So you’ve finally decided to take on the responsibility of being a pet owner. Congrats! As we find ourselves spending more time indoors, there’s really no better time than now to get a kitten or a puppy. Sure, caring for them requires more than just hugs and kisses, but it’s a relationship that definitely pays off in the long run!
That said, introducing a pet to their forever home can take a bit of preparation. Kittens and puppies have needs that you have to anticipate to help them adjust to their new environment, so here’s a list of things you might want to do before they arrive:
1. Talk to your family or landlord.
First things first: Let your family or landlord know about the new addition to your home. While pets are naturally cute and cuddly, they can also get messy and loud so you’ll need to secure the approval of those you live with before bringing them home.
If you’re renting your space, check in with your landlord if pets are allowed within your living quarters. With family members or roommates, ask in advance if they have allergies to pet dander. Once these are cleared, set some ground rules and be prepared to take full responsibility for your pet’s actions.
2. Pet-proof your space.
A new pet can be like a crawling baby or a playful toddler. Once they feel comfortable to roam around, they can get into tight situations that can threaten their health and safety the moment you take your eyes off them. This is why pet-proofing your apartment is a must!
Make sure to put away fragile items that they can run into and break. If there are balconies and high spots in your home, you might want to consider installing barriers to keep them from falling. You will also need to take a second look at your house plants, as some of them might prove toxic for your new cat or dog.
3. Stock up on supplies.
Even if you live within walking distance of a pet store, you have to stock up on supplies before your pet arrives at your door. Not only will this save you from going out on multiple trips to the shop, but it will also help them adjust smoothly to their new home. Primary supplies include grooming kits like brushes and nail clippers, cleaning materials such as pet-safe wipes and rags, beddings and mats, food and water bowls, waste bags, and litter boxes for cats. Pro tip: Go for food bowls made from stainless steel as these hold the longest and are pretty easy to clean.
You will also need to get them chew toys and balls to make play sessions more fun, treats to reward them for being good pets, travel crates or carriers for vet visits, and a leash for walking or training. You may also get a collar or an ID tag with your contact details and address in case your pet gets lost.
4. Plan their diet.
Most important of all, ensure that your new pet will get proper nutrition under your care. While it’s tempting to buy the cheapest pet food available, be responsible enough to do your research and choose kibbles and treats that will ensure their nutrition based on their age, breed, or special condition.
Royal Canin has an array of dog and cat food that can cater to your pet’s particular needs at every stage of their life. For kittens, the brand offers a kitten line that helps provide proper nutrition, from birth to four months when they would usually wean from milk, and from four months to one year when their digestive and immune systems are strengthening but still require attention.
For puppies, Royal Canin offers a Size Health Nutrition line. This selection of dog food considers the weight of puppies for their age in providing the nutrition that their growing bodies require, helping fragile young pets grow into strong and capable adults.