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Puppy & Kitten Care

When the time comes to finally bring your new pet home for the first time, you can pretty much count on three things: unbridled joy, cleaning up your pet's accidents, and a major lifestyle adjustment.

As you’ll soon learn, a growing puppy or kitten needs much more than a food bowl and a doghouse to thrive. Fortunately, our staff at Sommerville will be there to make it the adjustment as seamless as possible.

Ensuring the well-being of your new furry family member requires attention and care, our staff at Sommerville will be there to guide you throughout this journey.  

On your first visit to Sommerville we will set up a vaccination plan, discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal. Discuss which signs of illness to watch for during your furry friends first few months.

Basic Puppy Care:

Nutrition: Our vets can recommend high-quality puppy food appropriate for their age and size. Feed them small, frequent meals to support their growth.

Training: Start with basic obedience training, such as potty training and simple commands like sit and stay. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key.

Socialization: Introduce your puppy to various people, animals, and environments gradually to help them develop into well-adjusted adults.

Exercise: Puppies have lots of energy to burn. Provide regular playtime and short walks to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Healthcare: Schedule yearly vaccinations, deworming, and regular check-ups with one of our veterinarians or nurses. Stay vigilant for signs of illness or discomfort.

Basic Kitten Care:

Nutrition: Offer a balanced diet formulated for kittens to support their growth and development. Provide fresh water at all times.

Litter Box Training: Introduce your kitten to the litter box early and keep it clean. Place them in the box after meals and naps to encourage usage.

Scratching Needs: Provide scratching posts or pads to satisfy your kitten's natural urge to scratch and stretch. This helps with their physical and emotional well-being.

Playtime: Engage in interactive play sessions with toys to keep your kitten active and mentally stimulated. Rotate toys regularly to prevent boredom.

Healthcare: Schedule vaccinations, flea control, and regular check-ups with a veterinarian. Keep an eye out for any signs of illness or changes in behaviour.

Additional Tips for Both:

  • Brush your pet regularly to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Trim nails as needed and introduce grooming routines early to make them comfortable.

  • Puppy-proof or kitten-proof your home by removing hazardous items and securing electrical cords. Keep toxic plants and household chemicals out of reach.

  • Spend quality time bonding with your pet through cuddles, play, and positive reinforcement. Building a strong relationship fosters trust and companionship.

  • Establish clear boundaries and reinforce positive behaviour through rewards and redirection. Consistency is key to effective training.

  • Remember that both puppies and kittens are learning and growing every day. Patience, understanding, and lots of love will help them thrive in their new environment.

  • By prioritizing these aspects of care, you'll lay the groundwork for a lifelong bond filled with joy and companionship.

Lastly, but a very important note, pet health insurance may help you pay for unexpected health expenses, surgeries, or medications. It’s important to consider insurance before there’s a problem. The links below are for pet insurance companies available in NZ, however, decisions about whether to take out insurance and which company or policy must be made by you.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance


SPCA Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance NZ (pdinsurance)

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Sommerville Veterinary Centre

Where we have been putting “pets first” since 1993.