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Preparing for your new puppy or kitten.

Preparing for your new puppy or kitten!

Congratulations!  You are planning on adopting a new four-legged family member this holiday season!  A new puppy or kitten is a great addition to a family and being prepared for his/her arrival will help to make those first few days an easier transition for everyone.

Before picking up your new puppy or kitten, prepare soft clean bedding, food and water bowls (metal or ceramic are preferred), a leash and collar for puppies, and a litter box and scratching post for kittens.  For litter boxes, have one extra box per total number of cats.  So for instance, for one cat have two boxes, but for four cats have five boxes.  Place the litter boxes in quiet and easily accessible areas throughout the house to encourage your kitten to use them.  And don’t forget toys, toys, toys!  Puppies like to chew a lot so provide a variety of toys of different sizes and textures, and kittens are very active and love batting or chasing toys. 

For food, keep your puppy or kitten on the food they have been eating and then slowly transition him/her to the food of your choice over the course of a week to minimize any gastrointestinal discomfort.  Feed your pet a puppy or kitten formula three to four times a day and use a reputable brand. 

The first night for a new puppy or kitten is often difficult.  If you do not want your pet to sleep in bed with you, then consider providing a warm bottle wrapped in a towel and a ticking clock to mimic the warmth and heartbeat of his/her mother and litter mates.   Also, do not introduce your new puppy or kitten to your other pets immediately – keeping them in a separate room will allow everyone to get used to each other slowly and prevent any potential infections from being spread. 

Call your veterinarian for a first puppy or kitten visit.  We will examine your new pet for any health concerns and discuss their vaccine schedule, routine healthcare, and preventation of fleas, ticks and heartworms.  We can also answer any questions about behavioral issues such as potty training, nipping, socialization, or how to introduce your new pet to your other pets. 

Congratulations on your new family member and we look forward to meeting him/her soon! 

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