By Marné Amoguis
Getting a new pet requires a ton of shopping. Whether you’re getting your first pet ever or you’ve had pets before, you’ll need to start planning their entire lives before you pick them up and bring them home. Both puppies and kittens need a lot of stuff, including food, toys, and treats. Additionally, there are many things you must do besides shopping to ensure your home is safe and you’re ready to bring home a new furbaby.
Becoming a pet parent comes with many responsibilities, but we’ve got you covered. Here’s our ultimate new pet checklist.
Before you can bring your puppy or kitten home, there are a few things you need to do.
Clean Your Home
Pets need tons of space, and a cluttered home is not the best environment for a growing puppy or kitten. Cleaning your home allows your new pet to safely get acquainted with their new surroundings. It also gives you the opportunity to get rid of anything that can be dangerous to your pet, including something they could swallow or poisonous plants.
Find a Vet
Next on your list will be finding a vet. You should research a few vets in your area before deciding which one is right for you. While your pet likely won’t be spending a ton of time at the vet, you need to ensure that they’ll be comfortable whenever they have to see their doctor. Some vets are better than others and provide a more inviting environment for pets. If you’re worried about who is treating your pet, look on vet websites to learn more about the different vets in your area. Finally, always read reviews about your local vets. If many people have had a bad experience with one vet, it’s always best to avoid them.
Find a Trainer
Unless you’ve trained many dogs before, you’ll need help teaching your puppy basic dog commands and how to behave. Kittens can also be trained, but it’s not as necessary as it is with energetic puppies and dogs. Finding a trainer specializing in puppies can help you learn the best ways to potty train your pet, teach them commands, and start basic foundational behavioral training.
If you’re bringing home a pet from a shelter, you might choose a vet who specializes in behavioral problems. Many shelter pets have anxiety due to their circumstances and may exhibit signs of aggression. If you bring home a dog who doesn’t seem friendly, you’re going to need the help of a professional behavioral trainer. Remember, dog reactivity (also known as aggression) is typically a symptom of anxiety, so you should never punish your pup; instead, you want to show them they’re safe and loved in your home.
New Pet Items
Once you’ve completed all the things you need to do for your pet to have a safe, happy life in your home, you’ll need to start buying them all the stuff they need, including:
Food and Water Bowls
Every pet needs to eat and drink. When looking for feeding bowls for your pet, opt for stainless steel that’s easy to clean. You might also want to get a placemat for your pet in case they’re a messy eater. You should also get travel-size bowls if you decide to take them on an outside adventure.
Of course, you’ll also need to feed your pet. If you’re not sure what to feed your pet, you can call a local vet who can tell you the best types of food for your pet based on their age and current health.
Whether you’re training or rewarding your pet, you’ll need tons of treats. Select some premium treats to reward your pet for good behavior while they’re still learning what’s acceptable and what isn’t. For example, you can reward your pet for coming when called or when they’ve performed their first trick.
This item is for cats only, but it’s necessary for cats and kittens. If you don’t want your cat learning that it’s okay to go potty anywhere they please, you’ll need to litterbox train them.
Crate training your dog is a great way to keep them out of trouble while you’re gone during the day, and it also prepares them if you ever need to board them while you travel. When trying to find a good size for your dog, remember that they should be able to stand up and move around in a circle. Eventually, your pet’s crate will become a place where they feel secure and can go to get some much-needed alone time.
All pets need toys to keep them busy while you’re home or away. Toys provide your pet with mental stimulation that can make them smarter and keep them entertained throughout the day. Additionally, dogs love to chew, so it’s essential to get them a healthy, safe bone to chew or clean their teeth and massage their gums.
Leash and Collar
You probably won’t need a leash for your cat unless you intend to walk them outside, but all pets need a collar with pet ID tags just in case they get lost and found by someone else. If you have a dog, you should bring a leash outside, even if your dog is trained to be off-leash. Leashes are a requirement in many public places, and walking your dog is easier knowing they won’t be able to leave your side. You may want to invest in a dog backpack if you enjoy the outdoors and want to take them hiking or camping with you.
Sometimes you just don’t want your dog going into a particular room. Perhaps you have a tiny baby crawling around, or you think too many people in one area will be overwhelming for your pet. In any case, a pet gate can help keep your pets in one place of your home to feel secure and out of harm’s way. You can also keep a pet gate near your front door to stop your pet from running out when you come home from work.
This product isn’t for your pet, but it’s a great thing to have around the house. Pets make stains. Whether your new puppy had an accident or your kitty spilled wet food on the carpet, you need stain and odor removal to keep your home clean and bacteria-free. Stain remover can help you remove pet stains and odors while leaving your house in pristine condition.
Having a new pet requires planning and being prepared for anything. Check items off this new pet checklist before bringing your new puppy or kitten home.