Tips For Starting The New Year With A New Pet

This is the “in between” time when we are recovering from the holiday craziness. Our kids haven’t gone back to school yet and many of us haven’t put away our Christmas decorations.

Our days have been mixed up for the last two weeks, and we are just now beginning to know whether it is Monday or Friday. We groan when we think about having to remember to write 2015 instead of 2014.

It is a time for new beginnings. If you are planning on beginning the New Year with a dog or cat, I want to make a few suggestions to get you off to the right start.

First things first, get pet insurance! I have never been such an advocate of pet insurance as I am today.

I am familiar with a dog that had to go to the Emergency Clinic because he ate ham bones. He required surgery and the owners walked away with a bill of almost $3,000. This all had to come out of their pocket.

If you have a pet in today’s world, you will eventually be faced with unexpected medical bills. It is a dark day when you face a choice you can’t make because the cost is too high.

Pet insurance is cheapest and most effective if you get it when they are puppies and have no pre-existing illness. Your veterinarian can recommend a company to you, but most will say VPI because it is well known among veterinarians.

There is a web site,, that will give you comparisons of all the different insurance companies along with reviews about each one.

Not all insurance is the same. Some companies emphasize well patient visits and preventive care, while some focus on reimbursing illness claims.

Some policies cover cancer when others don’t, and some policies have a clause concerning diseases that are specific to a particular breed. You need to read the fine print and find an insurance that meets your particular needs.

Next on the agenda are vaccinations for the puppy or kitten. Puppies need to be vaccinated every three weeks until they are four months old. Vaccines will include the Distemper, Parvo virus, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccines.

Your veterinarian will also perform a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites your puppy may have picked up from its mother. He will also get your dog started on heartworm preventative.

Kittens need vaccines every three weeks until they are three months old. Their vaccines include a Distemper vaccine as well as Rabies. The Feline Leukemia series will be recommended if the cat will be spending time out side.

Your veterinarian will want to test for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS with a blood test when the kitten is at least nine weeks old. He will also want to do a fecal exam for intestinal parasites.

Getting your pet vaccinated and tested are the best ways to keep your pet healthy and happy in the New Year. Getting pet insurance now is the best way to keep your pet healthy and happy in the future.

Reprinted from