Puppy and Kitten Season Part One: Choosing a Fuzzy Friend

Puppy and Kitten Season Part One: Choosing a Fuzzy Friend

It’s the holiday season, and you or your child have found the most delightful of gifts- a new pet. Whether it’s a plump, wiggly puppy with wagging tail and kisses for everyone, or a furry purry kitten pouncing on slippered feet and curling up in a fluffy ball, a new pet can bring a smile to even the biggest Grinch. It’s easy to love a pet, but choosing the right one and keeping them healthy is more of a challenge. But do not stress! Amigo Animal Hospital is here to help you make good decisions for your new pet and your family. This month we’ll give you some tips on choosing the right dog or cat companion, and next month tell you how to keep them happy when you bring them home. (For those of you who want a hippopotamus for Christmas- sorry, you’re on your own!)

Step One: Research

Your husband wants a kitten, but you’re not sure about cleaning a litterbox. Your kids want a goldendoodle, but they have so much energy. How to choose? The American Kennel Club website has great at-a- glance information on different breeds, including how well they do with children, and you can quickly compare different breeds. Also consider your space and climate- an active golden retriever may be bored and destructive in a small condo, and as cute and fluffy as a Samoyad may be, a warm California climate will make them a literal hot dog. If you go to a breeder, chose an established one- it may be more money, but they take the extra effort to ensure the pets (both mom and baby) are healthy and free from genetic diseases. Also consider a shelter pet- they have all shapes and sizes, they’ve had their shots, and mixed breeds are generally healthier. Senior pets may not be as bouncy as puppies or kittens, but they need good homes and are already socialized, so think about adding them to your family this holiday. Finally, think about your budget- all pets need veterinary care, food, and toys, none of which are cheap, especially for those breeds prone to health problems. If you don’t have the time or money to properly care for a pet, there’s no shame in getting a cuddly plush toy instead.

Step Two: Choosing a Puppy or Kitten

You’ve decided on a cat or dog breed and where to get them, and now it’s time to pick out which furry friend will go to their forever home. Look for a healthy pet who is interested in socializing with you. The coat should be shiny with no rough or missing patches, they should be interested and alert, and they should be a good, healthy weight. Most importantly, ask the shelter or the breeder questions about their temperament, how well they get along with children and other pets, and their overall personality. This pet hopefully be with you for many years, so take the time to look at other pets until you find the one that you feel that special bond with.

Note: Okay fellow pet lovers, let’s pause a moment and talk about something important. If you’re anything like me, your heart goes out to the sickly pets, the tiny runts of the litter, the ones who just seem sad. But I’m going to stop you right there- please stick to the healthy pets. A lot of people adopt puppies or kittens out of a kind-hearted hope that they can be the one to love them back to health. What we see too often as veterinary professionals are animals that need lots of expensive vet visits that either result in the family not having the money to treat the pet, or a case where the kindest choice is euthanasia. It can be emotionally and financially exhausting to care for a sick puppy or kitten, and it can devastate a family. Unless you are an experienced fosterer with a bank account as big as your heart, choose a healthy puppy or kitten to love, and donate to rescues and organizations that help sick animals.

Step 3: Bringing Them Home

There are a few things to keep in mind when bringing a pet home. The most important thing, be it puppy, kitten, fish, or small animal, is consent. Make sure everyone involved knows this pet is coming home this day and is okay with it. While it may seem like a fun or romantic gesture, saddling someone with a living animal that needs years of care isn’t good for the person or the pet.

When you do bring your pet home, make sure it has a solid plastic carrier. Cats will try to escape from a flimsy carrier, and puppies who aren’t fully vaccinated should stay off the ground as much as possible. They will also need a carrier for vet visits and travel. Bedding, litterboxes, dishes, and toys should already be in place at home. When it comes to food, find out what the pet was eating at the breeder’s or shelter and try to feed them the same thing. If you want to transition to another food, do it slowly over several weeks to prevent tummy trouble.

Congratulations! Now your fur-ever friend is safely at home and ready for love, attention, and pampering! Join us next month for part 2, where we talk about vet visits, vaccinations, pet-proofing your home, and more. If you have any questions or need care for your pet, give us a call or text at (714) 894-5558 and our Amigo Animal Hospital staff will be happy to help!

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13951 Milan St. Westminster, CA 92683

Phone: (714) 894-5558

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Amigo Animal Hospital


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8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm




8:00 am-6:00 pm


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