CountrySide Veterinary Service and Wellness updates the blog frequently with pet health information and clinic news. Please check back often for CountrySide Veterinary announcements and helpful pet information!

What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Puppy

Selecting A Food

When your puppy is ready for adoption, he should be weaned from his mother and ready to eat solid food. As your puppy's new owner, you are responsible for making good food choices for your pet. Young puppies need food that provides a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Be sure also that your young canine gets plenty of water.

Considering The Breed & Size

How you feed your puppy depends largely on the breed and eventual size of your dog. You need to consult with your vet about these details, however, in general, be sure to keep in mind that:

Smaller breeds mature much faster than larger breeds. Smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, Dachshunds, Pugs, and Yorkshire Terriers, just to name a few, have much faster metabolisms than puppies of larger breeds. Purchase a dog food that is made for smaller breeds, with smaller pieces and more energy-dense properties. In addition, please note that toy breeds will need to eat more often.

Larger breeds need food to promote appropriate, slower growth. Buy dog food that is designed for larger breed puppies, as this is less energy-dense and promotes appropriate, slower-paced growth according to the breed type. Do not overfeed larger breed puppies, as this may lead to joint problems.

Check with your vet before purchasing the first food for your puppy, or if you are changing foods. Always check with your vet about which food they recommend, or if you have questions about how to feed a certain dog breed.

Adhering to a Feeding Schedule

Make your daily feeding schedules consistent. Because of their rapid growth rate, you will need to feed young puppies under 12 weeks of age more frequently, at about three or four times a day. Again, check with your vet on the frequency of feedings, as you do not want to overfeed your pet. At around three months, you can begin feeding your puppy a little less. Consult your vet with any questions regarding your puppy's feeding times, food amounts, and overall growth and we will give you the best recommendations.

Keeping Track of Bodyweight

Continue to watch your puppy's bodyweight. Should you notice signs of being overweight or underweight, adjust your puppy's food amount accordingly. Check with your vet frequently and schedule appointments to have them check your puppy's weight and measurements to monitor bodyweight and growth. Ask your vet for how to check for appropriate bodyweight at home as well.

Asking a Vet for Advice

Be sure to consult with your vet when you first buy or adopt your puppy, as they are experts in the field, (and often dog lovers too!) Here at Countryside, we treat all puppies with care, and will give you the best recommendations for which puppy food to choose, the best feeding times, the frequency of feeding times, and the appropriate portion size for the age and breed of your new beloved companion.

Signs of Common Health Problems in Senior Cats

Signs of Common Health Problems in Senior Cats

While once cats were considered "senior" at the age of eight, due to many changes in how cats live, it's no longer unusual for a cat to live well into her teens. However, cats still reach their senior years around the age of 7. While this seems very young for a cat that might have more than half of their life left to live, it is important to realize the changes in their biology. Even if you do not see any physical changes, it is still important to think of your cat in her proper part of her life cycle.

Typically, as a cat begins to enter their senior years they begin to show signs of slowing down. They may be less active or less inclined to jump or climb. While some of these changes could simply be caused by your aging kitty having less energy than she once did, they shouldn't be ignored. Any such symptoms could be signs of a serious health issue and should be discussed with your veterinarian. Here are some signs that your cat might be experiencing one of these common senior cat problems:

1) Arthritis

As your cat ages past twelve years old, watch for signs of arthritis. If he or she is experiencing difficulty going up or down the stairs, jumping up onto or off of furniture, grooming its fur, or even urinating outside of the litterbox because of the discomfort of getting into a litterbox, your feline friend may be developing arthritis.

Studies have shown that 90 percent of cats over 12 years of age are likely to have radiographic signs of arthritis, so arthritis is actually quite common in older cats. Should you see any of these signs, bring your cat in to see your veterinarian and we can help you decide what to do to help relieve your cat's pain.

2) Cancer

Approximately thirty percent of all cats over the age of ten years old may be diagnosed with some type of cancer. If you notice any of the following symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately:

  • Appetite loss
  • Unintential weight loss
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Lumps or bumps increasing in size
  • Sores that won't heal
  • Bleeding or discharge from the mouth, nose, anus
  • Unusual body odor
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty using the litter box.

