If you’re planning a furry addition to the family (how exciting!) be sure to take a look at our new puppy and kitten checklist for all the essentials you’ll need.
Food and water bowls
Separate food and water bowls are best. Consider stainless steel or hard wearing plastic bowls that can be easily washed.
Initially, stick with the food your pet is already being fed as this will help avoid an upset tummy. If you decide to change brands of food, do so gradually over a 5 to 7 day period. Look for a diet that is complete and balanced for growth.
Like all babies, young pets need lots of rest for healthy brain development. Choose something warm and cosy and consider a washable cover. Find a quiet place where your new petcan rest peacefully.
Puppies and kittens love to play, and by varying their toys you’ll keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Rotate toys regularly, and keep an eye out for any signs of wear or tear. Make sure to replace any damaged toys.
Introduce a collar as soon as possible and choose the right size – two fingers should easily fit underneath it. The collar is likely to need replacing as the puppy or kitten grows.
Depending on your pet’s coat type and length, choose a suitable brush or comb. Be sure to offer lots of praise and treats when getting your new pet used to being groomed, so that they associate it with positive things.
Book an initial health check for your new puppy or kitten. You can then discuss an appropriate healthcare routine and de-sexing.
How to treat your new pet
How can I use treats wisely?
Treats are particularly useful for training, but due to the risks of overfeeding and nutritional imbalances, their use should be controlled. As a general rule, no more than 10% of the calories in your puppy’s diet should come from dog treats. Keep a close eye on how many treats your puppy is getting, and how often they are getting them.
Get the timing right
When using food treats as training rewards, timing is crucial. Only offer a treat when your puppy responds correctly to your training command and is calm. That way you’ll avoid inadvertently rewarding any over-excited behaviour.
Stick to pet treats
Treats designed specifically for dogs and puppies are best. Chocolate and foods containing xylitol (a sugar substitute) are just a couple of examples of human treats that are highly toxic to pets.
Litter Training Your Kitten
Cats are inherently scrupulously clean creatures. Your kitten will learn the behaviour involved when eliminating urine and faeces from their mum. Use a plastic litter tray large enough to accommodate the whole kitten and allow natural scratching to cover soiling.
Encourage them to use the litter tray by placing them on the tray immediately after they wake or have eaten, or when they start sniffing, crouching and scratching.
Sit the tray privately and well away from their food, water and bed.
It’s important to remove any deposits promptly as cats don’t like to use a soiled litter tray.
To clean the tray, dilute detergents and rinse well. Remember some disinfectants and bleach are toxic to cats.
Be clean but don’t kill the natural scent from the tray and area.
If you intend your cat to use a cat flap, continue to provide a litter tray until your cat is confident about using their cat flap. Try propping or taping the cat flap open at first to allow them to get used to it.