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Puppies and Kittens
 
There is no doubt, puppies and kittens are absolutely adorable. Who can resist being fascinated while watching those tiny paws and noses romp around the house. To ensure your pet will be healthy and well socialized, puppies should stay with their mom and littermates until they are seven to ten weeks of age and kittens until they are ten to sixteen weeks old.

The first order of business should be to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Because young immune systems are not fully functional, puppies and kittens are vulnerable to parasites, respiratory infections and other illness. Vaccinations are important to protect your new pet. Other conditions, such as orthopedic problems, can be caught early when treatment is most effective.

Puppy and kitten proofing you home

Keep toxic and dangerous materials, such as cleaning solutions, antifreeze, and medications, in a locked cabinet or in a room your pet doesn't have access to.

Check your house for small holes or gaps in floorboards, walls, baseboards, heating vents, and anywhere else a small animal could squeeze into and get stuck

Remove everything in sight that is small enough to be chewed or swallowed, including paper clips, coins, rubber bands, staples, pen caps, thread, dental floss, earrings, needles, and thumbtacks.

Consider blocking stairs and ledges with a baby gate until the little pet becomes stable on his/her feet.

Keep the toilet lids shut. Small pets can fall in and injure or drown themselves when they try to drink, and automatic toilet bowl cleaners can be harmful or even fatal.

Young animals have the instinct to chew. Cover electric cords with rugs or plastic cord guards, available at hardware stores

Keep azalea, daffodil, rhododendron, oleander, mistletoe, hydrangea, morning glory, diffenbachia, sago palm, Easter lily, and yew plants out of your pup or kitten's reach, they can all be harmful or even fatal

Young animals need a safe haven to stay in when they can't be supervised. You can confine them to a crate or take one room of the house and make it into your pet's home for when you're gone. It should include a soft, warm place to sleep and plenty of toys, and it should be regularly examined for the hazards listed above.

More information on puppies and kittens...