Every pet parent wants to do what is best for their pets. However, many are not sure where to even start.

You bring home your new puppy or kitten. Everyone is excited, but then you ask now what? Where do you even begin with food, vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, dewormers, and everything else that comes along with caring for a dog and a cat?

Food is the foundation for health.

Starting our puppies and kittens off to a good start begins with an optimal diet. If our pets are eating foods that are full of fillers, chemicals, and artificial ingredients, we’ll be lucky if they don’t develop disease down the road. Puppies with allergies are on the rise, and the symptoms usually arise because they are being fed food with ingredients that are not optimal for your pet’s health.

However, you are doing what you thought was right. The veterinarian sent you home with this food or made the recommendation, and now your pet may be getting sick from it. Make sure you learn how to read ingredient labels to optimize the pet food you’re feeding. This skill will benefit your pets tremendously throughout their life.

Here’s a list of previous blog posts you can read on how to optimize your pet’s food and choose the best food possible for your pet’s health:

Feeding a biologically appropriate diet is important especially when our pets are young. If you decide to go down the route of using home-cooked or raw diets ensure that the diet is formulated and balanced for a growing dog.

Many people make the mistake of feeding a home-cooked or unbalanced diet, and this can lead to life-long health problems due to inappropriate calcium:phosphorus ratios not being met, amongst other imbalances. If you need to feed a kibble diet, add in leafy greens and vegetables into the diet at least three times a week to ensure your pet is receiving phytonutrients and antioxidants to help their growing bodies.

If you feel frustrated and confused with what is the best pet nutrition, check out our personalized pet nutrition consultations.

Vaccines are another highly controversial area. Vaccines are necessary, but we want to ensure our new pets are not being over-vaccinated. Watch the video below on how we approach vaccines and what vaccine titers are and how they should be used. When multiple vaccines are being used, your dog and cat will benefit from them being spread apart by at least two weeks.

For example, if your dog needs distemper/parvo and the leptospirosis vaccines, give the leptospirosis vaccine at least two weeks after the distemper/parvo vaccine to allow the immune system to not be overstimulated.

Also, ask your veterinarian about the risks of certain diseases in that area. Not every area has leptospirosis or Lyme disease, and we should not be vaccinating if the pet is not going to come into contact with that disease.

Ask your vet if your pet truly needs the bordetella vaccination (kennel cough). If your dog does not come into contact routinely with other dogs or go to grooming or the dog park, they may not need this vaccine.

We need to be assessing risk and benefits better before just giving all of the vaccines because we can.

Using natural flea and tick preventatives is another area that we can reduce the number of synthetic chemicals going into our pet’s bodies.

Do you live in an area where there are a lot of fleas and ticks?

What diseases do those fleas and ticks carry in your area?

Some people need to use stronger chemicals, because of flea infestations. However, when we feed a biologically appropriate diet and keep our pet’s immune systems functioning at an optimal level, we can naturally reduce the flea and tick population on our pets. When natural remedies are also used, managing fleas and ticks can be much easier and it’s more gentle on our pet’s bodies.

Here are few resources on natural remedies that can be helpful for flea and tick repellants for your dogs and cats:

  • Wondercide

  • AnimalEO

  • Young Living – Thieves, Melrose, Purification (one drop of any formula on a bandanna around your dog’s neck or diffusing in the house)

Check out our previous blog post on more natural remedies for flea and tick treatment and repellants: Natural pet remedies for fleas and ticks

Optimizing these three areas in your pet from day one will help your pet achieve vibrant health over their entire life.

Comment below on what areas you’re working on with your pets and how you’re helping them live a natural and healthy life!


1. Grab your FREE PDF on the Top 5 Ways to Optimize Your Pet’s Health!

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2. Join our FREE Facebook Natural Pet Parent Community group for more natural health guidance.

You’ll join a group of amazing, like-minded pet parents who are supportive and engage actively to help pets achieve optimal health. Dr. Katie also goes live every week for a private Q&A with the group as an added bonus. Join by clicking here!

*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

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