Are you about to bring a furry new member to your household?
Taking care of a young puppy or kitten isn’t as straightforward as taking care of an adult dog or cat. Puppies and kittens are growing rapidly and are learning new things every day. For proper growth and healthy development, these furry little bundles of joy need extra love, care, and attention during this crucial period, In this blog post we will go through how you can be a good pet parent to your young kitten or puppy. Jump to…
A Pet Carrier Bedding, Dishes etc. Create a Safe Space Talk About House Rules Pet-proof Your Home
Stay on Top of Veterinary Visits Get High-quality Food Train Your Pet! Socialize Your Pet Don’t Forget Grooming! Have Fun Together
Be Prepared When Bringing Your New Pet Home
Before you bring your new pet home, you will need to make sure you have the proper equipment that you’ll need, such as:
A Pet Carrier
We recommend you use a sturdy pet carrier to bring your new family member home in, as transportation brings its own hazards. Most kittens and puppies can get frightened in a moving vehicle and need a place they can be comfortable and secure in. Your new pet could even become frantic and distract you from driving, which is dangerous for everyone. Frightened cats and dogs also tend to urinate, defecate, or even vomit during transportation, so a pet carrier will help contain the mess. However, there are some steps you can take to help reduce travel anxiety in your pet and using a product such as Travel Anxiety or Canine Calming can help the trip go as smoothly as possible.
Proper Bedding, Dishes, Etc.
You should have everything that you need ready for when you bring your new family member home for the first time. This is not something you should be unprepared for! Buy appropriate bedding, a leash, harness, food and water dishes, a crate, a cozy and comfortable blanket, pet toys, food appropriate for your pet’s age, etc. before their first day home. Don’t hesitate to call the breeder, your local shelter or your veterinarian if you have any doubts. And don’t be embarrassed – they get these questions all the time! Having everything you need around and ready will help to make your new pet feel at home and will allow you to get on with the important task of bonding with your new fur-baby.
Create a Safe Space
Moving into a new house is a stressful time. This is especially true for kittens and puppies, as they don’t understand what’s going on. Create a comfortable and safe space for your new furry friend that they learn they can go to to get some ‘alone time’ should things get a little overwhelming. Make sure that no one in your house disturbs your furry friend when they’re in the safe zone. In fact, try to make it a ‘human-free’ environment. You may find that a lot of people want to come over to meet your new kitten or puppy, but this can be exhausting for them. After all, they need their rest to grow into a strong, healthy adult! So keep visitors to a minimum in the early days
Talk About House Rules
Will your new puppy or kitten be a family pet, or more of a ‘one-person-puppy’? Before you bring the new furry family member home, you need to have a family meeting about pet care responsibilities. A few things you will need to figure out include:
- Who will be responsible for training?
- Who’ll take the pup out for walks?
- Will the pet be allowed in the bed or on the furniture?
- Who’s responsible for feeding?
- Who’ll take care of vet visits?
- Who’ll keep track of vaccinations?
- Who will clean up after any accidents?
- Who’s responsible for the bills and pet care costs?
Everyone in the household needs to be on the same page about these questions. After all, a pet is a part of the family and should be made feel as such.
Pet-proof Your Home
Don’t want your new pet to get their paws on something? Hide it! Just like people baby-proof their homes when expecting, you need to pet-proof your home to ensure your pet’s safety and that possessions you treasure don’t encounter unfortunate mishaps! You may not be aware of this but, your house contains many things that are toxic to cats and dogs and that could be very tempting for puppies and kittens to play with This includes avocados, grapes, chocolate, certain indoor plants, your cleaning supplies, etc. Our advice? Look for a list of things that are toxic to dogs or cats, print it out, and put it where you can see it! A great option is to tape it to your fridge door. You should also save your vet’s phone number into your phone, together with that of an emergency veterinary hospital…just in case. Hide the things that may be toxic to your new furry family member in places they won’t be able to reach, such as a cabinet at a height, or a locked cupboard.
Taking Care of Young Puppies and Kittens
If your new family member is very young, there are some extra things to be mindful of to take the best care possible of your tiny furry friend.
Stay on Top of Veterinary Visits
If you’ve adopted from the local shelter, your new pet might have already gotten their shots. If not, you should book them in with your local veterinarian for any vaccinations they may need and for a general check-up. Talk to your vet about a follow up schedule of visits to ensure they are developing correctly, and that any issues are caught early. Your vet will also keep track of your furry friend’s weight and check for any signs of illness. You should establish a good relationship with your vet as they will have an important role to play in your pet’s wellbeing, hopefully for a long time into the future.
Get High-quality Food
Excellent nutrition is key if you want a happy and healthy pet. During kittenhood and puppyhood, you should ensure that your pet is getting all the nutrients they need from their food. Feeding your pet the best food possible will help build their immune system and a proper and balanced diet can help to keep disease at bay. Ensure that your pet is getting all the nutrients in the right quantities for optimum health, so talk to your veterinarian who will be able to provide you with a nutrition plan and recommend high-quality pet foods. The best food for your young pet should:
- Contain the right balance of carbs, proteins, and fats
- Have all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- Contain human-grade meat
- Not be cooked at high temperatures
Train Your Pet!
It’s important to start training your pet correctly the moment they arrive home. By starting to train them from an early age, you’re less likely to experience behavioral issues in the future. Start with short sessions of just around ten minutes so that your puppy doesn’t get bored or distracted and, if possible, have at least three to four fun sessions a day in which you can teach your puppy the basic commands.
Socialize Your Pet
Socializing your pet from an early age is critical. Isolated pets become wary of strangers and are more likely to attack people or animals that approach them in the future. Taking your pet out to meet new people and animals (once they have all their appropriate shots and you’re confident they are in good health) is a great way for them to meet new people and experience new things. There are loads of things you can do – take your furry friend out for a walk, go to a pet kindergarten class, hang out with friends at home, go on a pet playdate, etc. It’s all about having fun!
Don’t Forget Grooming!
When your pet is young, grooming is very important since they may still be learning to groom themselves and may not be doing a proper job yet! Positive grooming experiences can also help to develop healthy habits as your pet gets older. For example, by incorporating good habits such as checking your pet’s nails and cleaning their teeth into your grooming routine, you’re setting the stage for a happy and healthy pet for many years to come. If you start early and gently, incorporating lots of cuddles and praise, your pet will start looking forward to your grooming sessions. And, it’s an awesome way to create a strong bond between you and your furry little bundle of joy.
Have Fun Together Getting a pet is a big responsibility. However, that shouldn’t stop you from having fun with your furry friend, no matter what size, breed or shape they are! Play games, take your new pup on long walks, hikes, runs, or have them accompany you when you’re running errands. Your pet is your companion. And hopefully they will enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs. Cuddle up with your kitten to watch some TV, or nap together. Everything you do now will create the foundation for a strong, lifelong bond. Provide your pet with the best home possible and you’ll be rewarded with unconditional love.
Summing it Up: How to Take Care of Kittens and Puppies!
Getting a pet is a big responsibility. You’ll have to take care of your pet’s nutritional needs, grooming, training, look for signs of medical issues, take them to the vet on a regular basis and make sure they stay safe at home and when out and about. Your furry friend is still young and impressionable during puppyhood or kittenhood. You’ll need to be gentle yet firm with them, teach them the do’s and don’ts of the household, socialize them and give them the right food to help ensure that they blossom into well-behaved, healthy adult animals. But having a young puppy or kitten and watching them grow into your faithful four-legged partner is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences you can have.