Puppies and Kittens
It’s exciting when pet lovers bring home a new puppy or kitten – much like the welcome of a new family member, they can bring joy into our lives. So naturally, you want to do what is best for the “new addition to the family.”
How do I Take Care of Puppies and Kittens?
There are several things you need to do before you even bring your kitten or puppy home:
- Pet-proof your home. Owning a puppy or kitten is a commitment, and one of the best things you can do to prepare is to make sure they don’t get into trouble at the outset. Your new pet is naturally curious, and just as a human toddler might do, get into things they shouldn’t. Clean your house and pick up any clutter or fragile items. Tape electrical cords together and elevate your plants. Puppies love to chew things so make sure your shoes are safe!
- Get the right food for them. There are specially-formulated foods for puppies and kittens, as opposed to adult food. Make sure it is high-quality and free from any by-products. Your vet can advise you when it is time to move them to adult food. When choosing wet vs. dry food, consider what is best for you and your pet’s situation – your vet can help in this decision as well.
- If you have very young kittens, you will need to learn to potty train them. Have a litter box ready to go and carefully monitor them. If they start to pee or defecate in a corner, gently pick them up and place them in the litter box – eventually they’ll get the idea.
- For puppies, the same principle applies, but take them outside in your yard, or for walks to a green area so they can do their business. There are also in-home turfs you can buy for very young puppies. It takes patience, persistence and positive reinforcement, and your vet can also help give advice in this area.
- Health and wellness examination. Bring your new pet to the vet during the first couple of weeks you have them and get a thorough examination done. If you can, have them microchipped, so if the pet ever gets lost, the veterinarian will be able to easily identify you as the owner.
What are the Things all Puppies and Kittens Need?
Above all, they need LOVE! Shower them with as much attention and affection as you can. This not only helps you to bond with your new puppy or kitten, but they will develop social skills and generally feel loved, which directly relates to their overall health.
Of course, with love also comes a certain amount of discipline. They are living with you, and so you need to patiently show them the rules of the household. Establish certain feeding times, and you may (at first) need to quarantine them when you go to bed at night. Eventually, they will learn your schedule, which is key to you and your new pet living harmoniously together.