Tips and Recommendations for "First-Time" Owners of Cats and Dogs

Practical guide for those who added dogs or cats to their homes during COVID-19. Food, games and animal health.

One of the positive consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in the number of people who, in many cases, made a decision that had been postponed for a long time: to add a pet to the home. Dogs and cats found a new home during this quarantine and became the ideal company for these days of confinement. And here are some quick tips and recommendations for first timers.

"The main recommendation when a family adds a pet to the home is to visit the veterinarian to establish a vaccination and deworming plan corresponding to the age and the particular case of each animal," said Jazmín De la Vega (MP 13873), veterinarian from Puppis, adding: “Then, it is essential to respect the specific diet for the species: the cat is a strict carnivore and the dog is an omnivore. It is important that each one has the food that corresponds to him ”.

Another important point to keep in mind is the time of the animals' play. For this you have to provide them with specific elements for their species. "For dogs, balls or toys that can chew are ideal, but taking into account the size so that they cannot break it and swallow it," explained De la Vega.

Tips for those who added cats to their family

“Giving them fun is key as cats get very stressed. If you can't buy something special for them, even if it's finding them a box where they can hide, a paper bun, or something to climb on ”, explained María Eugenia Sívori (MP9729). "You have to explain to the children that animals are not toys and at the beginning play games supervised by adults so that there is no type of accident," added the Puppis veterinarian.

With regard to the sanitary stones, it is advisable to place them from the first day, as far as possible from the food and water plate. "Each owner will learn with their pet because there is a lot of variety and with the passage of time they will find out if they like a scent or if the cat prefers one brand over another," said Sivori.

In addition, the specialists express that we must take advantage of the isolation and the amount of hours we spend at home to educate the pets and that they get used to the movements of the house respecting moments of rest and walks.

In this sense, with the prior authorization of the veterinarian and after the third vaccination applied, it is important to start taking the puppy for a walk with collar/harness and leash in order to achieve a regularity and adequate socialization.

"Taking precautions to take care of our health in the framework of the pandemic, we have to take them out even if it is walking around the block so that they get used to the different sounds and contexts with which they are going to live," he said. the veterinary doctor.

"On the other hand, you have to get the puppy used to being alone at home, even if we are inside," he added. According to Sívori, this can be achieved by looking for a specific space, for a few minutes a day, and leaving him with some interesting toys. In this way, he gets used to being alone and is prevented from developing a behavior disorder called "separation anxiety."

It is also recommended to always remember that sudden changes in routine can cause stress in pets, which can lead to other health complications.

Therefore, when faced with any doubt or strange behavior of the animals, families should consult their veterinarian and assess the problem as soon as possible.