small grey and white kitten on bed with pillows

Pets After the Holiday Excitement

By Dr. Tiffany Beischel

Caring for your New Pet After Christmas

The holidays have come and gone but for some lucky ones there is an adorable gift still giving slobbery love. Imagine waking up to a fluffy puppy or kitten on Christmas day! The excitement for something so adorable never goes away – until the destruction of your favorite shoes, the “accidents” found around the house, or the never ending energy starts to get the better of your adoration.

To help keep the holiday spirit and love for your new family member year-round, here are a few tips:

Create a plan for the care of your pet when school or work begins

The holidays can be a great time to bring home a new pet as most people have time off to begin bonding. But what happens when life begins again and your new puppy or kitten is left to their own devices? An older cat or dog who is house trained will likely adapt quite quickly to a new routine. It becomes much harder to be gone when trying to train young animals. If you will be gone for short amounts of time, crate training a puppy is a good way to keep them out of trouble and protect them while you are gone. Crating for many hours is not good for their development or mental health, so organize a plan ahead of time. This may include a dog walker or friend letting them out and spending time with them, or even doggy day care. A young cat may need to be confined to one room if you are out, until they understand the house rules. Coming home to find Grandma’s china broken, or worse – an injured kitty, would be devastating.

corgi puppy on orange background

Health Care Plan

Puppies and kittens need a few sets of vaccines every few weeks to protect them against serious diseases. They also need parasite checks and preventative medicine to guard against parasitic infections. Find out right away where they are in this schedule and make an appointment to continue their care. If they are finished with their juvenile vaccines, a vet check is still a necessity to check for any conditions that need care and to find out what disorders they will be prone to. This is also an ideal time to plan ahead with pet insurance. Having pet insurance can allow you to treat serious illness or injury. One very common reason pets are euthanized is that medical treatment cannot be afforded. I think this is so important that I have pet insurance for my own animals!

Puppies and kittens need a few sets of vaccines every few weeks to protect them against serious diseases. They also need parasite checks and preventative medicine to guard against parasitic infections. Find out right away where they are in this schedule and make an appointment to continue their care. If they are finished with their juvenile vaccines, a vet check is still a necessity to check for any conditions that need care and to find out what disorders they will be prone to. This is also an ideal time to plan ahead with pet insurance. Having pet insurance can allow you to treat serious illness or injury. One very common reason pets are euthanized is that medical treatment cannot be afforded. I think this is so important that I have pet insurance for my own animals!

Training

This is one of the most important parts of ensuring your new pet becomes a valued member of the family. From basic obedience training for your pup to more advanced agility and task behaviors, it is essential to establish expected behaviors. This will not only help protect your dog and your home, but will be a great way to bond together. There are many puppy socialization and obedience classes that offer a great start. Cats are relatively easier to teach the appropriate manners within the house. Make sure they have adequate litter boxes throughout the house (a general rule of thumb is one per cat plus one additional) to avoid soiling issues. Provide multiple scratching options of different textures including vertical and horizontal surfaces. Keep nails trimmed frequently as well to protect your furnishings.

Most importantly, enjoy your new pet, provide plenty of exercise and love!

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