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Must Know New Pet Owner Information

Congratulations on becoming a first-time pet owner! Along with the excitement and happiness that a new pet brings into the home, a new pet also comes with a huge responsibility. Whether you recently got a new puppy/kitten or adopted a pet in-need of their forever home, Companion Animal Hospital is here to help you navigate your experience as a dog or cat owner. On this page, you will find everything you need to know to keep your new pet happy, healthy and, most importantly, safe!

Pet Services Your New Pet Will Require in the First 12 Months

Veterinary Exam (First Appointment, Ongoing)

Not only do we want to meet your furry family member, but it’s also important that they get to know us too! During an examination, we spend the time getting to know you, your pet and their lifestyle. In addition, we will complete a head to tail assessment to ensure your pet is healthy. This is also a great time to ask us any questions you may have.

Puppy Vaccinations and Kitten Vaccinations (Week 8, Week 12, Week 16)

Getting your pet started on a proper vaccination program early will help keep them healthy for life. As the immunity their mother provided them starts to wane, it is important to time the vaccines properly so their own immune system is prepared to protect them from exposure to diseases.

Dog Vaccinations and Cat Vaccinations (Every 1-3 Years)

Vaccines help protect against common infectious diseases seen in cats and dogs. They stimulate the body’s immune system to attack and ‘remember’ the infectious organism so your pet can fight against the infection again in the future (if necessary). Without vaccines, many cats will become seriously ill due to a virus in their body that they are unable to fight off on their own effectively. The use of vaccines has prevented death and diseases in millions of pets. Vaccines also protect people from diseases, such as rabies, that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

Dog Deworming and Cat Deworming (Week 2 up to 6 months)

Deworming is an important part of your pet’s preventative health care program. Intestinal parasites can occur in both cats and dogs, especially when they venture outdoors. Parasites can deprive your pet of essential nutrients and cause digestive upset. Some can also be transmissible to other animals and humans. Our veterinarians will talk with you about your pet’s risk level for parasitism and set up a schedule for deworming that is tailored to your pet’s needs.

Dog Spaying & Neutering and Cat Spaying & Neutering (Around 6 months)

One aspect of responsible pet ownership is having your pet spayed or neutered. Not only are you helping to control pet overpopulation, but spaying and neutering can also help eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of developing certain health and behaviour issues.

Dog Microchipping and Cat Microchipping (Anytime)

Having your pet microchipped is highly recommended for a multitude of reasons, such as if your dog happened to break free from their collar or if your cat slipped out the front door. If found, a permanent form of identification for your pet will help ensure they make their way back to you. We can complete a microchip service at any time. However, it is most common to do this during the spay or neutering procedure.

Dog Flea & Tick Prevention and Cat Flea Control (Year-round)

It is important to take your pet in for their annual exam to be prescribed a flea and tick prevention medication to protect them from dangerous parasites. It is especially important from the spring to fall season and for pets who travel often. Call us to discuss the importance of year-round parasite prevention.

Dog Diet and Cat Diet (Anytime)

Although your pet may be more interested in what you are eating, cats and dogs have specific dietary needs based on their age, lifestyle and current state of health. Our veterinarians provide nutrition advice to ensure your pet is properly nourished.

Puppy Socialization Classes & Cat Training (<12-18 months)

As a puppy or kitten, it is a great opportunity for you to teach your pet healthy habits to maintain as they grow older. Whether it’s puppy socialization classes or feline enrichment games, our team can provide you with different techniques and options for your pet’s behaviour and lifestyle.

Pet Health Insurance and/or Veterinary Savings Account

The investment of a pet is always something to be considered even before adding a new member to your family. In addition to ongoing preventative care and annual check-ups, we encourage our clients to be prepared for any unexpected emergencies that may happen. We recommend looking into health insurance options, such as Trupanion, or opening a ‘Veterinary Savings Account’ and contributing some money each month. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything your pet may need in the future without the additional stress!

What to Expect On Your First and Future Appointments

At Companion Animal Hospital, we are here to help you feel confident as a new pet owner! Our compassionate and experienced team of veterinary professionals can answer any questions you may have, as well as provide the necessary information you didn’t know you needed. We will assess the health of your pet and provide recommended treatments. From their early days to their golden years, we are here for all of your pet needs.

You can count on us to provide superior care and excellent service every single time you walk through our doors. Call 902-434-3111 to schedule an appointment and ensure your pet gets the proper care to live a long and healthy life as your right-hand companion.

 

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How to make medication request hassle-free!

Getting your requests to your veterinarian can be quite a process, especially when you are uncertain about the necessary information we need to fulfill the request. Let’s take this opportunity to review the information required and help you understand why it's helpful in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. What do I need to know before I make a prescription request?   There are 5 important pieces of information you'll need to have ready to relay to your veterinary team when requesting a prescription. Medication name Medication concentration Medication dose Medication instructions Quantity you need Let me explain what each one is and why we need it. This information can all be found on your pet's medication label.  Medication Name – This is simple enough; it is the name of your medication, and yes, it is very important. If you call and say you want to refill Fluffy’s eye medication, this won’t help us if they are on 3 different eye medications. Knowing the name of your pet’s medication can be the difference between the correct refill and the wrong refill. Medication Concentration – All medications come in many concentrations, and we want to ensure that your pet gets the correct one to avoid the risk of over- or under-dosing. The concentration is either written as milligrams, mg/mL or a percentage. Pills and tablets can be things like 2.5mg, 10mg, etc. Liquids will be in forms such as 20mg per ml, 200mg/ml, etc., and other medications, such as eye ointments, may say something like 2%. Medication Dose – The dose indicates how much of the medication your pet should be given and how often—for example, 1 tablet every 12 hours or a 1/4″ strip 3 times a day. Medication Instructions – We don't have the exact wording of your label, but we need to know how you are giving the medication currently. This may sound something like I give 1 pill in the morning and 2 pills in the evening or I give 3 units every 12 hours, etc. If what you are giving is different from what is on your medication label, then tell us what you are currently giving and why. It is not recommended to change medication instructions without speaking to your veterinarian.   Quantity You Need – To ensure you have the supply uu need and avoid multiple trips, please be sure to know what amount(s) of your pet's medication(s) you need. This may be given as a number amount, such as 30 pills or the length of time the medication needs to last,  such as 30 days worth. If you tell us 1 bottle, it doesn't necessarily help us as many medications come in multiple-sized bottles. TIP: Create a folder in your phone’s photo album called Medications, take pictures of your pet’s medication labels, and place them in there for quick access!   Keep in mind that your veterinarian pharmacy, like all other pharmacies, will need time to fill your medication. We kindly ask that you give us 24-48 hours' notice for filling medications as our veterinary staff are very busy and may not always have time to fill medications same-day. TIP: If you are like me and have trouble remembering to get medications refilled on time until you use the last one, there's an APP for that!   If it's a regular medication - there is an app called medisafe that lets you track medications and can be used for pet medications as well. You can set custom notifications to remind you when to refill your medication, such as when you have 5 pills left. If the medication is your pet’s flea and tick medication, check out the app "Flea & Tick"  (iPhone) (Android). This app allows you to track when you last gave your pet their last dose and upload a photo of your medication so you always have what it is at your fingertips. Lastly, look for things your clinic may have, such as QR codes on your medication bottles to help remind you to refill when you run low or website pages like ours (Pharmacy Requests) to make it easier for you to request your medication. Stayed tuned for Part 2.   Written by: Ashely G, VT

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