A new pet in the house – what should be taken care of?

Casandra Greer
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Welcoming home a new furry family member is a reason for great joy and excitement. However, you should remember that having a pet is not only a pleasure, but also a huge responsibility. Before accepting a new pet, you need to prepare the house for its arrival. See how to do it!

Preparing the house for the arrival of a dog

Before choosing a dog that we want to adopt into our family, we must consider where we want to look for our future friend. If you decide to take a dog from the shelter, you must take into account that it is likely to be a dog that has been through a lot, which will require patience and systematic work from us, but it will certainly repay us with boundless love. On the other hand, a purebred puppy from a kennel will be just a puppy – unorganized, chaotic volcano of energy, which everything must be taught from scratch. Before buying a dog, check whether the breeder is registered and runs a kennel legally. Animals from pseudo-breeding may tempt several times lower price, but kittens and puppies from incestuous unions, from exhausted and poorly nourished mothers, live much shorter, definitely more often ill and have many genetic defects

In addition, by financing pseudo-breeding by buying such animals, we fuel this cruel business and condemn tens of thousands of other animals to a tragic fate

So what should a layette for a puppy contain? Before the puppy comes to our house, we need to prepare for him a corner where he will feel safe. The best option is a kennel cage, which acts as a kind of dog room. There, as long as we show the dog that it’s his space to relax, rest, calm his emotions and catch some distance, the dog will have his safe corner, which will give him a full sense of security, the best quality of sleep and a place to be alone with himself. A dog taught to use a cage can be locked in it, for example, for the time of our absence, but should not spend more than 4 hours a day in a closed cage

If your living conditions don’t allow you to put the dog in a cage, try to arrange a quiet corner of the house for him, which will be intended only for him. There should be a bed for the dog, appropriately selected for its size, and a favorite toy, for example, a tug or a licking toy. Such a corner or a kennel cage will help the dog to adapt faster to the new place and situation

There should be food and water bowls in close proximity, though not directly next to the relaxation area. A food bowl should preferably be made of stainless steel, as this material is the most resistant to canine teeth and is not dangerous to health. In turn, a ceramic bowl for water will be the best – in ceramics water stays fresh the longest and tastes the best, and consequently dogs are the most eager to drink it. Many young or human-injured dogs have a problem with eating too fast, which leads to overeating, vomiting and stomach problems. For such cases, it is worth investing in a bowl or silicone mat that slows down eating. Such a bowl has grooves and mazes that the dog has to get the food out of, and by making it more difficult he eats much slower, which is healthier for him

In addition to the bed and bowls, toys are essential. Young dogs are volcanoes of energy and need to discharge it constantly. Necessary will definitely turn out to be tuggers and plush toys, which the dog will be able to tear and destroy, thanks to providing him with this type of toys, we will save our shoes, furniture and textiles. Squeakers are not necessarily a good option especially for breeds prone to reactivity. Loud sounds can cause anxiety problems and generate too much stress. In addition, toys that are calming in nature, such as KONG licking toys and a sniffing mat that you can easily make yourself, will definitely be useful. Such toys will help the dog to calm down its emotions and restrain excessive excitement

Apart from the things we need to equip the house with, we should also remember about the walking accessories. A leash – preferably a long line, which will allow us to have the best communication with the dog during walks, a collar with an address and properly chosen harness are necessary from the first hours with the dog at home

Proper feeding of a puppy and kitten

If we buy an animal from a kennel, the breeder together with the dog or cat should give us a portion of food, which was fed before the release to a new home, which should be sufficient for at least 10 days. Cubs are completely independent of their mother’s milk from about 7 weeks of age, so replacement milk will absolutely not be needed. A sudden change of food in a puppy, whose digestive system is still developing, can lead to serious problems, so the change of food must be carried out gradually

The first two days – only kennel food.

Day 3-5 – 75% kennel food and 25% new food.

Day 6-8 – 50% kennel food and 50% new food.

Day 9-10 – 25% kennel food and 75% new food

From day 11 – new food only

Thanks to this graduation we will avoid many unpleasant consequences of a sudden change in feeding. Food for both dogs and cats should be grain-free, contain no sugar or dyes, but as much meat as possible. Be sure to pay attention to the composition of the food. The vast majority of the most popular pet foods sold in discount stores and advertised on television contain only 4% meat, and the rest is harmful additives and stuffing

Your pet should have controlled access to small portions of food several times a day. For dogs, this is a minimum of two feedings per day; cats can eat in small portions up to a dozen times a day

Preparing the house for the arrival of a cat

The layette for a cat also has to be completed before its arrival at our house. A cat, just like a dog, needs its space, so it should have a bed prepared in a quiet, calm and warm corner of the apartment. Apart from a place to rest, the cat must also have a place to climb and observe. For this, cat trees, which are often combined with a scratching post, work great. The possibility of observing the room from a high point gives the cat psychological comfort and a sense of control over the situation, which is extremely important

Another obligatory element of the layette is a litter box, or actually litter boxes. There should be always one more of them in the house than cats, so for one cat two litter boxes will be needed. They should be as uncovered as possible, so the cat can go out of it from each side. The litter box fill should be as close to regular sand as possible. Any pellets or silicone litter is not the best choice, as it is not a natural texture for your cat. Odorless bentonite sand will be best – it’s easy to keep clean, and cats will happily take care of their needs in it and bury what they need. If you are afraid of odor due to the lack of artificial aroma in the sand, there is nothing to worry about, a clean litter box does not smell of feces. All you need to do is remove the clumped, dirty sand with a shovel every day, add a little fresh sand and once a week completely replace the substrate and wash the litter boxes

The bowls, as with the dog, should be placed in a well accessible place, but a good distance from the litter boxes, and preferably in a separate room. Food should be in a stainless steel bowl, and water should be in a ceramic bowl or drinker. Cats naturally drink very little and get most of their water from their food – so they should get mostly wet food. A drinking fountain makes the water always fresh and the cat drinks more willingly, which is especially important in hot weather

We shouldn’t forget about toys and scratchers. Scratching and playing are natural needs of cats, thanks to which they satisfy their instincts. In addition, scratching allows cats to maintain hygiene of their paws and claws. There should be at least two scratching posts at home, which the cat will have constant access to. Additionally, it is worth buying ringing, rustling and rattling toys, balls and mice, which the cat will be able to play with when it feels such an urge. Various rods and wands with feathers, ribbons and strings, on which the cat will be able to hunt, will be useful for playing with us. Playing together strengthens the bond between pet and caregiver. Remember that toys should be replaced regularly, because cats quickly get bored and lose pleasure from playing. Each game with a fishing rod or laser gun should be finished with a treat or feeding to give the cat satisfaction from a successful hunt. If we don’t do this, frustration will build up in the cat and behavioral problems such as aggression or defecation outside the litter box may result

Welcoming a new household member is a very exciting moment for any prospective dog or cat owner. Before taking in an animal, however, you need to prepare well and buy a lot of necessary equipment. Remember that the animal is not a toy and, like you, needs peace and quiet, its own space and does not always feel like stroking, playing or spending time with you. You simply have to respect that.

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