If you’ve brought a new puppy or kitten into your life, then congratulations! Blue Ridge Animal Hospital is committed to helping everyone in our community get the most out of that special bond we share with pets.
So whether you’re a first time pet owner or are simply adding one more to the family menagerie, our veterinarians are here with the individualized wellness care your new canine or feline friend needs to live life to the fullest—plus expert support to help you conquer the rewarding challenges of pet ownership.
Your Pet’s First Appointment
We firmly believe in custom-tailored health care for all pets, and for us this all starts with your puppy or kitten’s first wellness visit. This appointment is absolutely crucial. It is here that we’ll start forming a preventive care plan that will help establish your dog or cat’s good health for life.
Here’s what to expect during your puppy or kitten’s first wellness visit:
- Please bring any existing vaccination/medical history and ownership records to your first visit. If none exist, as much known history as you can provide will help your veterinarian determine the most appropriate preventive care.
- Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough nose-to-tail examination, checking all major areas of the body including your pet’s teeth.
- If there is evidence of an underlying health condition, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic work such as blood testing or digital radiography to pinpoint the issue.
- Once we have a clear picture of your pet’s baseline health, lifestyle, and living conditions, your veterinarian will begin to put together an individualized vaccination schedule to ensure your pet is immunized against preventable illnesses. We will also recommend flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives as appropriate.
Caring for Your Puppy or Kitten at Home
Annual preventive care visits are very important to your pet’s lifelong wellness, but the care he or she receives at home will be an even greater factor in determining longevity and happiness. Your veterinarian will make unique recommendations for ideal daily care to help your young pet grow up strong and healthy. This includes everything from feeding times, portion control, treats, and toys to exercise schedule, living environment, housebreaking, and essential grooming.
Strong Nutrition Is Key
As a practice, we strongly emphasize the importance of a healthy diet for all kittens and puppies. Pet nutrition is an all-too-often overlooked building block of your animal’s total wellbeing, and our veterinarians will be more than happy to help you choose the best food to fit your pet’s size, breed, activity level, and overall health. We typically recommend dry food for puppies and wet food for kittens.
We look forward to meeting your new friend! If you are planning your first visit to Blue Ridge Animal Hospital, please take a moment to check our new clients page for useful information. If you would like to schedule an appointment or ask additional questions about caring for your puppy or kitten, please give us a call.