Grooming & Feeding: Two of the Best Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy!
Grooming - Dogs
Regular brushing, bathing, and nail care are essential. Protect your puppy's eyes and ears when bathing, and don't allow the puppy to become chilled after bathing. Your veterinarian may recommend that you do not bathe your puppy when it is younger than 10-12 weeks unless absolutely needed (especially if your puppy is of a small breed).
Grooming - Cats
Cats do a good job of grooming themsel ves, but regular brushing to prevent matting of hair is important. Cats rarely need a bath, but one can be given if necessary. Cats object to bathing in slippery tubs, so gi ve your kitten something to cling to, such as a wood platform or a wire screen. Use a shampoo designed for cats and kittens, as some dog sham-poos may be irritating.
Place cotton balls in the kitten's ears to keep out water and use an ophthalmic ointment (obtain one that is safe for kittens from your veterinarian) in its eyes to prevent burn-ing from shampoo. Towel dry the kitten completely and gently comb out any mats. Kittens' teeth should be carefully brushed on a regular basis. Your veterinarian can provide you with an appropriate toothbrush, dentifrice, and instruction on how to perform this task so that your kitten learns to accept this as part of its daily care.
Mealtime - Puppies
Feed a high quality diet designed for puppies. A wide variety of diets and formulations are available and your veterinar-ian should be your primary source of information as to the best choice for your puppy. The amount fed will vary with the type of food and the individual dog, but in general, should only be as much as the puppy can consume in 5 to 10 minutes at a given meal. Puppies are usually fed 3 times daily when between 6 and 12 weeks old, 2 times daily when 12 weeks to 6 months old, and may be fed 1 or 2 times daily when older than 6 months.
For certain large breeds of dogs, your veterinarian may recommend that several smaller meals be fed rather than 1 large meal (even when your dog becomes an adult) because an association has been suggested between the consump-tion of large meals and a serious medical condition called gastric dilatation/volvulus or "bloat."
Mealtime - Kittens
Feed a high quality diet designed for kittens. Your veterinarian is your best source for information regarding an appropriate diet for your kitten. Dry foods are usually most economical and have the advantage of providing a rough surface that will help reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your kitten's teeth, but canned foods can be fed if desired. Amount fed will depend on the diet, as well as the age, size, and activity level of your kitten. Kittens can be fed free-choice or at set mealtimes; however, many veterinarians recommend feeding all pets at set mealtimes because intake can be more easily monitored.
Canned foods should always be fed at set times, because if left unrefrigerated, they can spoil. I recommend use of stainless steel bowls because plastic and ceramic bowls can scratch, leaving crevices for bacteria to hide. The latter types of bowls (and resultant resident bacteria) have been associated with feline "acne" and skin irritation.
* Information courtesy of AVMA