One of the most common forms of feline cancer is lymphosarcoma, or lymphoma, although dogs such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Basset Hounds are prone to developing this disease as well. Some of the symptoms associated with lymphosarcoma include enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea. Please take your senior cat in immediately if you see any of these symptoms.

3) Dental Disease

If you notice your feline friend having difficulties chewing, or just picking up his or her food and dropping it right away, it may be a sign of dental disease developing. Periodontal disease is a common health problem in senior cats, especially when your cat has not had its teeth brushed regularly and years of plaque and tartar are allowed to build up. Schedule regular dental cleanings with your vet, and be sure to maintain your cat's dental health on a regular basis to prevent your cat from developing dental diseases.

4) Vision Problems

Cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment are common visual issues that senior cats can develop. Periodically check your cat for any signs of cloudiness of the lens, or even dilated pupils. Also pay attention if your cat seems to be bumping into things while walking. Should you suspect that your cat needs his or her eyes checked, please take them into the vet and we can provide recommendations or medications to help your feline friend.

5) Hearing Loss

Yes, even cats can lose their hearing over time. If you notice your cat can't hear as well as he used to, you can teach him hand signals, stomp your foot to create vibrations or use other forms of visual signals to communicate with your cat.

6) Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be identified when your senior cat begins to show signs of excessive hunger and an abnormal increase in energy. This condition is characterized by the thyroid gland producing too much of the thyroid hormone. In addition, cats with hyperthyroidism may also develop hypertension. If you notice signs of an excessive appetite in your older feline, be sure to schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss treatment options.

7) Kidney Disease

To help treat kidney disease, schedule regular geriatric exams for your senior cat so that your vet can detect any bad signs early on. Although kidney failure is not reversible, a therapeutic diet, medication, etc., can help add months and even years to your beloved pet's life. Be sure to bring your feline friend in often so we can look into the best treatment options and recommendations.

Bringing Your New Kitten Home

kitten wellness

Bringing home a new kitten is a very exciting time for you and your family, but it also requires a lot of responsibility. There are several steps you should follow when bringing your new kitten home. This is a crucial time in your kitten’s life as it lays out the foundation for the health and behavior of your cat.

Verify Your Kitten's Age

The first thing you should do is verify your kitten’s age. It is vital to verify your kitten’s age, because they have many developmental needs the first ten weeks of their life. Kittens need the proper nourishment, warmth, and socialization during the first weeks of their life. If your kitten ends up being younger than ten weeks, then find a good vet immediately to learn how to properly take of your kitten.

Schedule First Vet Visit

After you verify your kitten’s age you should schedule a visit to the veterinary clinic. This visit is also very important for the owner too, because it allows you to ask questions. The first vet visit will entail testing for health issues such as birth defects, parasites or feline leukemia. The veterinarian will also schedule out future visits for vaccinations and to establish a wellness plan for your kitten. We recommend asking questions about food type, portion size, illness signs to watch for, and how to introduce your kitten to any other pet you may have.

Quality Food And Feeding Schedule

Once you have your kitten home, it is a good idea to establish a feeding schedule with quality food specifically designed for kittens. When purchasing food for your kitten look for Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) displayed on the packaging. This ensures the kitten food is full of nutrients. If you have questions about how often and how much to feed your kitten, contact your veterinarian. However, when your kitten reaches three months, they should be fed 3 times a day to keep up with how fast he or she is growing.

Designate A Quiet Area

If you want your kitten to feel comfortable and safe, you should designate a quiet area for the kitten to sleep. In this area, you should have a small bed that is easily accessible, a scratching toy, food and water, and litter box. However, do not put the litter box near the cat’s feeding area, because cats do not like when they are close together.

Now that you have your kitten home, you should have a better understanding of what your kitten will need the first few weeks. Remember to give your kitten a substantial amount of attention during this time. This will help your kitten adjust smoothly to its new home. If you have any other questions related to brining home your new kitten, then contact the veterinarians at CountrySide today.

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All hours subject to change

Appointment Hours

Monday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday - 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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Saturday 8:00 am - 11:30 am

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CountrySide Veterinary Services

CountrySide Veterinary Services
W3022 Edgewood Trail
Appleton, Wisconsin 54913
CountrySide Veterinary Health
2101 E Evergreen Drive
Appleton, WI 54913