One of the BEST gifts a family can receive during this pandemic is a puppy or kitten. The joy and excitement a new fur baby brings to a household cannot be described. With all the craziness going on, a furry companion may be just what you need!
With busy work from home weeks looming, now is the time to look at how VIP Pet Services can help you ease back into a routine. We offer a specialized level of care for puppies and kittens so you can relax, knowing your new baby is in good hands. Our resident experts have assembled this collection of VIP Puppy and Kitten Care tips. These suggestions will help make this critical time of transition a little easier for you and your family.
New puppy and kitten care starts with establishing a vet you know and trust. You will want to get an appointment as soon as possible to ensure that your puppy or kitten is healthy. Regular vet appointments will lay the foundation for a good preventive health routine. At this first vet visit, you will want to establish a vaccination schedule. Also, it is not too early to inquire about when to have your pet spayed or neutered. Another topic to consider is whether or not you should have your puppy micro-chipped.
VIP Sitters offer Pet Taxi services and can help with these initial appointments while you are at work. We are also happy to give vet referrals!
Feeding and Quality Food
Puppies generally need to eat three times a day. Your puppy’s body is growing fast, and good nutrition is an essential component of overall good health. Look for food that is formulated especially for puppies. While small breeds can switch to adult food at 9 to 12 months, large breeds should stick with puppy food until they reach the age of 2 years.
Kittens under the age of 8 weeks rely on one another’s body heat to survive, so keep them warm. If you have a kitten in this age group, special care will need to be taken, including bottle-feeding the kitten every two hours up to four weeks of age and possibly helping your kitten pee and poop.
VIP Sitters are available to stop by as needed throughout the day to feed and check water bowls, which the clumsy youngsters often turn over!
To accomplish housetraining, you must plan, be patient and use positive reinforcement. Having a routine is also essential.
The best times to take your puppy outside to potty are: when you wake up, before you go to bed, after the puppy eats or drinks a lot of water or when the puppy wakes up from a nap.
It’s also a good idea to take a potty break after a vigorous play session as well. Until your puppy is vaccinated, you’ll want to find a potty place outdoors that is not accessible to other animals. (Author’s side note: NEVER take an unvaccinated puppy to a dog park.)
For kittens, teach them how to use the litter box by placing them in the box after meals and play sessions. Take them outside on a lead or in a carrier (It can be very dangerous to allow a kitten outside without one.)
VIP Sitters can assist with crate training, changing puppy pads or litter boxes and general mess cleanup!
Socialization and Obedience Training
Your puppy wants to please you and be a good member of the family. The effort you put into socializing and teaching such commands as sit, stay, down and come will help keep your dog safe and under control. Socialization and obedience training will also strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Obedience classes typically begin accepting puppies at around 4 to 6 months of age.
Kitten socialization should also begin at a very young age. Pet them frequently, and get them used to grooming and weekly combing. Provide appropriate scratching alternatives (such as scratching posts) and reward good behavior with toys, praise or treats. Expose them to other cats and kittens (as soon as they’re up to date on vaccinations, of course!). There are even kitten socialization classes; do an internet search to see if any are available in your area.
VIP Sitters LOVE socializing puppies and kittens. With our drop-in or hourly service, you can keep progress moving forward while you’re away. Need a recommendation for trainers or classes in your neighborhood? We can help with that too!
Do you have a favorite new puppy or kitten care tip to share? Tell us in the comments below or over on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!