How To Integrate A Dog To A Kitten?

By: J.M. Kimble, DVM/VMD 5-11-14

Q: My son wants to get a puppy for his birthday but I’m not sure how much care the dog needs and I don’t want him getting attached too early! What can we do? A: Generally speaking it is usually best to wait until your baby reaches one year of age before you bring home a new pet or companion animal as they will need more time to become familiar with all the new people and surroundings in their lives. In some cases where there are special circumstances such as living alone or having very small children that may not be able to handle this transition from isolation into the world at large, then petting sessions may be allowed sooner than “holidays” might suggest – but only once or twice per week so as not to overwhelm them psychologically. If he has been told by his doctor about any allergies, medication use etc., please be sure any potential new members of the family have been tested for all these conditions prior to moving forward with bringing them into your home…even if just on a trial basis. Also consider introducing them gradually over several weeks rather than dumping them into their environment together right away – especially if they have come from an area where dogs are common place animals (so it is likely there was no kennel visit). Your veterinarian should know whether each member of your household has had vaccinations (especially rabies vaccine), deworm