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Monthly Archives: February 2012

New kitten checklist.

Have everything you need to welcome your new kitten? Here’s a handy checklist to help you make sure you have everything covered. Not sure about something? Ask your friendly Arizona Pet Vet!

In-home

  • Pet crate/carrier
  • Washable bedding
  • Scratching post
  • Kitty condo/perch (if possible)

Feeding

  • High nutrition dry and wet foods
  • Airtight dry food storage bin
  • Bowls for water and food
  • Vet recommended supplements (if applicable)
  • High quality treats

Potty Training

  • Quality litter
  • Litter box
  • Litter mats
  • Litter box liners
  • Odor absorbing filters
  • Non-toxic stain/odor remover
  • Litter scoop

Training/Safety/Toys

  • Collar
  • Outdoor harness
  • ID tags
  • Cat grass
  • Catnip

Grooming

  • Brush/comb
  • Non-toxic shampoo/conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Flea & tick prevention
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

Top tips for new pet owners.

1/ Consider your lifestyle when choosing a breed of dog.

Are you the type to lounge on the sofa, or are you outside and in the action? Your lifestyle is an important consideration when you’re choosing a dog breed. While all of us need regular exercise, some breeds need a lot more than others. Make sure you choose a dog with similar needs to your own. Big dogs need space, so be sure your yard is an appropriate size. And don’t forget – dogs require quality food, toys, regular vet care, grooming and most of all, attention. Be sure you can afford the time and the expense before you add an animal to your family!

2/ Remember: dogs have people; cats have staff.

There are dog people and then there are cat people. Dogs are always happy to see you, and will constantly seek your approval. Cats have a tendency to be indifferent unless it’s time for them to eat or they’ve decided that they want your attention RIGHT NOW, even if right now is 2 am and you don’t appreciate them batting you in the face with their paw or attacking your feet. Whether you choose feline, canine or both, enjoy the love, fun and the health benefits (lower blood pressure, stress relief) they provide.

3/ Pet proofing the house is important – make sure there are no tempting electrical wires or cords to chew!

Much like small children, pets can find a world of trouble inside and outside the home. It’s a good idea to get down to floor level and take a look at the world as they see it – electrical cords will make a delicious and dangerous chew toy, so make certain they are tucked away and out of reach. Houseplants, trashcans, cleaning supplies, shoes and clothing also should be “out of bounds” – baby gates can be a great way to keep pets away from specific areas. Don’t be afraid to use them.

4/ Cats will inevitably want to sleep on your head.

Cats have an incredible knack for determining when you do not want to be distracted or disturbed, and then make it a personal mission to get Right. Up. In. Your. Face. Trying to read a book or use the computer? Get ready for a furry body to flop down between you and the book or on the keyboard. Sleeping soundly? Prepare for the middle of the night stealth attack or your feet or hands, or to wake up staring into the business end of your animal. And just try opening a can without getting tackled.

5/ If your pet will be spending time outside, make sure your yard is safe and secure.

The outside world is a wonderful place full of enticing sights and smells, and for many dogs, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Scope out potential escape routes, and store away health hazards like tools, lawn or pool chemicals. If you have a pool, be certain your animal is safe around the water.

6/ If you have other pets or small children, introduce them to your new animal under close supervision.

In any new relationship, it takes time to get to know one another. Your existing pet needs time to adjust to the idea of a new companion, so try to introduce them on neutral ground, like a park. Watch for jealousy and aggressive behavior in both animals. Close supervision will be necessary for a week or two until everyone settles into the new routine.

7/ Small children love small animals, but they both need supervision and guidance.

Small children can be a source of stress for a puppy or kitten. Too much handling, unintended roughness and loud noises will make the animal nervous, so be sure to keep interactions gentle and soothing. Puppies and kittens also tend to nip and bite while they are being trained, so watch little hands and fingers.

8/ People food is for people. Don’t feed your animal from the table.

A healthy diet is important for every member of the family, including your dog or cat. Animals need quality food formulated for their size, age and nutritional or medical needs. This does not include table scraps, candy or snack foods. It’s never to early to start good eating habits, so don’t start by facilitating bad ones.

9/ Start training right away. It’s never too early to begin good habits, especially with dogs.

Learning basic commands like come, sit and stay, leash and house training are all parts of being a good pet parent. Dogs especially need boundaries and you need to establish your place as the leader of the pack from early on. Patience and consistency are key factors in successful training. Consider attending an obedience class with your dog. It’s fun, and helps your animal be comfortable around other dogs and people.

10/ Arizona has extreme temperatures, so be sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and a cool place to hang out.

We all know how hot it can get during Arizona’s summer months. Be sure to supply plenty of fresh water, shade and/or indoor shelter for your animals. Sunscreen is also a consideration for animals with short hair or light coloring. When walking your pet, don’t forget the pavement can easily burn their paws. Consider pet shoes, and confine your walks in the early morning hours and after dark when the concrete cools down. And never, ever, leave your pet alone in a locked car. Temperatures can soar to lethal levels in just a few minutes.

Things to know with a new puppy.

Things to know with a new puppy

New puppies are a great addition to any family but they can sometimes be a bit of a handful. Here are some great tips for new puppy owners.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is the key to getting a new puppy to feel at home. Before bringing the puppy home make sure you have all the necessary supplies already. This includes food, bowls, leash, collar or harness, a bed, and most importantly lots and lots of toys and treats.

Other then having all the “stuff” you will also need to be ready in other ways. One decision that needs to be made is how you are going to house train your new puppy. You need to decide where your new puppy will sleep, in bed with you or in their own bed. Where you will have the food dish, and when feeding time will be. You will also need to make sure that everyone in the house understands these decisions so the puppy has a consistent message from everyone and isn’t confused. These are all things that help the new puppy feel at home in your home and help them get adjusted as fast as possible.

Be There

Plan on bringing your new puppy home when you have some time to spend with them. You don’t want to bring them home to a new home and then leve them there alone all day. You should at the very least try and have a full weekend to be there to help the puppy feel at home before being left alone all day. After the puppy starts to become adjusted to the new home give them an hour or so alone before being gone a full day.

Let Them Explore

When you get home for the first time let your puppy wonder around and explore their new home. Puppies will want to wander around and smell everything. They are going to want to explore the new smells and check out everything.

Get some Exercise

Getting exercise is great for both you and your new puppy. No matter what size puppy you have exercise is important for physical and mental well being. After the puppy has had a little time to explore their new house you will want to get them outside so they can go potty and explore the outside. They will want to explore the outside space as much if not more then the inside space. This can also help the new puppy get settled in to their new home.

Puppies are full of energy but they run out fast also. After a little exercise its a good idea to introduce your new puppy to their bed. They might be ready for a small nap after all the exercise. Getting them adjusted to the new bed helps them feel safe and know they have a space thats theirs, somewhere they can sleep and play.

Lots of Potty Breaks

You may have gotten a puppy that’s already potty trained. That’s fantastic but puppies are still small and need to go often. Puppies are good to try and let you know when they need to go but they don’t always have much time between needing to go and going. You need to take many potty breaks during the day so they don’t find a place inside they feel they are comfortable going. After a trip outside you can also give them a treat to encourage the idea of going outside.

Keeping these things in mind will help you and your puppy adjust to being together. Keep in mind puppies are great friends but take a little patience at times.