Against your better judgement, in spite of all the warnings and horror stories, regardless of the hustle and bustle of having everyone in for the Christmas holidays, you surprised the family with a new pet. Those adorable faces pleading for all your love and attention – not your kids’ faces -the furry kind. How could you resist? Like thousands do each year, is there anything better than a new puppy or kitten popping out of a gift wrap box on Christmas morning?

Now that you’ve done this “thing”, instead of worrying that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, here are a few tips for making your household a little more pet friendly.

Let’s start with your home. Think of this new addition to the family the same way you would a baby. Because, after all, it is a baby. Dangling cords, window blind or curtain pulls, small children’s toys (or toys you don’t want chewed to pieces), candy and any other food – put all these items out of reach. Baby-proof everything!

Things You Will Need
For Both Puppies and Kittens

  1. A bed
  2. A stainless steel, non-tip water bowl
  3. A food bowl, preferably non-tip because they will step in it sooner or later
  4. A collar with an identification tag and phone number
  5. A leash
  6. Age and size appropriate chew toys (avoid the squeaky ones – the squeaker can be dangerous if swallowed, plus the noise will drive you nuts)
  7. A crate
  8. Stain remover (for accidents)
  9. Brushes, combs
  10. Pet shampoo
  11. Toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for Dogs
  12. Flea, tick and parasite controls (your veterinarian should have these available)
  13. Nail clippers
  14. Treats
  15. Litter box and Litter (for kittens)

Nutrition

It’s important that you make an appointment with your veterinarian for a wellness check. The vet’s recommendation for feeding will take the guess work out of your pet’s most basic need. Some kitten owners will give only wet cat food, some prefer dry, others will use a combination. Whichever you decide, feed your kitty at least three times a day from a shallow plate. During this crucial growing stage, you can add small amounts of high-protein foods to their diet that will help build stronger bones. Fresh water should be available all the time. Unless you want your baby to have a tummy ache, don’t give them milk.

Feeding your puppy is similar to that of a kitten. Be sure the food you select is formulated for babies (puppy or kitten food) because those are loaded with the nutrients your little one needs to grow healthy and strong. According to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the brand you select should say either “balanced” or “complete” on the label. Vitamin supplements aren’t necessary if the food you select meets these standards. Look for a food that is high-quality protein, contains calcium and phosphate )critical during the growth phase), and vitamin A, D and iodine.

Waste Management

Against your better judgement, in spite of all the warnings and horror stories, regardless of the hustle and bustle of having everyone in for the Christmas holidays, you surprised the family with a new pet. Those adorable faces pleading for all your love and attention – not your kids’ faces -the furry kind. How could you resist? Like thousands do each year, is there anything better than a new puppy or kitten popping out of a gift wrap box on Christmas morning?

Now that you’ve done this “thing”, instead of worrying that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, here are a few tips for making your household a little more pet friendly.

Let’s start with your home. Think of this new addition to the family the same way you would a baby. Because, after all, it is a baby. Dangling cords, window blind or curtain pulls, small children’s toys (or toys you don’t want chewed to pieces), candy and any other food – put all these items out of reach. Baby-proof everything!