Survival Guide for First Time Pet Owners

pet owner

Essential Supplies 

Before you bring home your new pet, make sure that you have designated sleep, play, and elimination areas. Pick up these items a few days before your new pet comes home to allow any lingering scents from the pet store to fade: 

  • Kennel
  • Bedding
  • Puppy food
  • Training treats
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Toys

Wire kennels are stronger and more appropriate for puppy training than plastic travel kennels. Avoid synthetic fabrics that may irritate your pet’s sensitive skin. Organic cotton is machine washable and will provide a comfortable surface for your new friend. Purchase a dry food that is made especially for puppies or kittens. Add a small amount of water to soften the food if your pet has trouble chewing the hard pieces. Small, bite size training treats are perfect for training that requires lots of repetition. An appropriately sized collar or harness is necessary for training and walks. You may want to purchase a shorter leash for walks and a longer one for training. Finally, provide your new friend with a variety of toys to chew and play with. Kittens, of course, will need a litterbox and litter.

Easing Pet Anxiety 

Your new pet is likely to be anxious when he or she is first separated from his mother and littermates. Use a heating pad with a timer on the lowest setting to simulate the warmth of cuddles, and try the old wives’ tale of placing a quiet, ticking clock near the puppy’s bed to simulate his mother’s heartbeat. Avoid the urge to pick your puppy up every time he or she cries or whines. Picking the puppy up is a reward for the unwanted behavior and will make it worse. If you think your puppy is suffering from excessive separation anxiety, giving her a treat that will take at least 30 minutes to finish can work wonders. Calming treats are available for both puppies and kittens.

Puppy Training 

Set up a care schedule with members of your household before your pet comes home that designates who will be in charge of feeding, training, and toileting at set times each day. There are many free resources on the internet that can be helpful with training curricula, but the most critical aspect of training a new pet is consistence. Consider seeking out a local trainer or attending group puppy classes in your area to help with socialization.

Ask Your Vet 

Your new pet should be put on a flea and tick preventative as well as heartworm preventative as soon as he or she is old enough. Ask your vet for appropriate recommendations; some formulas work better in certain geographic areas or may have less chance of adverse side effects in certain breeds. Your vet will also be able to tell you what vaccinations your puppy or kitten will need and when he or she is old enough to be spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering as soon as possible will help with behavior, training, and disease prevention. 

Becoming a pet owner for the first time is exciting and intimidating. With adequate education and preparation, you and your new pet will be on the right path to a lifelong friendship.

Author Bio: Paige Jirsa- I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.

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