14 Unique Cat Names For Your New Fur-Baby

Welcome home, new kitty! Whether you are a first-time cat mom or cat dad, or if you are increasing your cat collection, welcoming home a new kitty is a fun time. You get to set up new cat areas and get new cat dishes, not to mention your new “Cat parent” mug and apparel options. No worries about all the cat toys and treats, though; KONG Club has you covered in that department.

One of the most important tasks of making your house a home for your new kitty is giving them a name. Your pet’s name will become a part of them and give them the distinction of becoming part of the family.

You want to give your cat a unique name that fits their unique personality. Let’s look at 14 unique cat names so you can find the purrfect name for your feline friend.

How Do I Pick the Best Name for My Cat?

The sky’s the limit when it comes to picking your cat’s name. Of course, you want a name that your kitty will respond to. A study found that cats respond best to hard sounds — think words that contain T, K, and B. However, cats can also distinguish between some vowels, like A, E, and I.

Refrain from picking a name that is the same as commands, like “sit” or “here.” You don’t want to create unnecessary confusion, especially if you have a pet like a dog that follows those commands. Your cat may also learn to ignore that word, effectively learning to ignore their name.

Although some like giving their cats multiple names, like Pudding Von Sugarsweet, it’s sometimes wise to shorten that name into a nickname your cat will likely respond to. One or two syllables are best, especially if you need to call for them outside.

In this case, you have plenty of options like Pudding, Sugar, and Sweetie. After all, are you really a pet parent if you don’t have multiple nicknames for your cat (some that make absolutely no sense to an outsider)?

Trending Cute Cat Names for 2022

When considering a name for your cat, looking at the most popular cat names is always a good start. The list below includes both boy cat names and girl cat names, as well as a few unisex cat names.

Let’s look at some of the most popular cat names for 2022:

  • Coco
  • Leo
  • Lucy
  • Max
  • Chester
  • Nala
  • Onyx
  • Cleopatra
  • Tigger
  • Smokey
  • Tuxedo

Keep an ear out for the most popular cat names in your neighborhood. Things could possibly get a tad confusing if four Oreos live on the same block.

Unique Cat Name Ideas

If you want to give your cat a name as unique as they are, you have a lot of places to look for inspiration. Literary or movie characters, gods and goddesses from mythology, and popular names from foreign countries offer endless possibilities.

Let’s look at some unique names (and their origins) that your cat will love:

Nature-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Zinnia – a botanical choice for your cat that allows you to name additional cats after flowers. What’s better than a bouquet of kittens?
  2. Nebula – an out-of-this-world name for the cutest cat in the galaxy. It’s a great name for a black cat!

Old-Fashioned Names for Your Cat

  1. Ellsworth – a popular name with aristocrats, your cat will be a part of the upper crust with this name.
  2. Valentino – a stylish choice for your debonair gentleman. If you have multiple cats,
  3. Orson – meaning “bear cub,” this name is perfect for your super fluffy boy.
  4. Cecily – the female equivalent of Cecli, Cecily is an adorable feminine name for your little lady.
  5. Amadeus – if classical music is your forte, naming your cat after one of the most cherished composers allows you to combine your two loves.
  6. Saoirse – This unique female cat name is a pretty moniker of Irish origin; you’ll be sure to have the only kitty on the street with this unique Gaelic name. Just don’t be surprised if every vet you visit asks you how to pronounce it.

Movie-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Simba – A perfect name for Disney fans with cute orange cats
  2. Bigglesworth – This adorable name fits a cat who loves the refined things in life. In other words, this cat just loves to lounge around, meow and purr all day long.

Literary-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Crookshanks – If you’re a fan of Hermione from the Harry Potter series, this is the best cat name for your furry friend.
  2. Gandalf – If you’ve got a gray cat who you can tell is wise, Gandalf is the name for him.
  3. Fitzwilliam – This is one of the most unique male cat names. It’s a lovely literary choice for the Jane Austen lovers out there. It’s particularly amazing if you already have a cat named Elizabeth or Darcy.
  4. Gulliver – if your kitty enjoys exploring the outdoors, this literary name will match your cat’s adventurous spirit.

