Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

Dog & Cat -General

– I live in the city and want to get a dog. Are some breeds better for city life as opposed to country life?
When selecting a pet, space would be the major consideration. In the city, the smaller dog is recommended but a fenced yard would certainly be a welcomed area for a larger breed. Again, when choosing a pet, time and personal preference plays a large roll in your selection.

– How often should I give my pet a bath?
Bathing your pet every 2 to 8 weeks is usually sufficient to maintain clean, healthy skin. Frequent brushing and combing between baths will help remove old hair and reduce shedding. Besides, that´s a great time for you and your pet to spend together. They usually like the added attention!

– Can I breed my pet when she goes into heat for the first time?
It is not a good idea to breed your pet during her first heat unless her first heat occurs after she´s a year old.

– At what age should I begin trimming my pet´s nails?
Begin trimming your pet´s nails when they are young so it becomes part of a routine and they become used to this type of grooming.

– How much of my pet´s nails should be trimmed?
When trimming your pet´s nails, trim in front of the place where you see the blood circulating. On black toenails, trim in front of the groove on the underside of the nail.

– At what age should a new pet be brought home?
The best age to take home a young pet is between 8 and 10 weeks.

– What should I consider when choosing a male or female pet?
It doesn´t matter whether you choose a male or female pet as long as you treat your pet properly. Children will have just as much fun with males as females. Some males may be more assertive while females may seem easier to train and less likely to be hyperactive.

– How long will my dog be pregnant before she gives birth?
The average gestation period in cats and dogs is 61 – 63 days, which is about 9 weeks.

– What causes an animal to shed?
Animals shed in the fall to replace their thin summer coat with thick winter fur. In the spring, they will shed to prepare for upcoming warmer days. Loss of hair is determined by your pet´s exposure to light. Animals that are kept inside under artificial light shed more than they normally would.

– We want to get a second pet. Should it be the same sex as the one we currently have?
When choosing to bring a second pet into your home, remember that two females will usually do fine. However, two males generally won´t. If you do have a pair, one will need to be neutered unless you want breeding to take place.

– At what age should my pet be spayed?
You should have your pet spayed before the end of his first year of life. It is perfectly safe after 20 weeks of age, and is generally accepted that 90 – 95³³ less mammary cancer occurs in females spayed at a young age.

– Should I wait until my pet´s first heat before having her spayed?
You need not wait for your female pet to have her first heat to be spayed. The ideal age for spaying is around 6 months of age.

– Can I take my cat or dog on a plane with me?
It is perfectly safe to take your cat on a plane with you. He needs to be in a pet carrier and if small enough, may actually fit under your seat. Do let the airline know your plans when you book your flight so they can best advise you on their procedures. If your cat must travel in the baggage compartment, your veterinarian might prescribe medication should he feel it´s necessary.

– Should I have my pet microchipped for identification?
There is now a tiny chip placed just under your pet´s skin that when scanned, identifies the pet and ensures his safe return. Veterinarians and pet shelters have the scanners needed for quick and positive identification.

– How old should my puppy or kitten be before his first de-worming?
Your puppy or kitten should be de-wormed at 2 – 3 weeks. It is advisable that your pet be tested first to determine what type of worms it has.

– How can I weigh my pet?
Use your bathroom scale to weigh your pet. Weigh yourself first, then pick up the pet and weigh together. Subtract your weight from the combined reading to find your pet´s weight.

– When should a newly acquired kitten or puppy have their first visit to the veterinarian?
The sooner you visit the veterinarian with your new pet, the better. A doctor will make sure your new pet is healthy and recommend a vaccination schedule to protect your new pet against some of the numerous common diseases. They will discuss feeding, parasite control, neutering, grooming, and many other things to help you enjoy your pet for many years to come.

– How often does a female go into heat?
A female goes into heat about twice a year. They may skip a heat cycle occasionally, but will seldom have an extra one. The cycle lasts 21 days in dogs. Cats first heat between 5 ¹¹ 8 months. A cat will remain in heat until she is bred. Small breed dogs at about 6 months and medium breed dogs at 8 or 9 months.

– How can I tell if my female pet is going into heat?
Some physical signs that your female pet is going into heat are a swollen vulva and a light red vaginal discharge. Cats become very affectionate and vocal.

– At what age are pets sexually mature?
Males become sexually mature between 7 and 9 months old. Small breed females have their first heat around 6 months. Medium size breed females have their first heat at around 8 or 9 months.

– What does it mean when my pet drags his rear end along the ground?
When your pet scoots on his or her rear end, it is probably a result of an anal gland problem. It is wise for your pet to be examined and checked for worms.

– How do I take a stool sample?
Getting a stool sample should not be difficult. Only a small amount is required for testing. Simply scoop up an amount equal to 1/4 teaspoon and place it in a small jar or plastic bag. Keep it in a cool place if you plan to keep it later into the day or the following morning.

– What´s the easiest way to take my pet´s temperature?
Your pet´s temperature should be taken in his rectum with a lubricated rectal thermometer. Insert if only 1/3 of the way in and leave it for at least 1 minute.

– What is a dog´s normal temperature?
A dog´s normal rectal body temperature is 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

– When do puppies or kittens get baby and permanent teeth?
Puppies and kittens get their baby teeth at 8 weeks and fall out gradually. At 6-8 months, the permanent teeth should all be in.

– How many teeth does a dog have?
Dogs have 28 baby (milk) teeth and 42 permanent, adult teeth. Cats have only 30 permanent teeth.

– What is the easiest way to get a urine sample from my pet?
Getting a urine sample from your pet is not that difficult but may take more than one try. For male dogs, place a wide-mouth jar under him as he lifts his leg. For a female, use a flat pan. For cats, place wide wax paper strips in the litter box. After the cat has urinated, pour off the urine.

– What´s the best way to hold my new pet?
The best way to hold your new puppy is to place one hand under the hind end and support the chest with the other hand. This gives your pet a sense of security.

– Is it normal for a new puppy or kitten to sleep a lot?
It is quite normal for new puppies and kittens to sleep a lot. Young pets sleep a great deal, especially after meals.

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