New Puppies & Kittens

At Hollygate Veterinary Clinic we provide a complete service with tailor made health plans to meet all the needs of your new puppy or kitten.

FREE puppy and kitten consultations are available with one of our vets to help make sure he or she is healthy and give you all the information you need in terms of their veterinary care.

Call to make an appointment for either a FREE appointment for your new pet or to arrange getting their vaccinations underway.

For more information on vaccination and worming needs for your new pet see our Vaccination and Worming and Flea control advice sections.

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!!
Puppy

Bringing your puppy home is an exciting time for the family but it can be a very daunting time for your puppy. You home is full of strange noises, smells and objects and it will be the first time that your puppy has been away from its mother and siblings.

How to help your puppy settle at night

One of the hardest things for your puppy to learn is sleeping alone for the first few nights. Initially, they can find it distressing being apart from their mother and siblings and may cry or howl. Interacting with your puppy during the night is not a good idea as although your puppy might feel worried, it will quickly learn that crying is a good way to get your attention. Once this behaviour is learn it can be very hard to correct! However, quickly checking that your puppy is not sick, injured, wet, dirty or needing to relieve themselves is recommended.

Try instead to ensure that your puppy has relieved itself before you put it to bed, that its bed is warm and safe and if you can, leave a shirt or towel with your scent on that will provide comfort and reassurance to your puppy.
For puppies that are particularly struggling, you can try to use a crate that is covered with blankets. This can help nervous puppies feel more secure as large unknown open spaces may appear daunting. The crate can be close by initially and slowly moved to where you want your puppy to sleep in the future.

It is important that your puppy is able to learn to cope with spending time alone (at night or when you are out). Puppies that are not taught to accept periods of solitude may never cope with being left alone into their adulthood.

Socialising your puppy

Between 6-16 weeks of age your puppy is in the sensitive ‘socialisation’ phase. This is the time in a puppy’s life where they will make up their minds about the world around them, whether they view objects and people as good or bad. It is important therefore, that during this stage your puppy learns about different people (tall, bearded, wearing glasses, male and female, young and old) and different situations (doorbell ringing, meeting other animals, visitors) and how to behave in response to each. It is also a useful time to bring your puppy in to see us, not necessarily for an appointment or treatment but perhaps to get weighed and get food or treats for them. Therefore, they will associate coming to the vets as a happy time and not be scared or anxious when they return for routine treatments or should they sadly take sick.

Socialising can begin at home before the second vaccination and continue as your puppy experiences new situations and meets different people outside of the home after their final vaccination. It is also important therefore to get their vaccinations completed as soon as possible so they can safely get out and about meeting other dogs and people.

The behaviour it learns now will affect how it behaves for the rest of its life. Puppies must not become overly worried or anxious. Puppies very rarely grow out of anxious behaviour, which is believed to be the root of problems such as separation anxiety, travel fears and even aggression in later life.

What can you use to help?

There are some products available to buy at the clinic which you can use at home to help settle your new puppy.

Adaptil

After birth a mother dog will naturally release a ‘dog appeasing pheromone’ from her mammary gland area. This is to reassure and comfort her puppies to help them feel safe and secure. When your puppy leaves its mother for the first time it will leave behind this comforting pheromone.

Adpatil is a synthetic copy of this ‘dog appeasing pheromone’. It has been proven to support puppies with settling into new homes, during their socialisation stage and during further training. It has also been proven to work on adult dogs to support them with travel, kennel stays and noise phobias. It is odourless, non-sedative and can be used alongside veterinary medicines.

By fitting an Adaptil puppy collar when you go to collect your puppy, you will ensure that they have this pheromone support on the way to their new home and once they arrive.

Adaptil spray can also be used to give added reassurance during the first car journey to their new home. The spray can be applied to a box, crate or blanket.

In addition, 24 hours before your new puppy arrives home, you can plug in and Adaptil diffuser at floor level in the room where you intend your puppy to sleep and spend most of its time. The diffuser should be switched on continuously for at least 4 weeks – refills are also available for longer use as required.

If your puppy is to attend puppy classes, continued use of Adaptil is beneficial, so they should continue to wear the collar or you can use the sprays throughout.

Adaptil comes in various sized collars, sprays and plug in diffusers – contact the clinic or call in to purchase or order.

For more information why not watch this video below –
https://youtu.be/BTLBrZx4B4M

Pet Remedy

The special Pet Remedy blend of essential oils works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.
Pet Remedy works alongside the brain’s natural ‘messengers’ called neurotransmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many different signs of stress we see in our pets.

Pet Remedy calms your pet without sedating and helps stressed pet become more attentive and receptive.

Pet Remedy is a low concentration valerian blend and constant slow release, which is very kind and gentle on the metabolism of any mammal or bird.

For more information why not watch this video below –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISYd_ASh3jw

Effectiveness of valerian

Valerian (essential oil is obtained by distillation from the root of the plant Valeriana Officinalis) has been used for centuries as an effective and safe calming agent. There is ample anecdotal evidence of its efficacy.

Signs of stress include:

  • Behaviour change 
4 Spraying
  • Soiling
  • Over grooming
  • Lack of interaction
  • Loss of appetite
  • Scratching
  • Aggression

Pet Remedy also comes in a plug in diffuser and calming sprays.