When Do Cats Learn Their Names?

One of the best parts of being a pet parent is being able to call your kitty, and they respond by coming to see you. Now responding every single time you call their name is a completely different conversation.

We know that our cats tend to listen only when they want to, or so it seems. Our cats are independent creatures, and sometimes they may just want to be left to their own devices.

Cats have a whole set of body language that can sometimes be hard to decipher. If you call your cat’s name, and they don’t come running directly to you, it isn’t a sign that they don’t love you.

The key is their body language. Pay close attention to your cat’s ears. If they move or twitch when you call their name, they have heard their name and are listening for more.

Help your cat come to your call by helping them associate the sound of their name with something positive. After you pick out their name, call for them and give them a treat when they come to you.

You can also get pats and scratches in their favorite spots. After a while, your cat will learn that they will receive something positive when they come to you when they hear the sound of their name.

What if My Cat Ignores Their Name?

Have you called your cat’s name over and over, but your cat won’t answer your call? Welcome to being a cat parent!

We know that our favorite felines follow their own rules, and that may mean not coming when they hear their name called. They may be further engaged by a bird by the window, or they are lying in their favorite sun spot and are too comfortable to move.

Is Your Cat Ignoring Their Name?

There are a few logical reasons why your cat may be ignoring you when you call their name, and it has nothing to do with their own free will.

First, your cat’s name may sound too much like another word. If your cat’s name is “Blair,” but you use the word “chair” regularly, your cat may not be able to decipher between the two.

Additionally, there is a possibility that your cat may be experiencing hearing loss.

While we always recommend visiting your vet when you suspect something is amiss, you can always test this theory by making a loud noise behind your cat. Based on their reaction, you can make a guess about their hearing capabilities and think about if you should make an appointment with the veterinarian.

Your cat may also ignore their name if they have come to learn a negative association with the sound you call them. If your cat is the mischievous sort, you’ll probably say, “OH WHISKERS!” when you discover the shredded toilet paper or blinds yanked out of the window.

Your call will hear their name, plus your angry tone, and they’ll start to learn that hearing that particular word means that you are angry. Then they will start to ignore you or even hide when they hear their name being called.

KONG Club – Another Name for Fun

No matter what you call your new fur-child, you want to ensure they are happy and well taken care of. KONG Club makes it easy to keep your new kitty busy, and you stay well-informed on the latest pet health and wellness. KONG will become another name for fun in your household.

Each month’s box centers on a building block of wellness, like Nutrition and Behavior. Included in the box are training tips and recipes to help keep your pet healthy and engaged. Your cat will be fully satisfied with their treats and toys, and you’ll be satisfied with all the pet knowledge you’ll have right at your fingertips.

Each box is developed with your cat’s natural instincts in mind, and they will be kept busy playing with their toys while pouncing, hunting, and putting their claws to good use.

This monthly box will become such a huge hit that the mail delivery will be your cat’s favorite time of the day. They will definitely listen out for their name being called when their KONG Club box has been delivered. Join the KONG Club today!

Sources:

Vowel Discrimination in Cats | The Journal of Acoustical Science of America

Domestic Cats Do Not Show Signs of Secure Attachment to Their Owners | PLOS ONE

Popular Cat Names 2022 | Nameberry

Unique Cat Names | Nameberry

The cat’s meow | The Humane Society of the United States

How To Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog: Step-By-Step

As you are well aware, your dog is a fast friend and prized member of your family. For many, having more than one dog is a way to give your dog a companion for when you are not able to be at home. Many people joke and say they are “getting a dog for their dog” to keep them company. 

If you love the idea of more than one wagging tail in the house and a welcoming committee waiting at the door when you come home from a long day, you may consider getting a puppy. When your household grows by four more paws, the most important introduction to prepare for is how to introduce a new puppy to your current dog. 

Puppy Preparations

When you know you are bringing a new puppy home, proactive preparations are the best bet for your puppy and older dog to have a successful introduction. You want your pets to become the best of pals who can enjoy each other’s company. This gives you peace of mind, so you will not have to worry about unfriendly spats in the home.

