If you’re bringing home a precious new puppy or a cute new kitten, it makes sense that you want to be a responsible and loving pet parent. Pets, like children, are bundles of joy. They provide purpose and give life a new meaning. Taking care of a new puppy or kitten is so rewarding, but it can also be challenging if it’s your first time. Here are some tips on how to provide your new puppy or kitten with the best care.
Taking Care of a New Puppy
- Keep your pup on a consistent schedule.
- Keep your pet’s feeding times around the same time each day. Take your pup outside frequently.
- Take your new puppy out the very first thing in the morning/last thing at night, after indoor play, after they wake up from a nap, and after eating/drinking.
- Buy a crate that’s not too large (or else your pup may assume that they can potty there).
- Never punish your new puppy for not being able to control their bladder (pets and people have to learn how to do this, and you want your pets to respect, not fear you).
- Give your new puppy positive reinforcement for doing the right thing. This can be with small treats or a large amount of praise.
- Ask someone to take your pup out if you can’t (at least for the first eight months or so).
Allow your dog to gently bite your hand, and if they bite too hard, yelp or make a sound that signifies that this isn’t okay. Try this a few times if your new puppy continues to bite excessively hard. If this doesn’t work, attempt speaking to your puppy in a stern voice or give them a time out but eventually go back to gentle play. The point is to reinforce that gentle play is acceptable, but rough play is not. You can also encourage noncontact forms of play, introducing your new puppy to chew toys. These toys can also be used to redirect your puppy if they start getting too rough while playing.
Introducing Your Pup to Other Pets and Taking Care of a Kitten
- In the case of two dogs, take them to a neutral location and keep them on leashes.
- Use positive reinforcement.
- Use pheromones to help relax and calm animals.
- Tire your pets out before introducing them.
- Keep cats and dogs in separate areas first so that they can get used to each other’s scents.
- Learn your pet’s body language so you can gauge how to alter (or stop) interactions.
- Understand that an introduction is not a one-time thing. It is ongoing.
- Keep meetings short, if necessary.
- Keep a few litterboxes around the house so they have easy access. The general rule of thumb is to have enough litterboxes for each cat plus one extra.
- If your new kitten bites or scratches you, give them a toy to redirect their attention.
- Use positive reinforcements and treats as prompts to go to the litterbox. If your cat is really struggling with litterbox usage, you can also use Cat Attract litter additive.
- When introducing your other pets to a new kitten, use a pet gate to keep a distance between the pets until they are entirely comfortable.
For more tips on how to take care of your fur babies, keep reading our content!
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!