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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, St. Vital Veterinary 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 St. Vital Veterinary 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 204-253-2668 to schedule an appointment and ensure your pet gets the proper care to live a long and healthy life as your right-hand companion.

Additional Important Information for Pet Owners

Below are some helpful tips for new pet owners from our blog:

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Last updated: October 21, 2020

Dear Clients,

Due to high numbers of COVID-19 and recent changes to restrictions, we will be returning to a full closed door policy effective Monday October 26th.

In order to maintain everyone's safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following procedures have been implemented:

a) With the exception of euthanasia, clients will no longer be able to accompany their pets into the hospital for their appointment. Appointments will be conducted over the phone.

b) Parking stall signs will be placed in front of each parking stall giving direction on how to proceed once you arrive.  When arriving for an appointment we ask that you remain in your vehicle and call us at 204-253-2668 to check in, we will provide further information on next steps.

c) When picking up food or medication please TEXT your last name, pets name and stall# to 431-400-7822.  This information will be on the parking stall signage.

d) In order to further decrease traffic we encourage you to purchase your pet food and non-prescription supplies online using our online store (direct access to the online store is also available on our website).  Your purchase will be shipped directly to your home.  Orders over $100 ship for free!

e) Prescriptions and in clinic purchases of food and supplies must be pre-ordered.

f) We will continue with cashless payment options (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX & E-Transfer).

g) A specific amount of time has been allotted for your appointment so if your pet needs additional services (nail trim, anal glands etc.) please let us know in advance.

If you have a fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, chills, or fever we ask that you do not attend your pet's appointment.

If you have been instructed to self isolate for 14 days due to travel from Eastern Canada, travelled outside of Canada, had contact with someone known to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are waiting for COVID-19 test results we ask that you do not attend your pet's appointment.

OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday & Tuesday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at St. Vital Veterinary Hospital