New Pet Checklist
Be equipped when bringing a puppy or kitten home
Getting a puppy or getting a kitten can be an exciting occasion, but did you know about the price tag that could come with it? While your first thought may be to name the new (furry) addition to your family, there is a long list of puppy essentials or kitten essentials you’ll need to consider when prepping for the big arrival. We’ve compiled here a new puppy checklist and a new kitten checklist.
Eat, sleep, play – the canine and feline essentials
Feeding: Whether you choose to home a dog or a cat, a puppy or a kitten, they all have the following things in common: eating, sleeping, and playtime. When it comes to food, there is a vast range of options out there, from gourmet wet food to dry ‘kibble’ mix. To make the right decision for your pet (and purse strings), it’s worth doing some research into the different food types available and the costs.
In addition, it’s important to invest in the right sized food and water bowls for your pet. This could include electronically timed bowls in case you’re not at home to feed your pet, or need help with portion control.
Bedding: Cat and dog bed options include padded bed or mat styles through to igloo-type snugs that cocoon your pet while it sleeps. In addition, you may want to purchase a crate or cage for a dog, particularly in the case of a puppy, until it has settled into its new home; a crate can provide a safe haven for dogs to retreat to when they want their own space. A cage can also help prevent any damage to the home from chewing or scratching at night time, and to keep it safe. When choosing the correct bed or crate size for your pet, guides are usually available when shopping for these items, and options are varied enough to offer something for every budget.
Playtime: With so many toy options available - from squeaky mice to fetch balls - consider buying a few types to discover what your pet likes best. Always make sure they are certified for pet use, with no choking hazards such as eyes or noses on fluffy toys. Advanced toys for pets of all ages can help stimulate them and make them work for a reward, which is perfect for training. Brain-teasing treat dispensers are a great way to keep a new puppy occupied and out of mischief. For cats, a scratching post is not only good for claws, but often comes with a ball or toy mouse attached to keep them entertained.
You may also want to consider establishing play zones, such as a play pen, or use a stairgate to prevent pets from entering certain rooms or going upstairs – often for their own safety.
Dog walking – choose the right solution to make this vital activity stress-free
Exercise is key to pet health and social wellbeing. Walkies can be your dog’s favourite activity, so being well-equipped is a must. Firstly, choose a comfortable collar that is the right size for your dog. When it comes to leads - with fabric, leather, chain or extendable/retractable tape style available - choose one that is strong enough to withstand some resistance. A harness is also a good option for dogs prone to pulling and choking themselves on a traditional collar and lead set.
When in a public place, all dogs are required to wear an ID tag with your name and address inscribed, so your beloved pet can be reunited with you if lost. It’s also the law that all dogs over eight weeks are microchipped. Suitable for both dogs and cats, it can help prevent losing your companion for good.
Toilet training and grooming accessories – prevent mishaps and maintain hygiene
Toilet training can be the most challenging part of pet ownership. While accidents are inevitable, being prepared will help relieve stress on all sides. Products such as training pads can help encourage your pet to do its business in a designated place, and post-accident sprays can help remove any unwanted traces to avoid a repeat problem, as pets will often go in the same place they did before.
When it comes to pet grooming, it depends on how far you want to go. From brushes and combs designed to remove tangles and loose fur from your pet, to a variety of shampoos and doggy deodorisers to leave them fresh as a daisy.
Pet health - a healthy pet is a happy pet
It’s important to get your new pet registered with a local vet for initial check-ups and vaccinations. Many vet practices offer deals and incentives on vital boosters, to encourage uptake and avoid the spread of pet diseases.
Consider what flea or worm prevention products you want to use. Many spot treatments can last four to six weeks, offering protection from parasites such as fleas, ticks and worms. There are some pet age restrictions on these products, so always seek vet guidance on the most suitable products for your animal.
Aside from the initial vet check-up and vaccination costs, it’s worth considering whether you have the funds for vet treatment if your companion were to fall ill or get injured. On average in 2016, a trip to the vet costs £676. A pet insurance policy means you can have your furry friend treated in the event of an emergency, without having to raise substantial funds, or sacrifice lifestyle choices to pay in full for treatment.
We love our pets and they’re an important part of our family, they're reassuring and a constant presence in our lives. Pet insurance provides peace of mind and can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees when your pet needs treatment due to an accident or illness.