Adopting a puppy or kitten: Q&A
Many first-time pet parents are still very new to having a fur baby. Having a kitten or a puppy can be quite a challenge but definitely worth it in the long run! You’re providing an animal in need of a happy forever home with a better life, and your adoption fee will go towards helping more animals! Here are a few questions with answers for first time Puppy or Kitten adopters:
What age is the best age to adopt a puppy or kitten?
Ideally, a puppy or kitten should stay with their mother until they are at least 12 weeks of age, in order to ensure a healthier development. However, many puppies and kittens that are rescued are often orphaned, so that age may vary and depend on the adoption organization or foster carer, given the circumstances of the animal’s condition.
When under the circumstances of an orphaned kitten or puppy, there’s no control over what age they’d be found at. They could be anywhere between 3 days to 3 months old. In this instance, the need for a forever or foster home sooner. If this happens make sure that you are well informed as to how to care for the fur baby at their age, by checking with your local vet on what their needs may be and how you can meet them.
Where can I adopt a pet from?
There are multiple organizations within the UAE that deal with rescue animals! Finding the right one for you may take some research, you can find out more by looking up pet rescue pages online. There are also many facebook groups dedicated to helping animals in need, and often people advertise when they’re looking for foster homes or forever homes for their pets!
How will I know the pet is right for my family without committing to them?
You could do a trial adoption! It’s essentially like a temporary foster, to see how the pet does within your household and family. There’s no commitment and it gives you time to bond with the puppy or kitten beforehand too. It also helps if you have other pets at home and you would like to see how well they get along. Eventually you’ll fall in love with your trial fur baby and they’ll happily become a member of your family!
Is it okay to adopt a puppy or kitten if I have children?
Of course it is! Pets are a great way for children to learn responsibility, and growing up alongside a pet will definitely build a bond for them! However, children do need to learn about being gentle and playing carefully with a puppy or kitten, so make sure they’re taught how to handle them properly!
Having a puppy or kitten in the house is also a great way to teach your child about responsibility! By having them perform chores like making sure that their new pet is cleaned up after, properly fed and bathed, walked, played with and given enough attention, children will learn how to be more responsible and compassionate towards animals. Just make sure they are taught how to properly care for their new pets, and that walks with puppies are supervised.
How do I train them?
Some kittens and puppies that are adopted from shelters are already litter box and pee pad/outdoor trained, however, if you’re adopting straight off of the street, chances are your new little one won’t have any prior experience with training.
Litter box training for kittens should be done early on by showing your new kitten their litter box once you bring them home. After each meal take them inside their litter box to get them into the habit of using it after eating or drinking, if you notice your cat squatting or scratching around on the floor or any other surface, then immediately take them into the litter box to relieve themselves. Eventually they will learn that they need to do their business in their litter boxes, and it will be your responsibility to keep it clean for them. If you find that your kitten won’t use the litter box, try changing the type of litter sand you’re using, as some cats tend to be picky over where they go to the toilet.
Puppies will need to be taken out frequently throughout the day in order to build up the habit of going outside to use the toilet. They should be taken out first thing in the morning, and then at least every hour. Taking them to the same spot every time will be more effective in their training as they will familiarize the scent and know that is their spot. Use plenty of praise when they go to the toilet outside as positive reinforcement helps to encourage good behavior.
Training takes a lot of patience, whether it is to teach them to use their toilet, not to bite or scratch up our belongings or bark too much. There are multiple methods of training your pet, but it is best to consult with a professional before taking on the responsibility, because they may have more insight on the best way to handle training your cat or dog effectively.
When should your puppies and kittens be vaccinated and neutered?
Puppies and kittens should receive their first dose of vaccines between 6 - 8 weeks old, after 10 days they should receive their second dose including their rabies shot and microchipping. Following this, they should be receiving their booster and rabies shot annually.
For neutering and spaying, it’s best to have it done around 6 months of age, for females, ideally before their first heat. This is around the age where your cats or dogs reach sexual maturity and it is safest to begin opperating on them. Neutering your pets is beneficial for their health later on, as it helps to prevent tumors, urinary infections and also certain cancers from forming.
What supplies do I need?
Thankfully, we have you covered there! There are a number of pet food brands that we stock that have puppy foods and kitten foods.
For puppies you can consider food brands such as Taste of The Wild, Royal Canin, Lily's Kitchen, and Orijen. All of these brands provide the necessary nutrients for your puppy to grow into a healthy adult dog. For kittens, you can consider Orijen, Hill's Science Plan, Royal Canin, and Lily's Kitchen. When choosing a brand of food for your new family member, try to stick to one brand if possible, as changing their food too often may upset their stomachs too much and create gastrointestinal problems for them. Thankfully, these food brands offer options for adults as well, making the transition for their adult pet food smoother and easier on their stomachs.
Growing puppies and kittens also need the right vitamins and minerals as they age. Bone building supplements help provide a healthy dose of calcium for their bone & joint development, and multivitamin paste for puppies & kittens that can be given at 9 weeks old to encourage healthy growth into adulthood.
Puppies need to chew! Teething is inevitable for small puppies, and they will chew whatever they can get their little paws on, that’s why it’s best to be prepared with a variety of chew toys and dental puppy treats! Whimzees have special soft dental chew treats for puppies to help keep their teeth clean and free from plaque and tartar. There are also a number of durable chew toys that can withstand even the toughest chewers, like Westpaw's Hurley Dog Bones or Kong's Puppy Chew Toys that also come with little treats that you can hide inside their toys to encourage them to chew. You can also try chew stopping spray to discourage your pup from chewing on your possessions!
Just as puppies chew, kittens need to scratch. It’s a way for them to sharpen and file their nails. To protect your furniture, invest in getting a cat tree or cat scratcher. You can encourage your kitty to scratch their own furniture instead of your own by using catnip or catnip spray on their new scratchers.
We also have a number of different puppy pads available for your toilet training needs as well as a training spray to encourage your new puppy to go to the toilet in the right spots. What if they make a mess where they shouldn’t? That’s no problem, puppies will make a mess, thankfully there are cleaning sprays and solutions that not only remove the mess and the smell, but also discourages your puppy from making a mess in the same spot.
Whether you are looking for beds, food, toys, supplements, etc. We have all of it on our website or in our shop! And any of our shop assistants would be happy to help you pick out the right accessories for your new family additions! Take a look on our app, on our website or even just pass by our store and find what you need for your new fur babies.