Best start to life for your furry friend

Taking care of those initial formative years of your pet is so important. Read on to understand about their basic needs, phycological needs, and developmental needs.
– by Dr Dheerendra Patel

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As a pet parent, you want to ensure that your furry friend gets the best start in life. Like humans, pets need proper care and attention to thrive and lead a healthy and happy life, especially during their early stages. Whether you have a new puppy or kitten, here are some essential tips to give them the best start in life.

  • Early Veterinary Care: Like humans, pets need regular health check-ups and vaccinations to stay healthy. Consult with a veterinarian as soon as you bring your new pet home. He/she will guide you on the necessary vaccinations, deworming, and preventive care your pet needs based on age, breed, and health status. Early veterinary care can help detect and address potential health issues before they become serious.
  • Balanced Diet: Nutrition plays a crucial role in your pet’s overall well-being. Provide them with a well-balanced, age-appropriate diet that meets their dietary requirements. Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food which is not suitable for pets. Consult your vet for best pet food brands and portion sizes.
  • Regular Exercise: Pets, especially puppies and kittens, need regular exercise to develop strong muscles, bones, and joints. Provide opportunities for your pet to engage in physical activities such as walks, playtime, or interactive toys. Exercise promotes physical health, mental stimulation, socialization, and bonding with their human family.
  • Socialization: Early socialization is crucial for pets to develop good behavior and become well-adjusted members of your family. Expose your pet to different people, animals, and environments in a positive and supervised manner. This helps them build confidence, learn how to interact with others, and prevent fear or aggression issues in the future.
  • Training and enrichment: Start training your pet early to establish good behavior and manners. Basic obedience training, such as sit, stay, and recall, can be taught using positive reinforcement techniques. Provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and other enrichment activities to keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom.
  • Grooming and hygiene: Regular grooming and hygiene are essential for your pet’s overall health and well-being. Brush their coat regularly, trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth to prevent dental issues. Regular grooming also helps you bond with your pet and monitor their health.
  • Safety and security: Create a safe and secure environment for your pet by pet-proofing your home. Keep harmful substances, toxic plants, and small objects out of their reach. Provide them with a designated area for rest and sleep, and ensure they always have access to fresh water. Consider microchipping and tagging your pet with identification information to ensure their safety if they ever get lost.
  • Lots of love and affection: Last but not the least, shower your pet with lots of love, affection, and attention. Spend quality time with them, provide positive reinforcement for good behaviour, and reward them with treats and praise. A loving and caring environment helps your pet feel secure, happy, and bonded with you.

Early intervention, care, and attention can set the foundation for a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted pet that will bring joy and companionship for years to come.

(Dr. Dheerendra Patel BVSc & AH, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Science, Delhi)

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