We encourage you to explore and navigate our website for the latest information on small animal patient care.



to learn about our advanced care options including Surgery, Dental Care, and Reproductive Services

Pet Health

Pet Health

for information about every stage of pet health from Puppies & Kittens to Senior Pets

Pet Care

Pet Care

for a wide variety of videos and articles to address your pet care needs

About Us

About Us

to meet the dedicated professionals of Northgate Animal Hospital and learn about our professional and community affiliations

  • Business Hours
  • Monday - Friday: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Puppies & Kittens:
We Make Caring for New Pets Easy and Fun


Congratulations on your new pet! Our recommendation for bringing home puppies and kittens applies for all newly adopted pets: Be certain that your youngster has an immediate medical exam, vaccinations, and treatment for parasites.

Many young pets receive initial veterinary care through their breeder or adoption facility. It is best practice to receive this care before introducing the new pet into your home, especially if you have other companion animals. Make sure you are given all the medical records on your new pet and bring copies to your first appointment. This may save your pet from repeated vaccinations or treatments, not to mention the added expense.

First Exam

Puppies and kittens require special care, so call for your initial exam as soon as your new pet arrives. We want to be sure your little one is healthy and strong, growing properly, and that no congenital problems exist. The physical examination is quite extensive and will be explained thoroughly.

At your puppy or kitten’s first visit with us, expect your veterinarian to:

  • Initiate the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet
  • Conduct testing for parasites or other necessary diagnostics
  • Determine what wellness care suits both you and your pet
  • Discuss your plans to spay or neuter

In addition, we will perform any necessary diagnostics and address your immediate concerns surrounding such topics as behavior and nutrition. As you can see, this first exam is about much more than shots — it is the first step to a long and happy life for your pet.

Spay and Neuter Your Pet for a Healthy Lifestyle

If you do not plan on breeding your dog or cat, we recommend that you spay or neuter your pet. The best time to do this is around 6 months of age. Spaying or neutering is important because it:

  • Promotes health and lifespan—This procedure is very safe and helps prevent cancer of the mammary and testicles, uterine infections, and prostate problems in animals.
  • Helps control overpopulation—Many pets are euthanized simply because there is no room in shelters and no one wants to adopt them; spaying and neutering is the single most important thing you can do to change this situation.
  • Reduces many problem behaviors—Such as urine marking, aggression, and wandering and roaming.

An altered pet lives longer and generally has fewer medical problems and a better temperament if this is done at an early age. Many unwanted animals are euthanized every year, so we encourage you to help reduce pet overpopulation.

At Northgate Animal Hospital, we perform the state-of-the-art surgical procedure, laparoscopic spay. A study published in the 2005 Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association concluded laparoscopic spays caused less surgical stress and up to 65% less post-operative pain than a traditional surgical spay. Some other advantages include the following:

  • The entire surgery is performed through a few tiny incisions rather than a larger abdominal opening. Smaller incisions are less painful and reduce recovery time.
  • Laparoscopic spay is performed as an outpatient procedure so your pet recovers at home, while traditional open spays may require an overnight stay
  • Laparoscopy allows the veterinarian to better visualization of abdominal organs
  • Controlled incisions eliminate pain and bruising caused by the tearing of tissue associated with traditional spays

Visit the LapSpay website to read more about laparoscopic surgery, download a brochure, and watch a video describing the laparoscopic spay procedure and recovery.


Puppies and kittens require a few basic supplies that protect them from harm and allow you to provide adequate care. Such supplies should include:

  • Food and water bowls—Metal or ceramic are easiest to keep clean and prevent chewing
  • Collar, leash, and ID tags—Even if you have an indoor animal, this is necessary for transporting to veterinary appointments and protects against lost pets
  • Grooming supplies—Buy brushes and combs appropriate to your pet’s skin and coat
  • Pet toothbrush and toothpaste—Start your home dental care early for ease later on
  • Cage and/or carrier—Be sure to pick the correct size for your pet
  • Bedding—Buy pet bedding, as people bedding may be dangerous to your new pet
  • Litter box and litter—For indoor and outdoor cats, just in case
  • Food—High-quality pet food designed for puppies or kittens is essential
  • Toys—Purchase toys appropriate to the age and type of pet and certified as safe


Training a new puppy or kitten begins the moment you bring your pet home. Socializing your young pet to handling, various people, and other animals helps the youngster develop into a confident, happy adult. Spend time every day playing and cuddling with your puppy or kitten and expose him or her to as many new experiences as possible.

Housetraining your new pet is essential to a happy home and you will find endless resources for this type of training. To begin, check out the AAHA Healthy Pets website for these terrific articles:

Visit the WebMD Pet Health Center for more informative articles about:

In this video series from the AAHA website, Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro discusses the basics of caring for a new puppy.

And find lots of fun ideas for playing with your puppy at the Dog Play website.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners offers a great website for cat owners, including articles about feline medical issues and wellness care.

For more help on bringing home your new puppy or kitten, enjoy this article, When You’ve Found a New Pet.