Adopting a Pet Is Just the Beginning

Pet Proofing Your House after Pet Adoption
Your Pet's First Wellness Exam

Your veterinarian will perform several services essential to the animal's immediate and long-term well being. A typical evaluation will include blood and fecal tests to check for parasites or diseases that might require immediate treatment. Your pet may also be started on medications to prevent pest and parasite infestations. Core vaccinations will also be administered, and spaying or neutering may be recommended for animals more than a few weeks of age. Make sure to schedule this first appointment as soon as possible.

Adopting a pet brings great joy and excitement to individuals and families, but it also introduces new responsibilities and concerns. Your new family member deserves the same health and safety considerations you would want for the people in your life.

Pet Proofing

Before you even bring your new dog or cat home with you, take steps to "pet-proof" your home. Homeowners may need new strategies for dealing with household objects and situations that never posed to a threat to the home's human residents.

Medicines or household chemicals, for instance, must be put away behind closed and secured doors to prevent the accidental poisoning of curious pets. Even ordinary food items such as citrus fruits, certain nuts, chocolate, garlic, onions, alcoholic drinks and coffee should be kept away from animals, because these products can cause violent illness or other reactions if ingested.

Hide any exposed wires or cables so your new pet won't be tempted to chew on them, or place the cords in PCV pipe, and remove small objects that might pose a hazard if swallowed.  Lilies are very toxic to cats, and ingestion of sago palm or oleander can be very serious for dogs.

Schedule a Health Exam

A visit to the veterinarian should be among the first stops for your newly-adopted animal. Veterinarians not only provide important initial care to check for existing health problems and guard against new ones, but they can also give you a wealth of advice from home dental care to proper nutrition, especially if you've never owned an animal before. Don't put this visit off; your pet may be vulnerable to serious ailments until vaccinations and other wellness services can be administered.

Make Introductions Carefully

If you already have other pets in your home, you may find that you need to introduce your newest addition to the family with discretion and sensitivity. Dogs tend to assume dominant or submissive pack relationships, so your canines may require time to figure out the new pecking order. (Ideally, you have already assumed the role of "top dog.") Cats can be particularly sensitive and stressed when their routine is disrupted by another feline presence. Keep your new cat in an isolated room at first, with his own food bowl and litter box, gradually letting him explore more and more of the home while both cats gets used to each other's smells and company.

Enroll in Training

Training is a great next step for a newly-adopted dog -- not just for housebreaking but also for simple commands such as "Sit," "Stay" and "Down." Obedience training helps you enjoy a peaceful, happy, well-socialized pet.

Sources:

American Humane Association, "Pet-Proofing Your Home." 2013.

American Veterinary Medical Association, "Importance of Wellness Exams."

The Humane Society of the United States, "Introducing Your New Cat to Other Pets." July 3, 2013.

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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
    ~R.H
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
    ~T.C.
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
    ~L.B.
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  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
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  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
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  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
    ~T.F.
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
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  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
    ~C.W.
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
    ~R.M.
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
    ~A.M.
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
    ~O.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
    ~Budkus
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.