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Pet Education and Counseling

Dog sitting next to mother and daughter reading together: education and counseling

At Companion Animal Hospital in Round Lake, we understand and respect the roles that education and counseling play in veterinary medicine and the relationship between humans and animals. Caring for a pet is a big responsibility, and being educated on how to address their needs is extremely important. Pet parents that are informed and knowledgeable regarding their pet’s health are likely to have a much stronger bond with them.

Here we'll address some common issues pet parents face when raising a puppy or kitten, caring for a senior pet, or managing behavioral problems. If you're eager to learn more and apply what you learn at home, let us know! We'll be happy to work with you.

Taking Care of Your Puppy or Kitten

Congratulations on adopting a cute, fluffy bundle of joy into your family! Raising a puppy or kitten is very exciting, but it can also be stressful if you’re unsure about their needs. That’s why you should call our hospital to book an appointment with your veterinarian. They can help you get started with your pet’s care and answer whatever questions you have about education and counseling—the more, the better!

In the first 6-8 weeks of life, puppies and kittens need a full checkup, parasite screen and their first round of vaccine boosters to stay healthy. Preventive care will help your four-legged friend avoid harmful diseases and grow up strong.

Every pet has a treatment schedule that is specific to their lifestyle. However, we do have a basic list of requirements for both dogs and cats that can serve as a guide for inexperienced pet parents. Click on the links below to see our puppy and kitten treatment schedules.

Informational Care Kits for Puppies and Kittens

We want you to be as prepared as possible to give your puppy or kitten the best care. During their first visit, you’ll receive a special kit with information about:

  • Preventative care and wellness
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Housebreaking, obedience and socializing
  • Behavior troubleshooting
  • Pet insurance
  • Spaying/neutering and elective surgery
  • Contact information for local emergency clinics
  • ...and more

Cheat Sheets for First-Time Pet Parents

We know how it important it is to you to start your new puppy or kitten on the right path. Below are some useful cheat sheets you can refer to to help you manage your pet’s day-to-day needs and activities.

Pug sticking its tongue out: education and counseling in Round Lake

Caring for Senior Pets

Pets age very quickly, so it's important to keep them healthy as they approach their senior years. All pets approach their senior years a little differently, but in general, cats and small dogs are considered seniors at about 8-9 years of age; medium-sized dogs are seniors by 7, and large-breed dogs become seniors when they reach 5-6 years old.

Like humans, cats and dogs can experience age-related issues such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Vision and hearing loss

Semiannual checkups can help us reduce the severity of these conditions and keep them manageable. Many of these can be managed with prescribed medication, prescription diet food, or a specific set of tasks and activities to do at home to help your pet cope with their physical changes. The goal of treatment is to improve your pet's quality of life as much as possible so they can be comfortable and active in their golden years.

In addition to physical exams, senior pets can also benefit from:

  • Routine lab tests to assess their organ function and blood chemistry
  • Digital X-rays to check their bones and heart
  • Laser therapy sessions to reduce pain and swelling caused by arthritis and weight gain
  • Daily supplements to promote and support healthy joints
  • A reasonable amount of activity every day to help them stay mobile and manage their weight
Dog sitting on torn up couch: education and counseling in Round Lake

Counseling on Behavior

A big part of owning a pet is keeping them out of trouble. While puppies and kittens often exhibit typical behaviors such as soiling on the carpet, chewing on table legs and unraveling the toilet paper, grown pets may also develop inappropriate or even harmful behaviors, such as:

  • Aggression (baring teeth, even biting)
  • Constant barking and vocalizing
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Destroying furniture and/or other parts of the house
  • Getting into the garbage or snatching food from tables and countertops
  • Inappropriate urination/defecation
  • Marking/spraying
  • Getting out of the house, bolting
  • ...and more

Difficult behaviors can be controlled with time, patience and collaborative effort with your veterinarian. It is also important to examine your pet to see if their behavior stems from an underlying medical issue. If this is the case, treating the medical problem may resolve the behavioral problems.

If a medical problem is not responsible for your pet’s behaviors, we may suggest medication therapy and/or even behavioral therapy with a specialist. Regardless, we’re here to help your pet enjoy a peaceful, healthy relationship with your family.

Need Help with Your Pet's Care?

Whether you need advice about housebreaking, ways to make your senior pet's life easier or just want to keep your pet in peak health, call (847) 270-0880. Your veterinarians will be more than happy to help you build a sustainable plan through education and counseling, to help you enjoy as many wonderful years as possible with your companion.

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