1. Pet’s Paperwork
Get your puppy’s/kitty’s paperwork in place (Breed, Family History, Ownership, Legal Adoption, Fostering). This information is vital for a pet parent and the vet. This information just allows you to know your pet more and understand his genetic history better.
2. Vet on Call/ Veterinary Clinic
Decide on a vet/vet clinic for your pet which is closer to your home. Choose a vet who is qualified, professional and updated about any new vaccinations or relevant information concerning your pet. You should be able to have that heart to heart with your vet and your pet should also be fond of your vet. Trusting your vet with your pet’s information helps you to be an alert and aware pet parent and keeps your pet in the best health condition. Choose a veterinary clinic that's comparatively closer to your home or opt for a vet who does a home visit. Your veterinary clinic should have the latest medical infrastructure required to tackle all kinds of emergencies.
3. Groomer on Call
Check with your vet for an expert groomer or you can even connect with pet care companies which offer a ‘Groomer on call’ Service. It is not advisable to try and cut your pet’s nails, or give them a bath unless you have watched an expert in action. Make sure that you are equipped with the latest tools for pet grooming. Grooming products are equally important .
4. Regular Check-ups, Vaccinations & Deworming
Visit the vet for your pup’s regular checkups, vaccinations and deworming regularly. It is also better to get an idea of the approximate cost for your pet’s vaccinations, health and immunity supplements. Regular check-ups help to spot the advent of any illness beforehand. Later on, depending on your will, your vet might suggest getting your pet spayed/neutered. It is also advisable to get your pet microchipped.
5. Update records (soft & hard copies)
Keep all your pet’s records updated and safe (scan and keep an online copy too). This includes vaccinations, deworming and medical records right from the time your pet was a pupper to being an adult dog. Keep a track of your pet’s vaccination and deworming schedule. Keep a growth chart handy and mark the milestones on it. You could also stick a chart somewhere prominent which lists the time your pet needs to be given his vitamins and minerals in a day/week or month.
6. Pet Proof your house/car
Make sure that the furniture you buy is strong and durable as it is quite possible that your pup will try to bite it off. If you are staying in a bungalow, make sure it has a strong fence and your pup cannot escape through the railing. Avoid keeping plants in the house as your pet might just want to dig out the mud to hide imaginary bones. Some plants can also be poisonous to your pets. Clean your house floor with pet-safe floor cleaners. Keep all electrical wires and circuits away from their reach. Glass table tops or even sharp corners are a strict no as it might hurt your furkid. Keep a bottle of fresh, clean water, a rug to put on the seats, a bag of treats/pet food and a food bowl in the car while on a trip. Remember to never keep your pet locked in a closed car.
7. Mentally prepare family members for a pet
It is very important to have an honest talk with your family about the new kid that’s going to enter the house. Senior members need to be told not to get too anxious and younger children need to be taught the right way to treat and behave with pets. Try to foster a dog/cat for a day or two before you actually bring them home.
8. Get Pet Supplies/Products/First-Aid Kit
Get your pet supplies stocked (toys, food, treats, dental spray, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, bed, collars, harness, leash, food & water bowls, blankets, pup diapers, poop bags). All these things are essential as far as your pet is concerned. Choose a mix of dry food and wet food from companies that offer the best in variety. Make sure you check the labels for the expiry on all medicines. Choose pet accessories that let your pets move in a natural manner and do not restrict their movements. Tick collars and LED collars are available in the market. Comfortable beds are a must as it's important for your pets to have their own space. Build a first-aid kit with essentials like a thermometer, savlon, wound healing spray, cotton gauze, parasite treatment products, supplements & liver tonics with you or subscribe to a health box filled with essential vitamins.
9. Join a Pet Group/Community
Congratulations, if you’re reading this, you can check this off your list!
Hop on to an online Pet Group or Community and be an active member. Read the comments and observe how the members function. What kind of questions do they ask? Do any of those answers benefit me as a pet parent is what you should look out for. Be ready to post pictures of your pet and also learn about pets in general.
10. Subscribe to online newsletters or magazines
Most pet journals, newsletters or magazines are an archive of valuable information for first time pet parents. It would be a good idea to either join a library that provides you pet magazines or then you could subscribe to one and even post your queries. You might also come across varied topics ranging from home training for a new pup to homemade remedies to handle wounds or fever.
11. Make friends with Pet Parents who stay close to you
Trust is very important between your pet and you. Likewise, your pet should also be able to trust a few other friends of yours who are also pet parents as this helps your fur baby to learn socializing and play with other pet mates in the neighborhood. They could also be a strong back-up for you in case there is an emergency and you need to keep your pet with them for a while.
12. Invest in Pet Healthcare
Usually pet healthcare companies are a one stop shop for your pets health and happiness. Find out the best pet healthcare companies and read up on what each one offers for your fur kid that is unique, healthy, sustainable and of great quality. Check if the products offered are innovative, serve a strong purpose and are natural, chemical free and organic for your pet. Also check if their moral compass is on the right path. You can also opt for a concrete and year long healthcare plan for your pet. The right nutrition for your pet cannot be compromised upon. The right diet and nutrition will work wonders on your pet’s health and lifestyle. Be prepared to consult a vet and choose the right pet healthcare plan for your baby.
13. Build a PetCare Support System around you
Look for a great pet sitter, pet walker, dog trainer and also find a good pet boarding near you just in case. These are the crucial branches of your support system and also help to take good care of your pet. Your hired help should also be trained to handle your pets and look after them in your absence. Look for love, patience, kindness and compassion as attributes when you select any of the above and most of all the ability to think on their feet. Check the pet boarding/kennel for the facilities they offer and if they have affordable packages in case you need to go off on an impromptu business trip. Check if they have an inhouse kitchen, or a pick up and drop service or even pet events that can engage your pets throughout their stay.
14. Get a Pet Insurance to cover illnesses
Check with a petcare company if you can get your pet insured to handle sickness and unannounced illnesses. You will start considering your pet like a family member as the days go by and pet insurance will help foot the hospital bills which come unannounced. This will help you take good care of your pet medically.
15. Set up a ‘Love my Pet’ Fund
If in the unfortunate instance that something happens to you, make sure that your pet is cared and looked after well with a saving fund and a trustworthy guardian. This idea is yet to really build in India but its quite common abroad. Most pet lovers have included their pets in their will and have provided for their upkeep even after they are gone. This savings fund can also suffice in case you plan a trip with your pet or even for a rainy day. For eg: when pay cuts are rampant during lockdown, this fund might just help you with the cash crunch and you can still continue with the same lifestyle for your pet as before and not forego anything.
If you want to be the ‘perfect’ pet parent, its best to follow the above instructions. Think about it, your pet can also be a strong influencer on social media channels and bring a smile on to a lot of like-minded pet parents. A pet is just like a human baby. Be it human babies or pet babies, they will grow and develop well if they have an excellent immune system and a house filled with people who love and adore them. We pride ourselves on being #PartnersinPethood for our pet parents. We would love to assist and guide you through this journey. Do visit our website on www.wiggles.in or call us on +91 8431620000 and we will be more than happy to answer your questions about your fur baby.