I’m so lucky to work for a company that loves animals so much because I LOVE animals! In fact, Rural King loves animals so much we even allow pets to walk around the store with you (in most locations). April is National Pet Month, so I wanted to create a checklist for those of you who have recently added a new fur family member.
Before You Take Him/Her Home
So, you decided to become a pet parent. That’s great! But, before you take your furry friend home, you’ll want to make sure you have the items from our New Pet Checklist.
Also, you’ll want to make sure to “pet proof” your home. This is especially important if you are getting a new puppy or kitten because those little guys are curious critters. They will get into anything they can, so follow these tips below:
- Set up gates on stairs and in any doorway you don’t want them to get through.
- Make sure your trash cans are safe from being knocked over. Eating trash can be deadly.
- Electrical cords should be as hidden as they can be.
- This’ll sound silly but crawl around your house. If you notice anything that a puppy or kitten could get into, pick it up, put it away, or block that area. Crawling allows you to see at a pet’s eye level.
- Will your pet be outside? Make sure your fence or outdoor playpen will be able to house your pet. No fence? You can get an underground fence or even a tie out chain.
Kittens & Puppies (Birth – 2 Months)
If you just had a litter of puppies or kittens, you are in for a real treat. Watching those little ones grow and learn is so fun, and if you are giving those pets to other families, you get to see those smiling faces as that little kitty or pup finds their next home.
Outside: You’ll want to make sure that the momma and the babies have a comfy, warm place to rest. If outside, I recommend getting a shelter and surrounding it with a playpen. You don’t want the babies wandering if you’re not around. Inside the shelter, put down some straw, old blankets, or a dog bed. My dad used to warm the shelters with a heat lamp at night. Be careful using heat lamps because under the right conditions, they can cause fires.
Inside: If your babies are inside, it will be easier to keep everyone together, safe, and warm. Give them a corner of a room, a playpen, or even a small room to themselves. You’ll definitely want them to still have a comfy place to sleep, but more importantly, make sure to have puppy pads or something in case of messes (and there will be messes).
If there are any babies that aren’t getting milk from their mom, you might need to purchase a milk supplement.
Pups and Kittens (3 Months – 1 Year)
At this age, your animal companion is still very young. You need to show them where to go to the bathroom, teach them their name and a few tricks, and most important, you need to keep them happy and healthy.
V.E.T.: By this time, you should have a primary veterinarian. If you don’t, search online to find one that you like or one that has great reviews. When your pet is young, they will have a lot of check-ups and shots.
Flea and Tick Protection: Definitely don’t let your pets suffer without flea and tick protection. These pests can carry disease and they aren’t that hard to fight off. Frontline Plus comes in a dog and cat variety. Give your pup or kitty one dose and they’re protected for a month. Just make sure they are at least 8 weeks old.
Dewormer: Whether you get one from your vet or from a Rural King, don’t let your pet go without a dewormer. Dewormers should prevent roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. If your pet’s waste is runny, contains tiny bugs, or contains any miscoloring or blood. Take them to the vet and have this checked immediately.
What All Pets Need
- Exercise – Going for walks and playing with toys
- Water – Make sure they always have access to water
- Food – Make sure you’re not feeding your pet a bunch of scraps or human food. They need to stick to a special diet for either dogs or cats.
- Love – I know this is a bit corny, but animals really just want our love. My two pups are there for me when I get home, and I’m there with a belly scratch and a treat.
Take a look at our New Pet Checklist and see if you’ve missed any supplies. I bet you haven’t thought of everything on that list! Check it out and let me know how you faired in the comment section below.
This is also a fantastic opportunity to show off your pet(s). These pictures are all pets that have visited us at Rural King…okay, and my two pups made it to the blog as well. But, I would love to see your cats and dogs. Post to our Facebook with #ItsaRuralKingThing