus in dogs and cats). Because their immune systems are developing in the early months of their lives, they need a series of vaccinations to help build up their immune systems until their immune systems are mature.
Kittens and puppies are more prone to many intestinal parasites than are older cats and dogs. Testing and treating a new puppy or kitten for these parasites will not only help the new pet thrive, but can also help keep you and your family safe as well. It is also important to begin defending your new family member against fleas and ticks and heartworm disease as early as possible. It takes six months after the initial exposure to the heartworm organism for heartworm disease to be able to be detected, so preventing it from the start is far better than trying to treat the disease itself. Don’t forget that cats can get heartworm disease too.