Things to think about when getting a puppy

There are a lot of puppies and full grown dogs that are regularly surrendered to shelters all over Australia. Before contacting a breeder find out if the adoption of a rescue is possible.

Do not give a puppy as a gift unless a lot of thought and research has gone into it. Puppies are not toys and you should always be sure the recipient is ready for the responsibility.

Puppies grow up to be dogs of all shapes and sizes. Each one has their own unique set of traits and needs. Before you decide on your puppy make sure you do all the research to make sure that you are in a position to fill not only the puppy’s needs, but the needs of the dog it will become. For example it would not be practical to keep a dog that needs a big yard to run and explore in an apartment.

Get ready for your puppy

There are a few things you need to do when you have made the decision to get a puppy. You will have to puppy proof your home and garden. Anything that you do not want chewed, make sure you put it out of reach. Any plants that are toxic to your puppy have to be taken away from your house and garden.

To make sure the transition goes smoothly for you and your new furry family member, here are a few things that you have to get before you bring puppy home.

  • When you bring your puppy home you will need a few days to help them settle in. Show them around and slowly introduce them around the house. If you have a family or other pets make sure you do not all fuss over the puppy at once, it can be overwhelming.
  • Food and water bowls. Your little one is going to need a place for fresh food and water. It is often a good idea to have more than one of these around the house if needed. Puppies should always have access to fresh water. There are so many great new types of bowls available, speak to your vet or pet shop for the best one for you. To avoid spending time cleaning up spills, make sure you opt for a non-slip option. Keep in mind as your puppy grows, you will need to replace the bowls.
  • Make sure that the bed you buy is big enough for puppy to grow into, is machine washable and hypoallergenic. Puppies need a safe and warm place to snuggle at bed time and to go to for a feeling of safety. It is probably to a good idea to get two beds, as a backup when one is in the wash. If possible try to get a bed that is resistant to chewing.
  • Puppy Crate. Puppy crates are important to help house train your puppy and to give them a place to go to for security and quiet. The crate you choose has to be big enough for your puppy to stand up and move around in. Speak to you vet about the pros and cons of a puppy crate. That way you can be sure whether or not it is right for you.
  • Depending on the climate where you live and your breed of dog you may need some puppy clothes. Always make sure your puppy is comfortable and make sure the clothes fit properly. Do not leave your dog’s clothes on in doors. Wash the clothes regularly.
  • Collar and tag. Your puppy will need a collar. Keep in mind puppies grow quickly. Check the collar almost every day to make sure the fit is still good. The collar should not be able to slip off but you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy’s neck. The tag should have your dog’s name and all your details on it. You have to have an ID tag on your puppy even after they are microchipped.
  • Car Safety gear. Depending on the size of your dog, the frequency with which you are travelling in the car with your dog, and the distances. There are various options for keeping your car clean and your dog safe in the car. Speak to your local pet store about the best options for you.
  • Lead and harness. Part of the training process is teaching your puppy to walk on a lead. This teaches discipline, obedience and socializing, all while being a great bonding experience. Getting the right lead is important; it can’t be too long, short, heavy or light and has to be comfortable for you. Go to the pet shop and have a look at all the leads they have on offer, hold them and see which is right for you. Harnesses are used during walks to prevent pulling. It will be a good idea to take your puppy with to make sure the harness fits and does not pinch.
  • Puppies like children need toys. Toys keep them physically and mentally active. Chew toys even help to keep your pups teeth clean. Make sure you get appropriate toys from a reputable source.
  • Poo bags. By law you need to clean up your puppies poop and dispose of it in the correct bin. Always make sure you have enough poo bags on your walks.
  • Grooming equipment. Your puppy will need to be groomed. Whether they are short, medium or long hair pooches. Dogs need to be trained to be still and get brushed but they usually enjoy the time spent with their owner. Depending on your dog’s coat, the brush needs will differ.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste. Yes you will need to teach your dog to have their teeth brushed as often as possible to avoid illness and infection.
  • Dog Shampoo. A good dog shampoo is important. Keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy helps with their overall health. You do not have to wash your dog daily, probably every two months or so. Unless they have been in something dirty or smelly.

What to consider when you are looking to get a kitten?

The first thing you need to do before you get a kitten is to decide if you are getting a rescue or contacting a reputable breeder. Next you need to make sure you have the financial and time resources to give a kitten everything it needs. Another important thing you need to do is find out what the laws and policies are to keeping a kitten in your area.

Now moving onto the fun decisions, do you want a pure bred cat or a sweet little cross-breed? Either way your kitten is going to grow up into a handsome adult cat. Depending on your situation it is a good idea to get two kittens. Yes it is double the fees and the cleaning up, but it can make the transition to a new home easier for the kittens. Of course this is not always possible, but it is something to consider, especially if you have to go to work.

Preparing for your kitten

When you have decided you want to get a kitten, give yourself time to prepare. There is a lot that needs to happen before you bring your little fur baby home. Here is a list of some of the essentials you need before your kitten joins the family:

  • Food and water bowl. Your local pet shop will be able to guide you on a starter bowl that is age appropriate. It is a good idea to have more than one, so fresh food and water is always available, depending on the size of your home. Keep in mind if you have more than one kitten they each need their own bowl.
  • Bedding. Easy to clean bedding is advisable. Kittens do not always sleep in the same spot, so getting more than one kitten bed is a good idea. Your kitten will spend time sleeping just about anywhere and you might think you don’t need a kitten bed, but when they feel overwhelmed they need a safe warm place.
  • Carry Case. Taking your cat home, or to the vet means you need a carry case for a safe trip. Make sure it is stable and can be covered or has its own cover. Keeping the case dim will help settle your cat, when it is in transit. You can get a carry case that will be big enough to transport a fully grown cat.
  • Food. It is always best to keep your kitten on the same food as it had in its previous home. At least for a while. If you want to change the food, introduce the new food slowly. Speak to your vet before-hand about the best foods for complete nutrition.
  • Litter Box and scoop. Try and get a covered little box. The cover will help minimize smells and messes. There are great sets with a scoop as well.
  • Cleaning supplies. Accidents do happen with kittens. For cleaning these accidents you need a scent free and non-toxic range of cleaning supplies.
  • Grooming equipment. Grooming your kitten does not only keep them healthy but it is great bonding time. Speak to your pet shop about the right comb or brush and nail clippers for your kitten.
  • Oral hygiene. This is one that people often do not think about. You need to keep your little friends teeth clean. Get a toothbrush designed for kittens with the right toothpaste. Your kitten will probably fight you a while on getting their teeth brushed but it is necessary.
  • Scratching pole. Kittens and cats scratch at things. It is how they maintain their claws. To avoid your couches and other furniture getting destroyed get a scratching pole and encourage your kitten to us it.
  • Cat tree. Especially for indoor cats. A cat tree with more than one branch will encourage your kitty to exercise and stay mentally sharp.
  • Toys. Kittens love to play, but make sure you select toys from a reputable dealer which are age appropriate.