Plug-In Diffuser
Lasts up to 8 weeks, suitable for a large room and refill packs are available

Calming Sprays
Water based, pH neutral formulations which can be sprayed directly in the kennel or crate, used in the home, onto clothing, bedding, carpets and soft furnishings or on the move in your car.

Call into the clinic to see the range available and get the help you need to relieve any stress your pet may have.

Kittens

Bringing your kitten home is an exciting time, but it can be a very scary experience for your kitten, moving into a new home where all the noises, smells and objects are new. Settling them in is important to ensure they feel as safe and secure as possible in their new home. Kittens are very inquisitive creatures and will investigate small, dark places which they can crawl into, so start off with access to a small, quiet area of the house, with their bed, litter tray and food and water bowls. Remember cats prefer their water bowl to be away from their food bowl.

Your kitten’s bed should be a refuge to retreat to if things become too stressful. A warm, dry and comfortable bed out of draughts and away from the bustle of the house is ideal. On the first few nights a warm water bottle under a blanket may help your kitten settle in their bed too.

Introducing your kitten to children and other animals

When introducing your kitten to children make sure it is done gradually and calmly under times of supervision. Often children will be very excited by the new kitten, so get them to sit on the floor first and wait for the kitten to approach them.

Cats do not always feel a need to be social with other cats. Ensure there is no competition between any existing cats and your kitten for food, water, litter trays and safe resting places. This will help them accept each other as housemates.

As scent is an important part of feline communication, introducing them to each other’s scent before an actual physical meeting can be helpful. Scent can be missed and spread by:-

  • Stroking each cat without washing hands in-between contact
  • Rubbing soft material around their faces and the placing the material with the other cat
  • Swapping their bedding

To introduce your kitten safely to any dogs it is easiest to start by transferring scents as above. When making physical introductions the dog should be on a lead and praised for calm behaviour around the kitten, who should be allowed to approach the dog when they feel able to. The kitten needs to have safe escape routes and safe spots out of reach of the dog.

Treats during these introduction times can help your dog associate your new kitten with something positive. When the kitten and dog are unconcerned by each other’s presence, try taking the dog off the lead, but be prepared to step in as required. Do not leave them alone on their own until you are sure they are secure in each other’s company.

Toilet training your kitten

Kittens often arrive at their new home already litter tray trained, as they learn quickly from their mother and you just need to ensure your new kitten knows where the litter tray is. Placing them on the tray on waking and after meals, or when the kitten is scratching and beginning to crouch can help them learn.

If possible, use the same litter that was used when your kitten was with its mother. If you wish to change later on, do so slowly, ensuring to use a soft, easy to scratch and unscented litter.

The tray needs to be deep enough and large enough for them to turn around in and be used more than once without your kitten getting dirty paws. If you have more than one cat ensure each cat has access to a litter tray without there being competition. Never leave your kitten inside without access to a litter tray.

Letting them outside for the first time

Your kitten should not be allowed outside until at least a week after it has finished its vaccinations and preferably once they have been neutered. Choose a dry day if possible and a quiet time and accompany your kitten outside, allowing it to explore the new environment. Continue to accompany your kitten until it is used to your garden and knows its way back to the house. It is often a good idea to let them out supervised whilst hungry and then encourage them back into the house with food and feed them upon return. This gets them used to the fact that food is at home and they will often then return when hungry for feeding in their own home and environment.

Products that may be used to help

We have a range of products available at the clinic which may help your kitten settle into their new home. These come in the form of plug-in diffusers and sprays which can be used easily and safely.

Feliway

Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats leave behind when they rub their faces against objects and furniture in the home. This is a comforting pheromone which cats use to mark their home environment as safe and secure. Feliway is scientifically proven to stop or prevent unwanted behaviours in kittens/cats such as urine spraying, vertical scratching and tension in multi-cat households.

Plugging in a Feliway diffuser before you bring your kitten home will provide this comforting support to your kitten as soon as they arrive. Whilst they are settling in, exploring their new environment and meeting new people and animals it will support and reassure them that their new home is safe.

A full range of Feliway products are available to purchase from the clinic.

Pet Remedy

The special Pet Remedy blend of essential oils works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.

Pet Remedy works alongside the brain’s natural ‘messengers’ called neurotransmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many different signs of stress we see in our pets.

Pet Remedy calms your pet without sedating and helps stressed pet become more attentive and receptive.

Pet Remedy is a low concentration valerian blend and constant slow release, which is very kind and gentle on the metabolism of any mammal or bird.

Effectiveness of Valerian

Valerian (essential oil is obtained by distillation from the root of the plant Valeriana Officinalis) has been used for centuries as an effective and safe calming agent. There is ample anecdotal evidence of its efficacy

Signs of stress include:

  • Behaviour change 
4 Spraying
  • Soiling
  • Over grooming
  • Lack of interaction
  • Loss of appetite
  • Scratching
  • Aggression

Pet Remedy also comes in a plug in diffuser and calming sprays.

Clinic Opening Times

028 9081 7109
Clinic Opening

Monday: Friday 8.30am – 7.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Sunday: – Closed

Consultations By Appointment Only

Mornings
Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 11.00am

Evenings
Monday – Friday: 4.00pm – 7.00pm

Saturday: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Sunday: – Closed

Out-of-Hours Veterinary Care
Your local emergency hotline
02890651729

Call into the clinic to see our wide range of puppy & kitten remedies which are available to purchase or order.