New Pet Owners in Germantown, MD

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Bringing a pet into your home for the first time is a very exciting experience — there’s no limit to the amount of happiness a new dog or cat can add to your life. But as a new pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your dog or cat is as happy (and healthy) as possible too!

So, how do you do that? The professional veterinarians at Germantown Vet can help you set up a smart plan for your pet’s health to ensure a long, happy life.

Call us today at (240) 252-7467 or fill out the form on this page to schedule!

What Our Clients Say

“We had an excellent first visit at Germantown Vet Clinic. They were very friendly to us, but especially to out dog Beau. They were very thorough and answered all (and I had quite a few) of our questions. We definitely will be back for our routine and emergency needs!” – Jeanne, Gaithersburg

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Save On Your New Pet’s Vet Care

Wellness plans graphic
Puppy and kitten vet care can add up very quickly with the numerous visits and vaccinations that are required in the first year of their life. That’s why Germantown Vet is happy to offer affordable pet wellness plans to our clients in the Montgomery County, MD, area.

Learn more about our pet wellness plans here »

The 5 Key Elements of Your New Pet’s Health

When it comes to being a new pet owner, there are five things you need to get your new puppy or kitten off on the right track.

1. Vaccinations

New puppies and kittens require numerous vaccinations, including rabies, distemper, Lyme disease, Bordetella, and more. All of these vaccinations are incredibly important to the development of your new pet and will protect them from common diseases.

Learn more about common pet vaccinations »

2. Parasite Control

Parasites — they’re enough to put any new pet owner on edge. That’s why it’s so important to start parasite control early for your pet, regardless of their age. Every new pet owner should be familiar with parasite control and understand why it’s important.

Unfortunately, parasites can be common in both dogs and cats, and they can lead to a host of unpleasant side effects, including infection, disease, and even death. Your pet should be administered preventative treatment for all the most common kinds of parasites, including fleas, ticks, heartworms, intestinal parasites, and ear mites. Germantown Vet can help you establish a healthy parasite treatment regimen to ensure your pet is always protected.

Learn more about dog parasites and cat parasites »

3. Nutrition & Exercise

If “you are what you eat,” the same applies to your new pet. Many of the inexpensive dog food brands are full of poor-quality ingredients that are difficult for your pet to digest. The professionals at Germantown Vet can help you select the best diet and nutrition plan for your puppy or kitten that fits both your pet’s needs and your budget.

It will also be important to create a routine exercise plan for your new pet, too. As a new pet owner, you may not know just how much exercise a puppy or kitten is going to need, but our vets are here to help. We can help you meet your pet’s exercise years through every stage of their life.

Learn more about dog diet and nutrition and cat diet and nutrition »

4. Behavior Assessments

As a new pet owner, you may not know what is considered “normal” behavior in dogs and cats. Having a behavior assessment for your new pet is incredibly important for two reasons. The first is that understanding what is normal and abnormal for your pet’s behavior can be an excellent indicator of health concerns for your pet. When they’re doing something outside the norm, you will be able to recognize it and act accordingly.

The second reason is particularly important when you adopt a pet from a shelter — a behavior assessment will determine if there are any behavioral issues you will be dealing with with your new pet.

5. Developmental Progress

Ongoing veterinary treatment is especially important for puppies and kittens because their developmental progress should be carefully monitored. Tracking your pet’s weight, size, and development is important because it helps them develop correctly.

Learn More About Being a New Pet Owner

If you’re a new pet owner in Germantown, Maryland, or the surrounding areas, contact Germantown Vet today. We can help you and your pet get started out correctly!

Contact us online or by phone at (240) 252-7467 to schedule your first appointment!

New Pet Owner FAQs

What kind of food should I include in my new pet’s diet?

Dogs need protein-rich, salt-free food, so don’t feed your new pet from your own plate. Many foods, including garlic and chocolate, are toxic to dogs, but carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, and meat make excellent high-value treats if prepared without salt. For everyday meals, choose vet-approved kibble that suits your new best friend’s breed and age. Puppy food is high in fat and thus inappropriate for adult dogs. Cats need more protein than dogs, so serve monitored portions of feline pellets and wet cat food.

How much exercise does my dog need?

Most dogs need a daily walk of at least half an hour. Energetic breeds like huskies and border collies will need two or three walks a day if they live in homes with small gardens. Our veterinary team can provide information on the exercise needs of your dog.

How can I keep my dog comfortable in all seasons?

Dogs are less tolerant of extreme weather than you might think. During the winter, your pup will need a heated kennel, an additional covered area to shield them from rain or snow, and more. In the summer, your dog should have a cool spot to relax, access to lots of water, and a ventilated kennel.

How often should I take my new cat to the vet?

Cats need to be vaccinated, dewormed, and treated for ticks and fleas. A checkup every six months will be enough to cover dentistry, vaccinations, and other maintenance care.

Can I give my parrot homemade toys?

Parrots are remarkably sensitive to toxins in dyes and paints. While it’s cheaper to make your own toys, your parrot needs products that are free of toxins. Stainless steel, natural fiber rope, undyed and untreated pine, and vegetable-tanned leather are safe materials. Cowbells make excellent toys, but stay away from rings large enough to choke your parrot.

What foods should I feed my parrot?

Parrots love nuts, seeds, and fruit, but some are toxic to them. Stay away from watermelon, avocado, dairy, chocolate, peanuts, and fruit seeds. Raw vegetables, cooked whole grains, and nuts should make up 20% of your parrot’s diet. Breed-specific pellets will ensure that your bird receives all the nutrients it needs.

How should I bathe my pets?

Dogs that spend plenty of time outdoors need frequent baths, but passive pets should only need a soak every few months. Cats usually groom themselves, but they need a bath if they’ve rolled in a substance they can’t manage to clean on their own. Parrots who don’t bathe themselves need to be washed twice a month to avoid itchiness and over-plucking.

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