Spring is upon us, and many families will be welcoming new furry pet companions into their homes.  When taking in a new pet, it is important to be sure that you are ready to provide everything that he or she will need.  Use the following checklist to ensure that you don’t forget anything!

  • Good nutrition

Choose a quality diet that meets your pet’s life stage (puppy/kitten, adult, senior), size, and energy needs.  Make any diet changes slowly over a period of 10-14 days.

  • Basic belongings

You won’t need much for your new pet, but they will likely require a few things.  Food and water bowls, a properly fitting collar or harness, a leash or pet carrier, and a litter box for cats are musts.  Strongly consider an appropriately sized crate and some toys to entertain curious babies as well.

  • Exercise

All pets require some form of exercise.  Be sure you have a plan to provide this for your new pet to help them to maintain their health and ward off behavioral problems.

  • Vaccines

Be sure you know which vaccinations your new addition has already received and what additional ones are recommended by your veterinarian.  Vaccines are an important part of keeping your pet healthy.

  • Spay/neuter

If your pet has not already been spayed or neutered, strongly consider doing so as soon as possible.  Spaying or neutering can decrease the incidence of certain health problems including some types of cancer, lessen the likelihood of behavioral problems, and helps prevent pets from escaping home and becoming lost or worse.

  • Parasite prevention

Check with your veterinarian to learn about what types of parasite preventatives are recommended.  Intestinal parasites, heartworms, fleas, and ticks are all detrimental to your pet’s health and are largely preventable.

  • Training

Whether it means you going to the library and learning about pet behavior or enrolling in classes, training your new pet will help him or her fit into your family better.

  • Love and affection

And don’t forget the most important thing of all!  No pet should ever be without your unconditional love! More questions? Contact Naperville Animal Hospital in Naperville, IL and we’ll be happy to help.