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New Pet Parent Checklist

New Pet Parent Checklist

So, you’ve decided to adopt! Congratulations, and here’s to a life full of unbridled joy and wholesome love! 

While you embark on this journey of togetherness, here’s our list of everything you’ll need to make that ride a little less bumpy.

Nutrition 

Food

Ah, the most important! Food, is by far the most mind-boggling topic in most new pet parents’ minds, and rightfully so! When you adopt, you are less likely to know what the pet ate before you brought him/her home, which is why we have answered your top 5 questions -  

What to feed?

If you have adopted from a shelter, it is best to continue the same diet for the first week, at least until your pet has adjusted to his/her new home. If you or your vet believe that this diet is inadequate in terms of nutrition, you may choose to switch to a healthier diet with the 7-day transition rule - 

  • Day 1 - 100% Old, 0% New
  • Day 2 - 90% Old, 10% New 
  • Day 3 - 75% Old, 25% New 
  • Day 4 - 50% Old, 50% New 
  • Day 5 - 25% Old, 75% New
  • Day 6 - 10% Old, 90% New 
  • Day 7 - 100% New, 0% Old

If you have adopted a homeless puppy/kitty, it is best to feed them nutritionally balanced meals from day 1. This can be in the form of dry, wet, or packaged food. That said, it is best to buy all three varieties and allow your pet to decide which he/she likes best. Once they’ve made their choice, you may continue to stick to that brand for the rest of their lives. 

When to feed?

The following table is a general rule for most pets, however, it is best to check with your veterinarian to determine what’s best for your pet.

  • 2 - 4 months - 5 times a day, equally divided meals
  • 4 - 6 months - 4 times a day, equally divided meals
  • 6 - 8 months - 3 times a day, equally divided meals
  • 8 - 12 months - 3 times a day, equally divided meals
  • 1 year and above - 2 times a day, equally divided meals

How much to feed?

Following the feeding instructions at the back of every packaged food along with your veterinarian’s advice is the best way to feed the right amount of food to your pet as per his/her age and activity level.

How to feed? 

For pets that are fast eaters, you can choose to feed them using a slow feeder bowl since it helps with ensuring better digestion. Contrarily, it is best for you to choose a bowl that isn’t too shallow nor too deep for your pet to eat out of, and in order to determine the best size, it is recommended that you look at the size guide. 

Where to feed?

Choose a quiet, well-ventilated room that isn’t a high-traffic area. It is important that your pet enjoys his/her meal without any external disturbance that might cause stress or distraction. 

If you have adopted a dog, you may choose to place the water bowl next to the food bowl and have one more in another corner of the room. 

If you have adopted a cat, ensure the food and water bowl aren’t together, where the water bowls are in two different rooms. 

Treats

Which treat to feed?

Treats come in different flavors, textures, and sizes. The best way to know your pet’s favorite set of treats is to buy one of each variety, i.e. nuggets, jerkies, chewies, bite-sized treats and allow them to choose. Try out Petsy's Naturally Irresistible treats which can be used as a snack, tasty topper or for training. 

How much to feed?

Follow the instructions at the back of the treat packet to determine the exact feeding amount per day.

When to feed?

Most treats can be used as a snack, during training, or as a tasty topper during mealtime

Accessories & Supplies 

Beds

Some pets like to curl up while others like to stretch. Your pet’s go-to sleeping position determines the type of dog bed you buy for them - pet’s that like to curl up prefer a size proportionate to their body length, while those that like to stretch enjoy beds that are at least twice their size. 

Bowls

For pets that are fast eaters, you can choose to feed them using a slow feeder bowl since helps with ensuring better digestion. Contrarily, it is best for you to choose a bowl that isn’t too shallow nor too deep for your pet to eat out of, and in order to determine the best size, it is recommended that you look at the size guide. 

Litter, Litter Boxes, & Trays

A general rule of thumb - for every cat, there should be 2 litter boxes, i.e. 1 cat = 2 litterboxes. Litterboxes should be placed in a quiet, well-ventilated room that isn’t used often. This allows your cat to do her business in peace, because, nobody likes someone watching them poop and pee, right? While choosing cat litter, ensure that it is low-dust, odor-free, and less consumption. Here are a few tips to ensure your cat’s litter and the litter box is perfect - 

  • Ensure the litter is at least 2 inches deep
  • Change the litter after you see more than 2-3 clumps 
  • Air out and sun dry the litter box every 2-3 days
  • For cats that are not used to litterboxes, you will need to take them to the box after every meal. Once they’ve done their business, reward them with a treat. 
Pee Pads

Place pee pads at 2-3 frequented spots of the house. Once your dog pees on the pad, reward him/her. Over time, you may start to take your pet outside to toilet an dyou will no longer need the pad inside the house. 

