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Young Pets Need a Good Start

Our staff with a canine patient

Puppies & Kittens

Bringing home a puppy or kitten is such a joy and we know you want to give your new pet a great start. Our goal is to develop a healthy plan for this youngster, and to offer you the best possible care at every stage of your new pet's life.


Baby-proofing your home is an important first step. Most young animals love to chew, so eliminate any hazards from their space and provide them with appropriate chew toys. If your young pet is to be left alone for periods of time, find a clean and dry space that is safe. Most puppies do well in gated areas or crates, while kittens may need to be closed into a room or rooms that have been made safe for them. Remove any accessible houseplants or chemicals from this area to avoid accidental poisoning, and provide fresh water and a warm, dry bed. Remember that a puppy or kitten is a baby. Leaving them alone for long periods of time fails to socialize them, so make sure that your baby has company, and lots of it!


High-quality puppy or kitten food is necessary for the healthy growth and development of your new pet. Always offer fresh water and never give your young pet table food. Baby animals have sensitive digestive systems and we need to protect them from illness and long-term damage. Avoiding table food from the start helps prevent pet obesity, finicky eaters, or animals with poor diets. Many human treats may be toxic to pets, so give treats formulated just for pets. They are delicious too! Feel free to consult the doctor regarding high-quality pet foods and treats and an appropriate diet plan for your new pet.


You can never over-expose puppies or kittens to other animals and people. Socializing them is critical to avoiding a very shy or fearful pet or a pet that may exhibit behavior problems. Puppy kindergarten classes are a wonderful opportunity to socialize your pet. It helps, as well, to encourage friends and family to engage the animal in social play. Mention any behavioral concerns as they arise and we will guide you in your training efforts.

Medical Care

Make an appointment for your new pet's first check-up as soon as he or she arrives in your household. Vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, spaying or neutering, nutrition, training, and socializing are all important to your young pet. We have in-depth information for you on these and many other topics. Bring your questions and concerns, along with a stool sample, to this first visit. We look forward to meeting the newest member of your family!

The veterinary staff at Vestal Veterinary Hospital and Emergency Clinic are experts at caring for a variety of different pets. If your exotic pet needs medical care, behavioral guidance or grooming, please give us a call today.

Visit the following pages for more: Vaccines, Wellness, and Oral Pet Health.

We can't wait to meet your new puppy or kitten! Give us a call or contact us today to schedule an appointment.