There's a Lot to Learn About Kitten and Puppy Care
Watts and Gregory with missing dogs Aria and Tracey. Dave Watts - Watts and Gregory with missing dogs Aria and Tracey. In May 2021, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) released data from a national poll of 5,020 respondents confirming that nearly one in every five households had acquired a cat or dog since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, accounting for roughly 23 million American households according to the 2019 U.S. Census. According to the ASPCA survey, the great majority of these households still keep their pet at home — 90 percent for dogs and 85 percent for cats — and are not planning to rehome it.
Puppies and kittens account for four out of every five cat and dog adoptions, according to a Petfinder poll from 2020. This research, together with the current increase in pet adoption and the popularity of the "pet humanization" movement, is influencing age-specific goods for pet parents looking to add a puppy or kitten to their family.
Understanding the basics of nutrition, litter box training, grooming, medical appointments, creating home rules, and introducing your kitten to existing pets are all essential components of raising a healthy, happy companion.
When bringing a puppy or kitten into the house, the initial purchases are usually leashes, bowls, and toys, but what's intriguing is that customers tend to return to the same store for further pet purchases.
Dr. Annie Valuska, a Purina pet behavior scientist who specializes in domestic dogs and cats, says that new and experienced pet owners alike look to pet stores for the supplies and knowledge they want when bringing new pets into the house, particularly puppies and kittens. She recommends that pet retailers have the following ten important things for pet parents considering adding a puppy or kitten to their family:
Complete and Balanced Food: Puppy and kitten food prepared with the proper nutrient proportions will aid in healthy growth and development, particularly during the first two years of life, depending on the breed.
Food and water bowls: For lively, and often clumsy, puppies and kittens, sturdy dishes that won't topple over are ideal. Cleanliness should be a priority when it comes to bowls. Because some kittens are sensitive to plastic, having stainless steel types on hand is essential. Consider keeping broad, shallow bowls on hand to accommodate kittens' delicate whiskers. Two sets of bowls are good because they allow the pet parent to disinfect one set in the dishwasher while the other is in use.
Collars and ID tags: Collars and ID tags are needed in many towns, but even if they aren't, they're useful if a new pet goes lost. It's critical to have a variety of collars accessible for different sized animals, as well as facilities for creating ID tags with the pet's name and owner's phone number. This is especially critical if the puppy or kitten has not yet been microchipped.
Leashes: Leashes are a crucial training tool for pups, and in most cities, they're also compulsory. Pet retailers, like collars, should have a variety of leash options in a variety of materials, designs, and lengths. To begin puppy training, a robust six-foot leash is ideal. Cat harnesses are also useful for pet owners who want to teach their kittens to wander outside. The sooner owners begin leash or harness training, the simpler it will be for them and their dogs, therefore alternatives for puppies and kittens are vital.
Crates and Beds: Crates and beds, in particular, are a vital training tool for pups. They give a puppy a place to sleep as well as a safe place to go when they're nervous. Encourage new pet owners to start with a smaller crate, even though their dog will grow, to aid in training and acclimating to the new environment. Kittens who need a safe place to relax might benefit from enclosed cat beds or shelters.
Toys: Toys are essential for the growth of young pets. Puppy-safe chew toys are ideal for teething pups since they teach them what is and isn't proper for them to chew on. A kitten's innate curiosity necessitates safe and fascinating toys. Toys designed specifically for cats should not be split, pulled apart, or ingested. A rattling celluloid ball, a catnip mouse, or a firm rubber mouse are ideal.
Treats: Treats are a terrific way to show your puppy or kitten how much you appreciate their good behavior. Puppy treats should be age-appropriate. To avoid derailment, training rewards should be small enough to take in one or two pieces. When training, new parents might utilize a portion of the puppy's daily food.
Cleaning Supplies: Puppies are prone to mishaps. Enzymatic cleaners and pet stain and odor removers should be available at pet retailers. These solutions are designed to eliminate pet stains and odors, which helps to prevent pups from repeatedly marking the same areas.
Carry spacious litter boxes and mats to help owners avoid litter all over the home; some cats prefer covered litter boxes, while others like open litter boxes, so keep both available. Cat litter scoops and variations should be provided to assist owners in selecting the best product for their cat and home.
Scratching Post: Cats do not utilize scratching posts to sharpen their claws, contrary to common perception. They are exercising when they extend out to their greatest length. They also utilize the post to indicate their territory and wipe dead scales off their nails. Scratching posts should be solid and big enough for the kitten to stretch.
TRAINING AND BONDING
Brushes and combs are frequently seen as vital items for both puppies and kittens, since regular grooming in the form of gentle brushing is necessary to ensure that grooming becomes a pleasurable bonding activity and part of normal care. Dust, dead skin, loose hair, grass seeds, tangles, and shed fur are all removed during grooming. For permitting their dog or kitten to be groomed, pet parents should give them a good food treat, verbal praise, and pats. This can help the puppy or kitten identify grooming with good experiences, which will make it simpler for both the pet and the parent.
Because of their significance to pet parents, training treats have witnessed a well-deserved increase in popularity. A number of companies have incorporated training treats to their product lines. Mini-PureBites RAW Freeze Dried Trainers are manufactured with one ingredient and available in three varieties: chicken breast, beef liver, and lamb liver. PureBites is recognized for challenging merchants and customers to read the ingredient labels on their pet treats.
NPIC has created a line of puppy training treats and chews based on its belief that young companion animals benefit from age-appropriate goods. The company has extended its range of puppy teething goods and developed a line of dog training goodies.
"At NPIC, we recognize that many pet owners see their pets as members of their human family, and they want to provide them with the finest care possible," Sam Chen stated. "As a result of that realization, we began to consider the behaviors, needs, and relationships between pets and their owners at various phases of their lives." We discovered via considerable study that the chewing need during a puppy's teething stage, as well as the devastation caused by such chewing, are two important pain areas for which there were no effective remedies in the category at the time. That's why we created the N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings, a solution with a unique form and feel that not only meets a puppy's demands but also relieves puppy owners of their worries.
"As we return to our foundational insights of viewing pets as human family members, we made sure our products could meet these babies' developmental needs as well," Chen continued. "We added functional ingredients like DHA and calcium to support healthy cognitive development, as well as strong teeth and bones." "We feel that the N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings should be more than simply empty calories for pet owners' cherished pets; they should be practical, delectable treats."
When it comes to housetraining, young pet ownership takes a lot of patience and perseverance, as well as a systematic effort and particular items. As previously said, accidents are prevalent among young pets, which is why Pet Magasin has designed reusable belly wraps and dog diapers to meet a range of demands, including dogs suffering from excitement urination, incontinence, age, or disease. Male dogs will benefit from the belly wraps, while untrained pups and females in heat will benefit from the diapers.
Pet Magasin diapers and belly wraps are meant to be soft with no "crinkly" feel, and the Velcro fasteners are easy to tighten and won't adhere to the pup's fur. Both items are machine washable, cost-effective, eco-friendly, very absorbent, and include a waterproof covering to prevent leaks.
WizSmart, for example, takes a novel way to create functional pads that are also environmentally friendly. Every year, WizSmart recycles over half a billion diapers that would otherwise end up in landfills. An extremely absorbent gel absorbs smells and can hold up to eight cups of fluids. WizSmart's training pads are thick with a unique combination of materials, including eucalyptus fiber, for great absorption and rapid drying.
"Not only are our pads better for the environment, but they also save money for pet parents," said Krister Holm, partner and general manager of WizSmart developer Petix. "These pads contain a lot more liquid than normal pads, so you don't have to replace them as frequently."
WizSmart pads, according to Holm, are excellent for puppy training. WizSmart pads solve the male-dog component of urinating and the broader problem about how to fasten them to floors and walls thanks to their sticky tabs. Bring pups to a WizSmart pad multiple times each day, especially after they've had anything to eat or drink, and reward them for each successful elimination, according to the manufacturer.
Because kittens lack the level of control that grown cats do, the position of the litter box is critical when housetraining them. Dr. Elsey's Cat Products marketing director Gina Zaro gives a helpful approach for teaching kittens to associate the litter box with their bathroom requirements.
She stated, "By putting them in a litter box, they identify the box with the reflex." "It's a good idea to put your kitten in a litter box after feeding time." After feeding, kittens have a natural elimination reflex. You should also provide kittens with easy access by installing a step up until they are large enough to go into the box on their own."
Choosing the right litter is crucial when it comes to housetraining. Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract is a training litter composed of quality litter with better clumping ability and crushed to an optimum granule size and texture for a kitten's fragile paws. It has been on the market since 2007. Kitten Attract litter contains a natural herbal attractant designed specifically for kittens, which encourages them to use the litter box. For cat owners, the mix of herbs, texture, and particle size creates a unique and practical solution.
To encourage healthy growth and brain development, puppies and kittens require high-calorie meals with specialized nutrients. According to ZIWI, it's critical to start a puppy or kitten on a diet that's high in high-quality proteins, moderate in fat, and low in carbs to help them thrive. The air-dried and canned recipes from ZIWI Peak are all comprehensive and balanced. They also fulfill AAFCO nutritional profiles for all life phases, including big-breed puppy development. ZIWI Peak is extremely adaptable and may be given to kittens and pups as young as 6 weeks of age - simply scoop and serve, including as a topping.
Puppies require approximately four times the calories of adult dogs, as well as more protein to aid in the formation of new tissue. During this period, an energy-dense diet high in protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus is essential.
The requirements of a puppy differ depending on the breed. Toy and tiny breed dogs require more of these nutrients to limit their development rate, but large breed dogs require less, and medium-sized dog breeds require a balance of the two. Too little or too much of these nutrients can cause bone abnormalities in dogs and can lead to obesity.
Puppies should eat food that is calcium and phosphorus balanced, as well as amino acids and vitamins. Antioxidants are also vital for puppies' general health and to avoid growth anomalies. Fish and vegetable oils, which are abundant in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, are also useful elements in puppy chow.
Vetdiet was founded in 1993 with the goal of providing optimal natural nutrition for the healthy growth of pups. The firm has partnered with pet nutrition specialists to provide unique pet food, including puppy-specific food. Vetdiet puppy feeds have a combination of 25 natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system, as well as genuine meat as a component to aid with muscle development. The metabolic demands of pups of various breed sizes fluctuate, according to Jade Dominique, Vetdiet VP of sales, and Vietdiet puppy food "targets certain nutrients and functional components to deliver the greatest nutrition possible for your puppy based on their breed size."
"We don't use artificial colors, flavors, or dyes as additions or fillers," he stated. "In our meals, we exclusively utilize natural preservatives." To guarantee that our foods deliver the finest nutrition possible, we employ highly digestible ingredients and little processing."
First-time puppy parents may be unfamiliar with the many phases of growth and how breeds influence the process. Vietdiet provides stores with educational brochures outlining the components, guaranteed analysis, and all of the product's advantages. In addition, Vetdiet territory managers may schedule training sessions with the company's nutrition staff and shops via email or phone conversations. Dominique explains that the company also provides retailers with an online training platform that is "easily available from any electronic device, is free for merchants, and makes it easy to learn about our items."
Kittens can't consume a lot at once since their mouths and digestive systems are so tiny. Their diet should be abundant in easily digested animal protein, as well as fiber, critical vitamins and minerals, and taurine, an amino acid found in chicken and fish. Protein is crucial for the formation and continuing maintenance of a nimble defensive system since they are still establishing their immune system. For bone growth and development, kitten meals should have somewhat more minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Purina also recommended that kittens eat a diet that includes the following ingredients:
Sources of high-quality protein to assist developing muscles
DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that aids in the development of the brain and eyesight.
Antioxidants - aid in the development of a kitten's immune system.
Calcium and phosphorus — these minerals aid in the development of healthy teeth and bones.
Linoleic acid is an Omega-6 fatty acid that is important for skin and coat health.
Finally, Purina experts recommend giving kittens both wet and dry food because wet food provides sufficient of hydration, while dry food's crunchy kibble helps decrease plaque and tartar accumulation.
"Providing two types of food during the day offers diversity to keep cats engaged since they are neophilic and enjoy trying new things," said Joe Toscano, Purina's vice president of trade and industry development. "It also aids in the development of kittens' palates by preventing them from developing an exclusive preference for a particular type of food over time." "The more diversity a kitten's food contains, the more adaptive they become to diet changes as they grow older."
"Cats are considered kittens for the first 12 months of their lives and should be fed kitten food during that time," explained Purina veterinarian Dr. Callie Harris, DVM. "A kitten has evolved into an adult cat after a year and maybe switched to adult food formulae." Some bigger breed cats, such as the Maine Coon, may need to be fed kitten food for a longer period of time. If you have particular queries regarding how long to feed kitten food, I usually recommend seeing your veterinarian."
