Pet Care

New Pet Care Guide: 8 Essential Steps to a Happy Pet


Dr Andrew

10 Oct 2023

📖 Key Takeaways

Getting a new pet is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do, but it can be daunting as there’s a lot to think about! Let's break it down:

  1. Transportation: Secure your pet in crates or seat belt harnesses for a safe voyage.

  2. Housing: Craft a cozy, weather-shielded niche with bed and bowl essentials.

  3. Nutrition: Serve fresh water, balanced meals, and curb overfeeding.

  4. Play and Exercise: Daily strolls for dogs, and interactive play for both canine and feline pals are key.

  5. Training: For dogs, training classes or puppy preschool are a paw-sitive start.

  6. Wellness Checks: Regular wellness checks, and mindful pet supervision, especially under the harsh Aussie sun, are crucial.

  7. Vet Visits: Prompt vet consultations for any health hiccups.

  8. Insurance: Protect them with great cover from day 1

  1. Planning a safe journey home

Transporting your new family member requires a dash of planning. That lovable Great Dane you're adopting won't cosy up on your scooter, and your Persian cat would hardly fancy a wind-blown escapade at the back of your ute. The aim is to deliver a secure and comfy voyage for your new sidekick.

Dogs should be secured with a seat belt harness, nestled in a crate, or behind a car safety barrier. Steer clear of the sedan boot. Regular pit stops for water, a sniff, or a swift wee are key. Remember, they appreciate a breezy ride too, so keep the air conditioning on! Toys can curb their wanderlust, keeping distractions at bay during the drive.

Cats fancy a compact travel crate, securely placed in the cargo area or secured in a car seat, making the journey a perfectly peaceful affair.

  1. Creating a cozy living space

Now let's chat about housing - because it's not just a roof over thier head, it's their home! Sure, it's cozy to have your new pet snuggling up next to you on the couch, but they need their own special space too. A place that's all theirs, where muddy paws and shedding fur are welcomed and encouraged. And of course, it should be comfortable, safe, and protected from any less-than-ideal weather.

Find a great spot for their bed and bowls - not too close, not too far. If you can manage it, setting up a gated area is perfect for when you've got company or need to leave the house. That way, your pet can really feel like they're in their own little paradise.

For cat parents, remember, litter trays are a necessity. Place them away from their beds and bowls, and ensure you have enough— a good rule is always one more litter tray than you have cats in the house. Why not give them some "me time" and tuck them away in a secluded spot for a little potty privacy?

Investing in pet insurance early is a smart move. Fetch is the fresh-faced pet insurer designed for pet parents like you.

  1. Feeding and providing them water

Water is an easy one - make sure there's plenty available, it's fresh, and give the bowl a daily rinse if you can. Cats love to explore, so putting out a few different bowls or even a water fountain will keep them happy.

As for food, twice a day is generally better than once, and grazing isn't always a great idea - especially for cats. Treats are great for training, but remember to cut back on their meals a bit - you don't want them getting fat in return for doing the right thing!

When it comes to the food itself, there's a range of options from budget-friendly store bought brands to more expensive, custom meals from online providers. Aim for the best you can afford, look for something nutritionally balanced, and double-check the label for the ingredients. It's like what we eat - you can usually tell the quality from what's on the label. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or itchy skin, you might need to look for a special food, and the same goes for puppies, kittens, and older pets.

  1. Giving them engaging exercise and enrichment

Exercise and enrichment is a good subject to chat about - it's fun for both of you! If you've got a dog, walk them at least once a day. They'll love to get out there and have a good sniff, maybe pee on the local pee spot, see the sights and even greet a few friends. Make sure that you introduce them to new people and pets carefully, and always look for signs allowing dog walking - you don't want to get in trouble with the local ranger! Some areas allow off-lead exercise - if you're confident in their recall abilities, it's a great way for your pet to stretch their legs.

Dogs and cats enjoy playing - so keep a selection of toys at home and take time to interact with them. Some pet toys are designed to make feeding time more interactive, which can be a great way of slowing down dinner time and making things a little bit more fun!

Finally, you can get all sorts of climbing poles and frames for your cat. But you'll figure out what they like to do once they've been with you for a little while, so don't worry about diving in and buying an elaborate cat play centre on day 1. Start with some cardboard boxes.

  1. Training them up for success

Training is an important part of pet keeping - though if we're being honest, cats train us and not the other way round. But when it comes to dogs, training is a two-way street that can help keep your pup fulfilled and happy - and your sanity in check! Puppies should start at puppy preschool to get a jump-start, and more experienced pooches can benefit from enrolling in obedience classes. Training can help manage those pesky bad habits and help bring out your pup's best qualities!

Puppy school graduation
Puppy school graduation
Puppy school graduation
  1. Caring for their health and welfare

General health and welfare is a broad subject, but if you're this far in you are probably doing a pretty good job already. You should check on your pets regularly to ensure they've not gotten into any mischief, even if you're home.

You shouldn't leave them too long – young puppies generally can't be left for more than an hour or two, as they get older you might be able to extend that out but only if they have a full and happy life. I mean, if you're going to be left at home whilst your best friend goes to work, you at least want a morning walk, maybe a bit of playtime and a hug, right? We try to never leave the dog for longer than four hours, and if there's a reason to be away for longer, or you work long hours, consider a dog walker.

If they're outside, remember it gets hot and cold here, which can present a risk in itself (heatstroke) or mean that snakes are more likely to enter your yard. Cat's are a little different – many of them are happy to have the place to themselves, but make sure they've got clean litter trays and are OK before you go. They can appear very self-sufficient and independent, but you should still satisfy yourself that they're not locked in the laundry or similar!

  1. Fetching Top-Notch Veterinary Care

Get your pet acquainted with a local vet early on. At any sign of discomfort, fetch veterinary advice at once. Fetch customers are backed by a 24/7 helpline. If first aid is needed on your way to the vet, seek professional guidance; keep the DIY surgery for your crafts, not your pet. Scouring reviews or seeking community recommendations can help in finding a reliable vet. A preliminary visit to the clinic, sans your pet, can provide insights into the staff's approach and facilities available. Remember, a proficient vet is integral to your pet's wholesome health journey.

  1. Protecting them with great insurance

Investing in pet insurance early is a smart move. With no medicare for dogs, being a pet parent means being financially able to support your pet's health and wellbeing. Even little ones, despite all their zoomies and fun, can run into some health hiccups like ear and eye infections, tummy troubles, skin issues, or even joint problems.

Fetch pet insurance gives every pet and parent:

🛡️ $30k cover every year and no vet sub-limits

🐾 Cover for all conditions like IVDD, Hip Dysplasia and Tick Paralysis

🦷 Extra cover for dental, behavioural, and physio needs

🏥 Fetch can pay your vet directly for claims

📱 24/7 access to vets and vet nurses via in-app support - great for those important first months with your puppy!