How to Care for Your New Puppy or Kitten

Pet Care
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! You may be asking yourself, “now what?”
Here are some recommendations on what to do next as you welcome a new pet into your family.

Diet and Nutrition

 Puppy & Kitten Diets
There is a wide variety of pet food options, each specifically formulated to provide the essential nutrients for your pet at different stages of life. Puppies and kittens require more calories and nutrients to support proper growth.  These diets are recommended for the first year of your pet life, but can cause weight gain in adult. You can discuss with your veterinarian when is the right time to wean your pet off of their puppy or kitten diet.
Portion Control and the Risk of Obesity
Portion control is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can put your pet as risk for developing various health conditions including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, etc.,  Not only does obesity diminish your pet’s quality of life, but it is also very costly to treat the conditions associated with obesity.
To avoid the risk of obesity with your new pet, follow the feeding recommendations that are listed on your pet’s food packaging. You can also ask your veterinarian to provide a recommended portion plan, which calculates the amount of calories your pet requires based on their age and weight.
Obesity is a critical health issue for many of our pets, over 55% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are classified as overweight or obese. Ask your veterinarian to learn more about how you can avoid putting your pet at risk for this serious health concern.
Your Pet’s Food Bowl & Their Health
Washing your pet’s food bowl is important to ensure it is hygienic and healthy. Leftover food (even unseen leftover food) can attract bacteria that could potentially be a health risk for your pet. Washing your pet’s food bowl in hot, soapy water after every meal is recommended. Plastic food bowls are not ideal for various reasons. Plastic can trap oil and bacteria, and can often be the source of dermal issues, such as acne. Some pets may even develop allergies to plastic. Glass or stainless steel is the ideal option, as it does not harbour bacteria the way plastic does.


House Training for dogs
House training your dog can be quite challenging. Puppies in particular can take some time to master this. Even if you have recently adopted an older dog, you may face challenges getting them familiar to a new schedule and home. Here are some tips to help you with house training:
· Reward your dog for successfully going outside. Give lots of praise, and try to use a special treat for when your dog successfully goes to the washroom outside
·Try to keep your schedule consistent. Feeding and taking your dog outside should be kept as routine as possible
· Especially with puppies, take your pet out frequently (every few fours) to avoid accidents in the home. In particular, try to take your pet out after they have finished a meal or after sleeping
· Take your pet out to the same spot. Not only does this solidify routine, but many dogs favour a particular spot to “mark”
House Training for cats
Most cats or kittens may not go through the same process of house training as a puppy or dog.  There are still some important considerations to avoid your cat or kitten having accidents. Adjusting to a new home can create challenges for a cat or kitten to master house training, but here are some tips to help the process:
·  Make sure the litter box provided for your cat is easily accessible. Particularly, a kitten may have challenges reaching their litter box if they have to go up stairs to get to it. When first bringing your new cat home, or changing the location of a litter box, make sure to “show” them where it is
· Cats typically prefer privacy when using their litter box, so try and find a spot that is accessible, but provides some privacy for them
· If you have more than one cat, you will need more than one litter box. Ideally, there is one litter box for every cat that is in your home.
· If your cat has persistent issues with failing to use the litter box, it could be a sign that there is a medical or behavioural problem. You can consult your veterinarian to identify the problem and obtain a solution
If you have a new pet, call 905-898-1010, and we would be happy to book an appointment with our vet in Newmarket to discuss all this and more!