Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is exciting, especially if this is your first family pet. Ourprevious blog post focused on choosing a veterinary practice you feel comfortable about and what to expect with daily care. Creating a pet-friendly home is an equally important step in making the homecoming a smooth transition for everyone. Here are tips to consider before your puppy or kitten arrives.
Establishing House Rules
- Discuss and set the rules for what behaviors will be acceptable or forbidden.
- Should the dog be allowed on the furniture?
- Will the cat be allowed on the kitchen counters?
- Should we feed our new pet people food?
Determine everyone’s responsibilities:
- Who will feed the dog or cat?
- Who will walk the dog and at what point in the day or evening?
- Who will clean the litter box?
- Who will handle training the dog or cat and manage veterinary visits?
Gathering Pet Supplies
Your vet and local pet shop owner are the best resources for determining the proper size, style, type, quantities, and recommended brands of the supplies you’ll need based on the breed, size and any special needs of your new dog. Dog or cat, of course, you’ll need the basics: water and food bowls, a collar and leash, and toys. Here are some additional items you’ll need.
- Crate and/or carrier for training and transporting your new pet
- House training supplies like absorbent training pads for the floor and cleaning supplies
- Litter box and supplies for cats
- Grooming tools including shampoo, brushes/combs and nail trimmers
- Dental care items such as toothbrush and toothpaste
- Flea and tick protection
- Identification tag (and a collar with a small bell for outside cats)
- Outdoor and seasonal clothing like a raincoat, warm sweater or protection for the paws during winter walks
Creating Special Spaces
- Establish areas for feeding, sleeping, housebreaking and playing. Your new pet needs a personal space where it can feel comfortable and secure like a quiet corner where bedding or a crate can be placed permanently. The world is a big place and there’s a lot to discover. A large home can be an intimidating and stressful place for a new pet.
- Limit access to rooms or areas of the home when the pet is unsupervised until the puppy or kitten is a bit older and training is well-established.
Inspecting for Hazards
Pet-proofing your home is essential for the safety of your new dog or cat and to protect your belongings. Take the time to inspect each room for potential hazards.
- Window blinds and hanging cords are a choking hazard—shades and shorter window dressings are recommended
- Small toys or pieces such as colorful Legos or Barbie shoes scattered across the floor or under a bed that could easily be eaten
- Candy-filled dishes on low tables or reachable counters—chocolate and gum are toxic
- Open containers of chemicals or bags of food stored within reach—dogs have good noses and will chew through a box or bag for the tasty treats inside
Keep the phone number of your veterinary office and poison control handy but not on speed dial!
Next week, don’t miss part III of our blog series Preparing for Your New Puppy or Kitten: Nutrition and Training to Support Development. This is a crucial period of development for your puppy or kitten so good nutrition is essential to overall wellness and weight management. Establishing a bond with your new pet and properly training your dog (and even your cat) results in a lifetime of happiness.
Fast Facts: Puppy and Kitten Training is a quick look at the benefits of socializing and training your puppy. Think that cat can’t be trained? Oh yes, they can, and they can be trained to do tricks too! There are different types of behavior modification that work.
Doylestown Veterinary Hospital and Holiday House Pet Resort offer exceptional pet services, including complete medical care for dogs and cats, pet lodging, dog training, grooming salon and doggie daycare at our comprehensive facility located on 50 acres in Doylestown, PA. Ask about our promotion of $50 off training at Holiday House Pet Resort when your puppy receives vaccinations at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital.