Counseling and Education for Pet Parents
There is never a shortage of things to learn when it comes to caring for a pet. After all, the learning doesn't stop when your pet reaches maturity. That's why our team in Norridge takes a serious interest not only in keeping your pet healthy, but also in educating you on nutrition, behavior, training, life stage care, and more. Pet parents can face various obstacles while raising and caring for their pets; fortunately, many of these obstacles are universal.
In the proceeding sections, we've provided important information to help you through the more challenging aspects of pet care. If you have a problem that can't be addressed here, call (708) 457-0066 to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Essential Care for Puppies and Kittens
Congratulations on adopting a new puppy or kitten into your family! This is a very exciting time, but the excitement can wear off quickly if you're not prepared for the responsibility. First, newly-adopted puppies and kittens need to see their veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can get sick very easily. If your pet does have parasites or some other illness, they should be treated right away. Second, to guarantee the healthiest start for your pet, you need to have them examined, tested for intestinal parasites and vaccinated. Together, you and your veterinarian will decide on your pet's treatments so they can grow up healthy and strong.
To see our basic appointment recommendations for puppies and kittens, download the schedules below. This should give you a general idea of what to expect when bringing your pet in for treatment.
Visits for my cat have always been professional and informative. They really care for the animals here.
Informational Puppy and Kitten Kits
Our goal is to give pet parents as much information as possible to help them care for their four-legged family members. During the exam we will answer any questions you have about raising and training your pet, but we will also provide you with informative kits that include:
- Recommendations for proper wellness care
- Tips for socializing your pet
- Common behavioral issues and how to manage them
- Guidelines for balanced nutrition
- Suggestions for obedience training
- Toy safety information
- Pet insurance plans
- Local emergency contacts
- Information about spaying and neutering
- Parasite prevention tips
- ...and more
Download the cheat sheet below for standard tips on training, diet, housebreaking, bathing, behavior and other topics.
Helping Your Pet Through Their Senior Years
Some pets age more gracefully than others, but even those with chronic issues can have a good quality of life with proper care. It's important to remember that dogs and cats age more quickly than we do. Therefore, you'll need to anticipate the new set of challenges that may take place due to your pet's advanced age. If you have a cat or small dog, you can expect them to reach their senior years by age 8-9. Medium to large dogs are seniors around age 7, and large-breed dogs are seniors at age 5.
Senior pets generally benefit from:
- Semiannual wellness exams
- Annual diagnostics (blood testing, X-rays)
- Internal medicine (for chronic disease)
- Pain management plans (for conditions like arthritis, hip/elbow dysplasia, degenerative disc/joint disease)
Semiannual exams are necessary for the early detection and treatment of disease. They are also critical for pets that have ongoing issues such as diabetes, heart failure, and kidney disease. Communication plays a significant role in the quality of care your pet receives, so don't hesitate to let us know if something is wrong.
Addressing Your Pet's Behavioral Issues
Pets don't behave badly out of spite. If they're getting into the trash, chewing on table legs or soiling on the carpet (or all of the above), there is likely a valid explanation for their behavior. It's an unfortunate fact that many pets are surrendered by their owners due to behavior problems that probably could have been corrected. Discussing these problems with your veterinarian can help you find answers and move forward with a solution. A peaceful, harmonious relationship with your pet is perfectly possible.
Common behavioral problems we see in pets include:
- Marking/spraying with urine in the house
- Soiling in the house/outside of the litterbox
- Aggression (baring teeth, nipping, growling, snapping or even lunging)
- Destruction of furniture and even the house itself when left home alone
- Excessive vocalization (barking, whining, meowing)
- Severe anxiety (clinginess, hiding, pacing, cowering)
- Lack of interest in usual activities, forgetfulness
Similar to diagnosing an illness, we need to consider all possibilities and isolate the most likely cause of your pet's behaviors. Causes can include environmental factors, underlying illness, or even an injury. Regardless, our goal is to find the primary cause and implement a treatment with the best chance of success. Bad behavior is not something you need to face alone; our doctors are available seven days a week to offer counseling and treatment for your pet.