All I Want for Christmas is a Puppy named Pete

Guest post by Vetted PetCare

In the spirit of the holidays, many families finally grant their children’s wishes with a brand-new kitty or pup. Who wouldn’t want to bring a cute, cuddly creature home to love and cherish? Though well intended, some parents and children overlook the amount of responsibility involved in preparing for, training, and caring for a new pet. Before adopting, take these steps to set your home up for success:

1) Stock up on supplies

  • A crate:
    • Especially for puppies, they can feel anxious at first. Purchasing a crate that is properly sized for the pet you’ve got today is important for their comfort. Any pet store associate will be able to help once you give the breed or breed estimation and approximate age. Placement of the crate is equally important – in proximity to the pup’s new humans will help for the first 2 weeks.
  • Get some grub:
    • There are many great options out there. Is your pet a small or large breed? How old are they? Make sure you purchase food by your pet’s size and age as formulas vary based on these factors. Don’t forget about treats! Treats are great for training purposes and your animals’ oral health.
    • Pro tip: Puppy/kitten food has vastly different protein ratios vary depending on age, so even if your pet is adopted, do the best you can with age estimation.
  • Chew and scratch on it:
    • Attractive toys are great to distract your new pup from chewing or potentially harming on your personal items such as shoes. Be careful about stuffed toys, as dogs can rip them apart and consume toxic stuffing! Cats on the other hand – They love it. Training them to use a post will prevent them from tearing up your sofa. Pro tip: Try to acquire toys with various textures to keep your pet playful and wonderfully occupied and satisfied.
  • Sleep on it
    • Setting up a soft, cozy bed for your pet in each high-traffic room is a great idea, and will attract them away from your furniture while keeping them nearby you. Pro tip: Start with one bed to see what your pet prefers. For our personal pets, the cushier, the better. For others, all they want is a little blanket that smells like you!
  • So fresh and so clean
    • A brush and shampoo are great to start with. Always check the labels to ensure the shampoo is ideal for your animal’s fur and health requirements. Pro tip: Nail and tooth care are essential to your pet’s overall well-being. Get them used to those areas being touched ASAP which makes future grooming easier and more comfortable for you both!
  • Weeeee!
    • Essential for preliminary potty training, pee pads help both the pet identify where to go and allows you to figure out their signs (not to mention prevents future accidents around the house!). Pro tip: When you see your pet using “the facilities,” repeat keywords they need to know for future training and show them the way to their preferred bathroom area. We like words like “out” and picking up the pet so they can see where they need to go in the future.
  • Litter bug
    • There are many options to choose from, but your cat’s preferences ultimately are the deciding factor in whether or not he or she will use it! Litter boxes must be scooped daily and completely changed once a week.
  • Clean up act
    • Your kitty or puppy will make a mess around the house at some point. Make sure you purchase “pet-safe,” non-toxic supplies. Anything to break down the proteins found in urine will be your friend, as pets like to make repeat offenses.
  • Walk this way

Harnesses can be great for training purposes and prevent accidental choking of your eager pup (or cat!). Whatever you choose, check the tag to see how much weight the leash (or harness) can bear. Pro tip: Get your pet used to a harness or collar by letting them move freely at home with it on. If you notice some light scratching, that’s okay. It’s a foreign object on their bods so it may take a few tries to get used to. Just make sure it’s not too big or too tight!

2) Take precautions

  • Kitties and pups can get into trouble around the house, so make sure you take preventative steps:
  • Store chocolate up high and out of reach
  • Secure long window chords to avoid accidental strangulation
  • Roll up nice rugs
  • Ensure your plants aren’t poisonous
  • Leave shoes and laundry behind closed doors
  • Tuck away electrical wires
  • Place fragile items up high and out of reach
  • Stow household (potentially toxic) cleaning supplies high and out of reach

3) Stay healthy

  • Spay and neuter your pup or kitty! Some shelters take care of this for you (along with microchipping).
  • Vaccinations you should get immediately:
    • Dogs:
      • Rabies, Bordetella, and Distemper-Parvo
    •  Cats:
      • Rabies, FVRCP and FeLV (Optional)

As always, Vetted PetCare is here to provide you with the best care for the newest addition to your family in the comfort of your own home!

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