Welcoming a pet into your home is exciting and fun. It is always fun watching a new pet curiously explore their new home and start to show their playful personality. Whether you bring home a puppy or kitten or an adult pet, there are many things you need to prepare for and keep in mind. A pet takes a lot of work and additional care, so be sure you are ready to take care of one before you take on this commitment!
At Paradise Point Animal Hospital in Phoenix, we can help keep your new pet healthy and happy throughout their entire life. We offer canine wellness plans and feline wellness plans, with different plans for all ages. These plans help ensure that your dog or cat gets the care they need to feel their best and prevent any common problems.
We care about your pets just as much as you do. We want to ensure that they are properly cared for and giving the love and attention they need. In this blog, we are going to help those new pet owners out by giving you some pet care basics! Be sure to read on to learn more and schedule your pet’s first vet appointment with us today!
Get The Supplies
Before you even bring your pet home, you should have all the necessary supplies. While you may think that you wouldn’t need too much, both cats and dogs have a variety of items they need.
For your puppy, you will need:
- A bed
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Puppy food (yes there is dog food made specifically for puppies)
- A crate (if you are crate training)
For your kitten, you will need:
- A bed
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Litter box
- Kitten food
- Scratching post
- Collar (you will want a collar if your cat will be an outdoor cat or for when you bring them anywhere)
These are only the basic items that you will need for your pet right away. While some of these items are not a complete necessity on the very first day, all of these items are important in keeping your puppy or kitten happy and healthy.
Food and Water
You need to make sure your pet always has access to water and is fed at least twice a day. Many people have their dogs and cats on open feeding, which is when you simply leave their food out all day so that they can eat it when they want. There is no problem with this, but you want to make sure that they are not eating too much. If you keep refilling their bowl and they keep eating what is in it, they will start to gain too much weight. The back of the food bag will tell you how much you should be feeding your puppy or kitten each day.
You will want to make sure that you pick a healthy food that provides your furry friend with the proper nutrients. If you give us a call, we can recommend some food options for your pet depending on their age.
You will also need to provide them with plenty of clean water. Be sure to refill their bowl daily and make sure they have clean water. Some pets are picky and won’t drink their water if there is drool in it or food bits, even if it is their own. Make sure they have plenty of access to water before you leave for the day as well.
Giving your pet a place to sleep is more than just allowing them to find a place around you home to snooze. You need to get your pet a bed and give them their own space.
If you have a puppy, you may want to start by crate training them. Add a bed in the crate and make them sleep in there every night. A crate is a good idea because puppies are mischievous and may get into trouble while you are sleeping. They may also leave you a nice surprise to clean up in the morning, so it is better to have them confined in their crate rather than roaming your home. It is important to know that puppies are like babies. Your pup will likely wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, so if you notice they are restless or crying, it is best to bring them outside.
If you are welcoming a kitten into your home, you don’t have to crate them, but you should provide them with a bed. If you don’t want to crate your cat but don’t want them roaming the house. You could lock them in a room where they have their bed, litter box, and food and water, such as the laundry room, a bathroom, or another space that is not carpeted. This will allow your cat to have everything they need without being locked in a crate. If your kitten is having trouble learning to use their litter box, you can use a crate until they begin to learn.
Potty training can be a challenge and you will likely deal with a few accidents before your pet perfects this skill. While cats may have an easier time figuring out where to go to the bathroom, puppies are not so easy.
For your puppy, the training may be more difficult. Your puppy will have accidents, so prepare for that and don’t punish them. Be sure to bring them outside first thing in the morning, right before you go to bed, after they eat, after they drink, after waking up from a nap, and after playing inside. It is best to stand outside until they do their business. Let them sniff around and encourage them by saying “go potty.” When they do finally go, say “good potty,” this will help them start associating the word with the action. Once they start going outside and realize that is where they are meant to go, you may notice them sitting by the door when they need to go. To make it easier for them to tell you when they need to go out, put a bell by the door and gently use their paw to hit it before taking them out. Eventually, they will realize that they can ring the bell to go outside.
As for your cat, be sure to show them their litter box right away. Pick a spot to put the litter box and leave it there. It will not be helpful if you are constantly moving their bathroom. Show them where their litter box is right away and let them smell and examine it. After meals and immediately after waking up, place them in their litter box. Be sure to reward them with treats when they use their litter box successfully. Be sure to clean the litter box regularly. Your kitten may not want to use their litter box if it hasn’t been cleaned.
Both dogs and cats need plenty of exercise and playtime. This is why it is important to get both puppies and kittens toys. You can try a variety of different toys for your cat to see what they like the best, be sure to get a laser pointer. Most cats will chase those things for hours! If you have an outdoor cat, you can even stick them on a leash and take them on a little walk around your neighborhood. It is best to try starting this when they are young, otherwise they will most likely want nothing to do with the leash.
For your dog, you will need to play with them and walk them. Be sure to walk your puppy daily. Not only is this a great way to give them the exercise they need, but it is also good for their training and development. Puppies need a lot of stimulation, otherwise they may end up misbehaving and tearing your home apart. Walking them gives them that stimulation, helps socialize them, and offers a variety of other benefits. You can also spend time each day playing with them, whether you choose to chase them around the backyard or you begin to teach them how to play fetch.
A new pet is fun and exciting. But they do require a lot of care, attention, and time. If you are ready to bring home a furry friend, be sure to prepare and follow these tips! They will help make the transition much easier for you and your puppy or kitten.
Be sure to also contact Paradise Point Animal Hospital in Phoenix to schedule your canine or feline wellness exam! We offer wellness plans for puppies, kittens, adult cats and dogs, and senior cats and dogs. We look forward to helping ensure your new furry friend is healthy and happy!