Fromm Family Foods, a fifth-generation family business committed to animal health and nutrition, understands the need of a balanced kitten diet. Kitten Gold is made by Fromm and is made of duck, chicken, liver, whole eggs, and real Wisconsin cheese. It contains probiotics to assist digestion as well as salmon oil for a healthy coat. Froom meals are made in tiny amounts with regular deliveries of fresh ingredients.
"Just like dogs, a cat's nutritional demands change from birth to maturity," stated Bryan Nieman, Brand Director for Fromm Family Foods. "I believe there's a common misconception that a cat's evolving dietary requirements aren't as different or distinctive as those of their canine counterparts."
Tiki Cat Born Carnivore for Kittens has a high protein content thanks to genuine chicken, a highly digestible egg, and nutrient-dense chicken liver. The grain-free Chicken & Egg Luau flavor contains vital fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3 from salmon oil and flaxseeds, as well as pumpkin to aid digestion. DHA and folic acid have been added to promote healthy brain and eye development.
Born Carnivore life-stage nutrition guides kittens through the stages of breastfeeding, weaning, and self-feeding. Tiki Cat Baby comes with an energy/weight growth supplement for newborns, a finely shredded/mousse starting meal for weaning kittens, and two whole-food recipes for growing carnivores up to 12 months. High protein from natural sources, added taurine, more hydration, and a tasty taste get kittens off to a good start.
Goat milk is quickly gaining popularity as a nutritious option for puppies and kittens. Meyenberg, which was formed in 1934 and is recognized for its great quality and trust, produces Tailspring goat milk pet products.
Goat milk is simpler for pets to digest than cow milk because it has fewer fat particles that form smaller, softer curds in the stomach. This permits the digestive tract to break down compounds faster and absorb nutrients and energy faster, making them simpler to digest, especially in young animals. Another cause is goat milk's protein composition. Casein is a normal protein found in all animal milk, however the Alpha S1 casein found in cow milk can cause problems for dogs. Goat milk is low in Alpha S1 casein and high in Alpha S2 casein, according to studies, making it a favorite among many dogs.
Tailspring is a brand of goat milk-based pet products with a clean label that are designed to nourish and assist pets grow. The brand's goat milk-based milk replacers are safe for puppies and kittens from birth to 8 weeks of age who are weaning. Tailspring milk replacers are made with 100 percent human-grade ingredients and are designed to precisely mimic the fat, lactose, protein, vitamins, and general nutrition of a mother cat or mother dog's milk.
"Not only does goat milk provide natural nutritional advantages, but it's also soft on stomachs and has a wonderful taste that encourages your pet to eat," said Kate Slaney, Tailspring and Meyenberg's brand manager. "Having our newborn infants successfully take meals can literally save their lives." Thanks to the inclusion of our goat milk pet products, we've heard numerous anecdotes of pets, young and old, rediscovering their spark and loving food again."
Several of Vetericyn's supplement lines address puppy health, including ALL-IN, which took more than three years to create alongside scientist-professor Dr. A.S. Narain Naidu.
"A developing puppy's systems are laying the groundwork for a lifetime," stated Scott Van Winkle, VP of Vetericyn. "[ALL-IN Puppy] provides crucial support to a puppy's key systems during the critical phase of weaning from mother's milk to solid food."
ALL-IN Puppy is a supplement for dogs up to 18 months old that helps with bone growth, digestive health, immune system response, and hyperactivity reduction, among other things. Dr. Naidu, a scientist-professor, is credited by Van Winkle with resolving supplement absorption concerns.
"We realized we had something remarkable when Dr. Naidu explained how his technology could actively collect nutrients, transport them through the body, and then deliver them to the correct cells," Van Winkle added. "We developed personalized nutritional complexes in collaboration with Dr. Naidu to help strengthen bones and tissue, improve digestive health, and boost the immune system."
The pet care sector is critical to the proper development of young companion animals. With the recent increase in dog and cat ownership and a particular focus on young pets in these two categories, these items have never been more important to pet parents.
There are several methods for shops to profit on the popularity of puppies and kittens. If pet store owners succeed with puppies and kittens, they should expect an increase in channel loyalty and increased sales in non-pet areas when customers seek additional cleaning supplies and replace broken products. The sheer quantity and diversity of puppy and kitten items available on the market, on the other hand, might not only overwhelm a pet parent, but also break the bank. It may be a delicate balancing act for businesses to deliver the proper items to customers without frightening away prospective pet owners.