INFORMATION FOR NEW PET OWNERS
Before you adopt a pet, it’s important to consider everything your new pet will need to live a long, health, and happy life by your side. Being prepared and having the below items in place will help you and your pet live in harmony.
Proper pet care includes exercise, love, and attention. Remember that your new pet is completely dependent on you for their care and happiness. The more care and kindness you show your pet the more love and kindness you will get back from them.
Proper Veterinary Care
- Schedule yearly wellness checks and vaccinations
- Follow all instructions for medications
- Keep your vet’s regular and emergency phone numbers programmed into your phone in case of emergencies
A Place to Eat & Drink
- Buy rustproof dishes
- Clean dishes twice a day
- Keep dishes accessible to pets, not household traffic
- Schedule mealtimes with consistent portions; this minimizes your pet’s anxiety/ encourages housebreaking.
- Check the bag of your feed for guidance on portions according to age/weight.
- Keep fresh water available at all times.
- Use treats in moderation for behavior modification and training.
You’re doing a great job!
Why should I keep a collar and ID tags on my pet?
If the shelter finds a pet with a collar and identification on it, our Front Desk Ambassador makes every effort to contact the owner and tell them that their pet is at our shelter. The less time your pet spends at the shelter, the less it will cost you to redeem it and the faster you will be reunited. Micro-chipping is permanent and a great addition to I.D. tags. Most shelters and veterinary clinics will check for micro-chips in animals. The number is entered into a national database which helps to “match-up” owners with their pets.
Pets Need Scheduled Vet Visits
Build a relationship with your vet. Be prepared for when an illness or mishap occurs. Prevention is the best course of action! Keep your pets up to date on vaccinations and flea / tick prevention. Puppy or kitty proof your home and yard.
Pet Insurance and Guardianship
Proper pet care can be expensive.
Ask your vet about
Savings Account for your pet.
When life challenges you with change,
Make sure you have appointed a
Keep Pets Out of Shelters
Keep them in the loving arms of a Family
Additional Pet Care Resources
Carriers, Collars and Care
- Use a Carrier to transport pets
- Place Collars and proper ID tags on all pets
- Maintain a variety of Toys
- Buy Grooming Tools and practice regular grooming at home or with a professional
- Buy a First Aid Kit and learn what is toxic to your pet
CARING FOR CATS
- Spaying or neutering may begin at 2 months, but kittens must weigh at least 2 pounds as mating age begins at 12 months.
A Place to Sleep
- Older cats independently choose where they sleep. Kittens may feel more secure in their own bed.
- Sample bed: Cardboard box on the ground floor, lined with an old towel or clothing. Neo- Kittens will need a hot water bottle or a small heating pad. The bed must be long enough for the cat to stretch out. Wash and/or change bedding frequently.
- Make sure the litter pan is easily accessible and private, in a permanent location.
- Litter pans should be large enough for cat to turn around and dig in.
- Store bought litter comes in many varieties. Cats coming from shelters use non-scented pellets. Make sure to make a gradual change in their litter for a successful transition.
- Litter for kittens should be unscented and non-clumping up to 8 weeks old.
- Cat not using the Litter Box? www.maddiespetprojectnevada.org/litter-box-tips
Vaccines for Cats
The available cat vaccinations are listed below:
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia)
FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)
CARING FOR DOGS
Pediatric spaying or neutering is dependent on the breed of the dog, but can be as early as 2 months old as mating begins at 12 months.
A Place to Sleep
- Dogs like a consistent place to sleep such as a dog bed or a cage that is large enough for them to turn around or stretch.
- Puppies need a place to stretch and grow. Adjust the pet bed size with your puppy’s growth.
- It is important to give your dog plenty of exercise.
- Play time with toys.
- Daily walks is also a good exercise for both the dog and its owner.
- Be sure to be a responsible owner when walking. Always scoop and bag dog feces.
Vaccines for Dogs
The available dog vaccinations are listed below:
- DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvo virus)
How do I deal with fleas?
This is a subject that is open to much debate. The short answer is: ATTACK ON ALL FRONTS AND NEVER GIVE UP! Spray the yard, spray and flea-bomb the house, flea bathe the cat or dog and then use either powders/sprays of one of the new spot-on products (Advantage or Frontline). The powders/sprays need daily application, while the spot-on products are applied monthly. It may take a few months to see good results, but the war can be won. BE DETERMINED!
What is heart worm and how do I treat it?
Heartworm is a parasitic disease of dogs and cats that causes heart failure. The mature worms live in the chambers of the heart and the larvae are in the blood. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is a blood test that your vet can do to see if your pet has heartworm and medicine the vet can prescribe to prevent the pet from getting heartworm. If your pet travels outside the city, it is a good idea to see your vet and get on the preventative medication. Treatment for heartworm disease is costly and can be harmful to the pet so prevention is definitely a better alternative.
What is Lyme Disease and how do I treat it?
Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and causes inflamed joints, fever and systemic illness. It can be costly and difficult to treat. There is a vaccination for dogs that will help prevent this disease and it is recommended any pet owner to ask your vet about the vaccination. Using flea powders/sprays or the spot-on Frontline or Advantix will help kill the ticks.
Why is it important to spay or neuter my pet?
There have been several studies over the years on this subject. They have all found that, even when done at two months of age, spaying and neutering puppies and kittens does not harm them and greatly decreases the pet over-population problem. All animals adopted from the shelter are required by law to be spayed or neutered. Early age neutering and spaying also virtually eliminates mammary (breast) cancer and testicular cancer and will reduce any future prostate problems. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON NOT TO SPAY OR NEUTER!
Can my pet catch diseases from wildlife?
Raccoons, skunks and bats carry rabies. A racoon can carry canine (dog) distemper and have an intestinal parasitic worm that causes severe disease if it infects humans. Do not handle a raccoon or touch its feces. Vaccinate your pet for distemper and rabies and keep them on a leash when in areas where raccoons are living. Additionally, pigeon feces can be a source of fungal spores which can cause diseases in humans and animals.
Why shouldn’t I declaw my cat?
Cats use their claws to exercise, play, stretch, climb, hunt and mark their territory. Although your cat might use your hands or furniture for these activities, declawing in NOT the answer. Declawing is a painful and difficult operation. It is the same as removing the first joint on all of your fingers. It impairs the cat’s balance and causes weakness from muscular disuse. Declawed cats are defenseless. Cats need their claws for protection. You may know that your indoor cat will never have to climb a tree in order to escape the neighbor’s dog, but your cat doesn’t know it. Declawing makes a cat feel insecure and defenseless. It is radical to cut off so many parts of the body to prevent such a simple behavior problem.
In addition, declawing destroys one of the cat’s most enjoyable activities – climbing. It is natural for cats to scratch. It is perfectly normal feline behavior. It is unfair and inhumane to punish a cat for acting like a cat. The stress resulting from being declawed creates more problems than it allegedly solves. Some declawed cats become more nervous biters; others are known to become even more destructive to furniture than before the operation, and many cats stop using the litter box.
There are alternatives to declawing. Exercise and play with your cat regularly. Give him a scratching post and teach him to use it. See the sheet on “Scratching Furniture” enclosed in your adoption packet.
Temporarily confine your cat to a small area where he does not have access to your furniture. A few days in a room with a litter box, food, water and of course a scratching post is much more humane than declawing.
Trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis. The curved tip of the claw is the part that hooks into fabric, rugs, etc., and causes the most damage. If your cat is scratching you in play, see the sheet on “Biting and Scratching” enclosed in your adoption packet.