It’s day one of National Holistic Pet Day; which we are celebrating all week long. Be sure to use the sweepstakes form at the bottom of this article to win holistic pet prizes and educate your friends on holistic pet wellness. (The sweepstakes has now ended.)
Holistic Puppy and Kitten Care
Getting a puppy or kitten is one of the most exciting times in life. Whether this is your first animal or you are an old pro, giving your pet the right start in life can greatly improve their long term health and happiness.
Here are the five most critical aspects of holistically raising puppies and kittens for long term health:
1. Holistic Diets – Diet is the cornerstone to good health in human kids and puppies and kittens. Spending more on a nutritious diet can be one of the best insurance policies against expensive vet bills down the road:
- Holistic Kitten Diet – Remember cats and carbs don’t mix. If possible, use a grain free canned food or commercial raw diet. Even the best grain free kibble is high in carbohydrates. Many cats become addicted to kibble and will eat nothing else. Take this option away and start with a canned diet.
- Holistic Puppy Diet– I usually recommend either a high quality commercial food like Honest Kitchen or a home prepared diet. There are tons of really great commercial raw formulas as well. Many puppies experience a lot of gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to work with a veterinarian, holistic if possible, to help you decide on the best food.
2. Oral health for Puppies and Kittens – Please don’t underestimate the importance of oral health for your kitten or puppy! This is a great time to get your animal used to daily tooth brushing. At the very least, let your pet become accustomed to you looking in their mouth from the start. I see dogs and cats every day with very painful oral disease that could be prevented if the guardian could simply look at their teeth.
3. Vaccinations for Puppies or Kittens – Vaccinating a puppy or kitten can be a really tricky and sometimes complicated subject. Here are some general guidelines to use to help you make these decisions:
- Find a veterinarian that is willing to discuss the pros and cons of vaccinating.
- Understand the actual risk of the disease and the risk of vaccination.
- Consider the lifestyle of your pet and decide what vaccines make sense.
- Do not vaccinate your animal unless they are healthy. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
- Discuss getting titer testing done when appropriate.
4. Parasites in Puppies or Kittens – Depending on your geographical area, many kittens and puppies have intestinal parasites. This can be very easy to test for by bringing a fresh fecal sample to your veterinarian’s office. I recommend two test 2-3 weeks apart. Using a ‘dewormer’ just in case is not recommended.
5. Socializing your Puppy and Kitten – Ensuring that your puppy or kitten receives adequate socialization can be life saving. Many aggressive behaviors in adult dogs and cats could have been prevented with appropriate socialization. Click here for a great resource on socializing your puppy.
Click here for a great resource on socializing your kitten.
Wishing you and your new pet health and abundance! Please let me know if I can answer any questions you might have!