Healthy, Happy, and Safe: Principles of New Pet Care

kittenAdopting a new pet is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it’s not a choice you should make impulsively. It takes a significant amount of research and understanding of what it takes to properly meet a new pet’s needs, and applying your new knowledge can only serve your new four-legged friend.

Although we see a lot of fluffy kittens, there has been a surge of new puppy owners in our area. To help answer some of the most commonly asked questions, we’d like to spotlight some fundamentals of new pet care.

A Thriving Pet

Congratulations! You adopted a young pet and if you didn’t already have the necessary items, you likely outfitted your pet with all the necessities for his or her size. Bedding, collar, leash, travel kennel, litter box and litter, toys, food, and dishes are all part of the long list of items that your new pet not only needs – but appreciates, as well.

A good rule of thumb regarding new pet care is to make sure he or she is in tip-top shape. This can be ascertained during an introductory wellness exam, and we can also address nutritional needs, parasite prevention, a spay/neuter procedure, vaccinations, dental care, and microchipping your new pet.

A Schedule That Counts

Your new pet will quickly learn the rhythms of your household – and where his or her “place” is. Routines are exceptionally important, and for a new pet learning the tricks of potty training, knowing that a break is coming soon can make a young animal feel more comfortable and secure. Also, set meal times and exercise opportunities help a new pet settle in quicker and easier.

Getting Into The Groove

Help your new pet burn off all that youthful energy with appropriate levels of physical exertion. Your young puppy should have daily opportunities to play and run, but the benefits go beyond an early bedtime. Reduction in possible destructive behavior, separation anxiety, or excessive barking are just a few social benefits associated with exercise, and the bond you’re cultivating will be strengthened by time spent together.

Please consult with us about how much vigorous exercise might be too much for your young pet, and always provide plenty of fresh drinking water.

Your kitten must have access to scratching posts, climbing areas, and chasing toys, too. You’ll be amazed at how much fun you can have with a playful, inquisitive kitten!

Keeping those little hearts pumping through play and exertion will help to ward off obesity, diabetes, and other major health problems.

While You’re Away From Home

Training your puppy is a powerful tool for mental and physical stimulation, socialization, and helps a young pet when left home alone. Also, many owners of kittens are surprised by both the instinctual desire to scratch and the refusal to use the litter box. After ruling out medical conditions, we are happy to refer you to a local trainer to help address any unwanted behaviors.

Reward-based toys can help a pet remain occupied in your absence, and we encourage the use of a Kong for a puppy that needs to chew. Likewise, cat trees, hammocks, or tunnels can help a kitten cope with solitude. As long as you offer your young pet lots of attention, exercise, and stimulation when you return, he or she can weather the empty house surprisingly well.

We Heart New Pet Care

We are so pleased that you adopted a new puppy or kitten, and really look forward to meeting him or her very soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions related to new pet care we hope you’ll let us know.

Congratulations on your new pet from all your friends at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital!

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