ID Tags

Personalised ID Tags are essential to keep your pet safe, especially when they are out in crowded places like parks, beaches, and restaurants. 

personalised dog tags

Exercise 

Collar, Leash, & Harness

When choosing collars, make sure to measure your pet’s neck and allow for a two finger space between neck and collar. You want to ensure the collar is tight enough to not fall off but not so tight that it can cause choking. 

Leashes come in 3 different lengths - standard, short, and long. Standard leashes are for everyday use - walks, grocery store errands, restaurants/cafés etc. Short leashes are for training your pet to walk beside you in crowded places such as parks, malls, beaches etc. Once your pet has mastered ‘heeling’ they can move on to a long leash, or no leash at all! 

Long leashes are used on hikes, at parks, at beaches, in the car etc. It is designed to give your pet freedom, whilst giving you some amount of control. 

Grooming

Shampoo

For pets with healthy skin and coat, you may choose a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo. However, if your pet has a unhealthy skin condition - dry, scaly, itchy, red, bumpy, inflamed, patchy etc, speak to your vet before attempting to treat it yourself.

Brushes 

Slicker Brush

  • Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats, and curly-coats 
  • Best for
    • Eliminating mats
    • Preventing knots and tangles
    • Removing dirt and debris
    • Spreading natural oils evenly throughout the body
    • Massaging
  • When to use it? Slicker brushes can be used throughout the year. They work best when used at least once every day alongside additional brushing tools that your dog may benefit from. 
  • How to use it? It is best to brush in the direction of fur flow. Some mats are hard to remove, and in that case, holding the mat between your fingers and gently tugging on it with a slicker comb works better than brushing all at once.

 You can check our range of slicker brushes here.

Bristle Brush

  • Type of coat - Short-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, and curly-coats 
  • Best for: Removing dirt and debris
  • When to use? Bristle Brushes can be used whenever your dog is visibly dirty from playing outside in places where it is muddy like the park or sandy like the beach. Bristle brushes remove any dirt/debris on the topmost layer of fur; however, they are not very good at removing dirt near the follicles.
  • How to use it? Bristle brushes can be used in any direction as long as they are used immediately after the pet is dirty.

You can check our range of bristle brushes here.

Tick and Flea Brush

  • Type of coat - Short-haired, Long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coats, wire-haired coats, silky coats, and curly-coats 
  • Best for - Removing ticks, fleas, and their eggs
  • When to use? Tick and flea brushes must be used every day, regardless of whether you’ve spotted a tick or flea because it helps to remove fleas in their larvae stage when they aren’t easily visible to the naked eye.
  • How to use it? Divide the dog fur along the length of the spine and gently pull in the direction of fur growth.

You can check our range of flea and tick combs and brushes here.

Pin Brush

  • Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats, silky coats, and curly-coats 
  • Best for
    • Daily brushing
    • Removing tiny knots and mats
    • Freeing tangles
    • Massaging
  • When to use? Anytime!
  • How to use it? Brush in the direction of fur growth, making sure you are reaching the layer of skin beneath all that fur - this ensures a good massage and an even distribution of oils.

Double-sided Brush

  • Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats and curly-coats 
  • Best for
    • Eliminating mats
    • Preventing knots and tangles
    • Removing dirt and debris
    • Spreading natural oils evenly throughout the body
    • Massaging
  • When to use? Anytime! But, best after a bath.
  • How to use? Brush in the direction of fur growth, making sure you reach the layer of skin and not just the topcoat. 

Ear Cleaners 

Your pet’s ear can build up wax over time. To clean their ears, you can use a pet-safe ear cleaning solution with cotton or a ear-cleaning wipe. However, it is important that you learn how to clean your pet’s ear from a veterinarian before attempting to do it yourself. 

Check out our range of ear cleaners here

As overwhelming as this list may seem, remember, we’re here for you - every step of the way! 

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