Everyone is always excited to bring home a new puppy or kitten and at ViaGen Pets we love to be a part of this for our clients. The following is some of the advice we give to all new pet parents when they pick up their puppy or kitten.
When bringing a new pet into the household make sure you also bring some of whatever food it has been eating with you. Abrupt changes in diet can cause significant stomach upset and no one wants to be cleaning up after a sick pet in the middle of the night. A few days of mixing their old food with whatever you intend to feed them should decrease the likelihood of any digestive upset.
Puppies and kittens should be fed a diet formulated specifically for young animals. If they are very young, they may need to eat primarily wet food before being offered dry food only. They can typically continue to eat this diet until they are about six months of age. After that they can be transitioned to an adult formula.
Everyone loves new toys but it is always a good idea to monitor play time with any new toy to make sure your pet is not going to accidentally hurt themselves. Many dogs are very good at destroying plush toys and accidentally ingesting stuffing. And cats are notorious for getting into tricky situations with string. Either make sure the toys offered are in no way dangerous or only give the toys to your pet while you can supervise them.
It is always a good idea to take your new pet in to see a veterinarian – even if they are up to date on vaccinations. A veterinary exam can catch any issues early and help you avoid exposing other pets or family members to potential problems. At this initial visit the vet will listen to your puppy’s heart and lungs, palpate their abdomen, look inside their ears, eyes, and mouth, check for any parasites, and make sure the puppy’s temperature is within the normal range. An introductory visit will also give you the opportunity to discuss the vaccination schedule and flea or heart-worm preventative with your vet.
If there is anything in your house that you do not want destroyed be sure to move it out of reach of a puppy or kitten. Puppies like to chew and kittens like to use their claws to climb things. It’s also a good idea to make sure all electrical cords are out of reach, there are no chemicals where they can get to them, and there are no poisonous plants available to chew on. Also, be aware of small objects that can be ingested such as Lego’s left out or small rocks in the backyard.
Introduction to Other Pets
If there is already a pet in the household be patient when introducing anyone new to the family. Existing pets may feel resentful to a new animal in their “territory” and the new pet may be excited and not very good at giving the existing pet his or her space. This can be particularly true when introducing pets of different species. Give both animals time and unless the situation becomes too threatening do not correct the pet you’ve had for years for being a little hard on the new pet – they will establish their own pecking order.