No question is too big or too small.
The Yorkshire Animal Hospital team has gathered the answers to a few frequently asked questions that our clients have asked. If you do not see the answer to your question below, please contact us.
Where do we go after hours or when there is an emergency?
There are several emergency clinics in the St. Louis area we recommend that can help when there are concerns after hours and during an emergency.
How much food do I give my new puppy or kitten?
You can use the back of the bag for some guidance but know that you do not want to overfeed. A good rule of thumb is to get a good quality of food first.
Recommended foods on the market are the following brands:
- Purina ProPlan
- Science Diet
- Royal Canin
Secondary foods (if needed) are:
- Purina ONE
For puppies, you will want to feed twice daily unless you have a toy breed. If you have a toy breed, then you will want to feed them three times daily. The quantity of food to feed is roughly 1 cup (8oz) / 10# body weight. DO NOT add any treats or extras.
For kittens, you will want to feed twice daily as a timed feeding to help know when they are eating. The quantity of food to feed is roughly 1/3 cup (2.6oz) /5# body weight. DO NOT overfeed or add in treats and all sorts of other items.
How many litter boxes does my house need?
The number of litter boxes is determined by the number of resident cats in the home. The common rule is to have one litter box per cat plus an extra. If you have one cat in the home, then you should have two litter boxes. If there are more than two, then you will need to have an additional litter box. This means that you should have four to five litter boxes once you have three cats in the home.
When having litter boxes, you need to clean them daily. This means scooping twice daily in addition to doing a full clean-out of the litter and cleaning of the box on a weekly schedule.
Placements in the home should be on each level of the house. You want to give them ample opportunity to use the litter boxes on the first floor or in the basement, etc. If you have a multi-cat household, do not put them all together since you could have a “Bully Cat.” This is the cat that looks as if he or she is doing nothing, but in fact, they could be intimidating the other cats in the home. This could lead to the other cats urinating in inappropriate locations or bladder infections due to retained urine. Intimidation causes stress, behavior concerns, along with the destruction of your home if they are eliminating on the clothing, furniture or other areas.
Should I get a litter box with or without a hood?
If anyone has gone to a concert and used a port-a-potty, then they would opt not to use the hood. This traps the odors inside the box, but it could also cause the pet a “tight” squeeze to maneuver their body into the litter box. It also allows a cat to sit on top of the box or sneak up on the other house cat and attack them. Take it off, or make sure to have one without giving your pet a choice.
How can I easily train my puppy for potty training?
Potty training at times can be overwhelming. How often do I take them out? How often is too often? I can’t get them to go outside, but they always pee or poop when I bring them back inside the house.
Firstly, children wear diapers for more than two years, so do not expect a puppy to understand potty training in one weeks’ time. Secondly, start a routine for the puppy to get consistency and follow-through. Third, you will need to have patience. It will take some effort by the whole family to get the puppy trained.
Congratulations on adopting a puppy from a rescue, breeder, or shelter. No matter where the puppy might have got its start, we know what you want: no urine or stool in the house. Some use potty pads, others the kitchen, but in theory, ask yourself if you want the pet to use the kitchen floor or use the potty pad for when it is grown. For smaller breeds, you can use a litter box (Purina trained German Shepherds to use them indoors, but I would not want it in the house). For a small breed such as Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua, maybe it would not be so terrible. Most, however, never want the animal to use the home as a toilet so let’s see how we can go about getting them trained.
To have the pet tell you when they need to go out is a bonus, so you can try to train them to a bell on the door, a scratch at the door, or anything similar. Some do not give you the big tell but are more subtle, and if you watch, you will be able to pick up on their signals. As a puppy grows and matures, they may be allowed to go out off-leash. However, we need to make sure that they are doing their job and not playing with the butterfly that flew by or the wind that is rustling the leaves. The puppies that are under twelve weeks should be going outside for a bathroom break every hour until they grow a little more. They will be able to “hold” their bladder for a couple of hours after ten weeks, but we want to allow them to develop a pattern.
Once the pet establishes a routine, you will be able to space their times out a little more than one hour. It just takes time. The goal is to have a puppy sleep through the night and not have any accidents in the house at all. Unfortunately, they may have an accident in the house.
Please DO NOT yell, scream, hit, or rub their nose in the mess. Now you have a frightened puppy and another mess to clean.
Please DO clean up the mess, take the puppy outside to see if they need to go again or to finish. If there was a bowel movement, you could take it out with you to show them where it goes. Again, patterns and routines help to develop consistency. IF you watch the puppy actively having the accident, fuss at them, see if they stop. If so, take them outside to finish, and then clean up the mess when you come back. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is key.
Apartment Living, Condominiums, and Townhomes
For units that have their own yard, it is wonderful. But for the majority, you have to take them on a walk and use the common ground. Try to discover your own place to take your pet potty. Set up a routine of taking them out once you wake, to the door, through the stairwell/elevator, and down to the path to use. Now set a timer of 2 – 3 minutes. Also, make sure to keep the pet on a leash when outside. Puppies under twelve weeks are still having their eyesight develop, so they do tend to stay closer.
Now, if the patient eliminates within the time frame, reward with positive praise (i.e., what a good boy/girl, oh, you went potty, so good, etc.). You can reward them with a treat once they go back inside. If the patient does not go to the bathroom in that time frame, take them back to the home, kennel them, do something for five minutes and go back outside. This will reinforce why we are going outside and why we cannot play as they have a job to do.
For the Single Home
You have a yard – wonderful! But it is not a babysitter! Make sure to take the pet out through the door to either the front or backyard. Leave them on a leash like the other owners, set a timer, and do the same thing. You want to set a routine for them, establish a pattern of how we leash up, go through this door, get a time limit and go potty, then come back inside. If they do not go on that first attempt, then take them to the kennel, do something for five minutes, and take them back out.