Congratulations – you’ve just added a new four-legged addition to your family! Whether it’s a roly-poly puppy, or a cuddly, fuzzy kitten, it’s always exciting to welcome a new pet into your home. Before your furry friend can settle in, though, it’s important to have the essentials on hand so that you can properly care for your new puppy or kitten – after all, you’re their new parent, and they’re going to be counting on you to keep them happy and healthy. Let’s take a look at some of the basics you’ll need to care for your new friend.
- A safe snoozing spot
All animals need a safe and comfortable place where they can sleep, without fear of being disturbed. To keep puppies out of trouble and to help with housetraining, a snugly padded kennel or pet pen provide a cosy place to grab a nap, while kittens often prefer beds that are placed on raised surfaces like couches or beds.
- The finest food solutions
Excellent nutrition is one of the best ways to keep your new friend healthy; a complete and balanced puppy or kitten diet made from high-quality ingredients will provide your small sidekick with the right nutrients to grow and play – even though they might be messy eaters at first! It’s also essential to have fresh water accessible for dogs and cats at all times, so you might want to add a durable, washable food and water bowl to your list of necessary pet supplies.
- The right grooming gadgets
Grooming your kitten or puppy may not seem like a priority right now, but don’t skip those sessions with brush and comb; it’s important for our pets to learn to tolerate handling and grooming while they’re young, prepping them for future visits to the pet spa or even the veterinarian’s office. Make a point of gently touching and examining your new pet from nose to tail every evening, while offering them extra-tasty treats to make every experience a positive one. Introduce them to grooming tools slowly, and make sure to give them lots of praise and rewards while wielding that brush.
- A plan to prevent potty problems
One of the first things that new pet parents usually want their pup or kitten to learn is how to use their toilet area properly – accidents sure aren’t fun to clean up! For dogs, begin with a consistent daily routine of wake, potty, eat, potty, play, potty, sleep (and repeat), bringing your pooch to their assigned potty area every hour or two and praising them lavishly when they’re successful. The same routine works for kittens, too! Because young kittens may not be able to make it to a box far away, however, have at least two litter boxes available on different levels, and make sure to use a natural, non-clumping litter; fragranced litters are often off-putting for our feline friends, and the clumping variety isn’t safe for young kittens to use.
- A way to meet their exercise needs
As any new kitten or puppy owner will soon realize, these energetic creatures can quickly transform into fuzzy mischief-makers without something to occupy their attention. Provide your four-legged friend with several short sessions of exercise daily, but remember to work their mental muscles too! For puppies, this might mean fetch, games of ‘chase me!’, and puppy play dates, as well as training sessions and teaching tricks. Our kitty friends often enjoy chasing prey-like toys (feathers and fuzzy mice work great!), outdoor outings on a leash and harness, and using rolling balls that dispense their food as they bat it around.
Although some pet supplies are definitely a must for your new addition, what our pets truly need from us is our time, respect and loving attention. By giving your puppy or kitten those priceless gifts, you’re guaranteed to have a friend for life!