Welcoming a New Puppy or Kitten to Your Home
Bringing home a new pet is such an exciting time for the whole family. Yet, with your new furry bundle of joy, there also comes a lot of responsibilities. These have to do with their adjustment to their new home, setting boundaries, training them, registering them with a veterinarian, and so much more. To help make these steps a bit easier, we’re here to offer some helpful tips for bringing your new puppy or kitten home.
Introductions & Setting Boundaries
The first day home is a momentous occasion for the whole family, as well as your new member. They’ll need a lot of guidance from you, and it’s best to take the whole day to be with them, if possible. Introductions to current pets will definitely need your guidance. Allow introductions to happen in a controlled environment, and don’t push it. Let your pets meet and greet each other on their own time. If there is any tension or aggression, remove one or both from the immediate vicinity and quarantine them to separate areas of your home. You can try again after both parties have calmed down.
Setting boundaries is a true struggle—how do you say no to that sweet furry face? Yet say no, you must. If your pet will not be allowed on the couch as an adult, they shouldn’t be allowed as a puppy. Be firm and patient with your new puppy or kitten. When they start to roam where they shouldn’t or do something they shouldn’t be doing, remove them from the situation with a firm “no,” and then immediately direct their attention to appropriate behavior. It’s important to then praise them for this good behavior! An example may be a kitten who starts scratching furniture. Stop them in their tracks with a firm “no,” and then pick them up and move them to an appropriate scratching surface, like a scratching post, then reward them for scratching there with affection or a treat.
The Toils of Toilet Training
Steel yourself. Toilet training requires oodles of patience. The best way to handle it is to stick to a routine. Let your puppy out at the same times each day—every morning, every night, and after meal times is a good place to start. Be outside with them to bolster their confidence, and be quick to reward them for going in the right place once they are finished.
For kittens, some will naturally be inclined to use the litter box, while others will have a harder time adjusting. Be patient (did we mention that already?) and try to predict their habits by placing them in the litter box after waking up and after meals. As with puppies, reward them excessively with affection, praise, and treats after going in the right place!
Register Your Pet with a Veterinarian
Last, but certainly not least, is registering your new pet with your veterinarian! Puppies and kittens are at a vulnerable stage in their lives and will need consistent veterinary care in their first year. Important elements of their care include:
- Deworming and parasite control
- Spay or neuter surgery
- Oral health
At their first appointment, we’ll perform a thorough physical exam to ensure they have no health issues and perform deworming treatment as needed. Additionally, we establish a vaccination schedule to ensure your new puppy and kitten get the protection they need. Finally, we’ll talk to you about their spay and neuter options so that we perform surgery at the most optimal time.
Schedule your pet’s first appointment with us soon after you bring them home. It’s important to start them off on the right paw as soon as possible. We look forward to getting to know them and watching them grow!