One important preparation is ensuring that your puppy has been adequately socialized. From three to fourteen weeks of age, your puppy should have ample time to play with their littermates. This playtime helps to enforce what behaviors are safe and unsafe. They also facilitate learning behavioral cues that help your puppy know what behavior is okay to have with other dogs.

Your puppy should also be exposed to as many external stimuli as possible during this period, like car rides, walking in the grass, and hearing loud noises. 

This socialization is important for later relationships with humans and other dogs. In fact, lack of socialization can cause behavior problems that cause dogs to be handed over to shelters, such as fear and aggression.

Socialization of older dogs should be a careful process and may require some assistance from behavioral specialists to help resolve. Even then, older dogs who did not receive adequate socialization as a puppy may not be able to coexist with another dog in the home. 

Even before three weeks of age, your puppy should have been gently handled daily by their human caretakers. This daily handling helps your puppy to behave more calmly and have a reduced fear of humans. Even after bringing your socialized puppy home, continuing to expose your puppy to new people, places, and other pets helps to reinforce positive behaviors and bonding. 

Scent Swapping

If you are waiting to bring your puppy home until they have been weaned and are big enough, you can use this to your advantage for a successful future introduction. When you go to pick out your puppy or check on them in person, you can bring home a towel or blanket that your puppy has laid on. 

Allowing your older dog to sniff on the towel or blanket that has your puppy’s scent gives your dog a mini introduction to your puppy. 

If you are not able to bring home a puppy-scented object, this is quite alright; your puppy and older dog can still have a successful introduction. 

Visual Introduction

Allowing your dogs to see each other, but not physically meet, is a more controlled way to allow your dogs to meet each other. This can be done if you were not able to swap scents or if your older dog is likely to be too overwhelmed at a new puppy getting up close and personal. In this case, you will want to take more gradual steps.

To allow your new puppy and older dog to get used to each other, using a baby gate can allow them to see and sniff each other but not allow full physical access. You can also place your puppy in a crate and let your older dog approach and sniff.

Keep things upbeat and happy, and offer treats and praises to both your puppy and older dog to create a positive association.

Neutral Ground

The best introductions happen on neutral ground. An enclosed area is best so that you can permit your puppy and dog to roam freely. Leave their leashes on in case you need to separate the dogs. Having a second person to help with this introduction is a major help. 

Of course, we know that your older dog just loves their favorite treat and praises from you. Incorporate both treats and positive praises as your puppy and dog meet each other. Your dog can read your mood, and keeping things positive is vital for a successful introduction. 

The two may ignore each other at the beginning, but it is likely that your playful pup will have already noticed your older dog and will want to be friendly and say hello. Good introduction cues include wagging tails, rear-end sniffs, play bowing, and your puppy rolling on their back. Your puppy cueing this behavior is a sign of submission and shows that they know the older dog is in charge. 

Keep an eye on your older dog’s body language, and knowing what to do in the event your older dog becomes aggressive is a preparation that is important to make. If any aggressive behavior is observed, separate the two dogs right away. Aggressive behavior cues include hair raising on their back, growling, wrinkled forehead and nose, a non-wagging tail.

As long as things are going well, end this part of the introduction after five to ten minutes.

Keep Things Moving

After the initial introduction, keep things moving by doing an activity together, like going on a walk. If you know of an area that other dogs frequent (and everyone’s caught up on their vaccines), taking a walk at this location can be a quick way to bond. There are lots of smells to sniff, and truly no better bonding can be had than sniffing a particularly stinky spot together!

Taking It Home

After a nice stroll together, going home is a crucial step as your older dog may be a little territorial about their belongings, like their bed and food dishes. Also, put any toys away that your dog had before the puppy. 

Plus, you can get more toys! Signing up for the KONG Club will deliver a monthly a box of KONG toys and treats to your doorstep, which will keep your puppy and dog busy with enrichment cleverly disguised as playtime.

Until your puppy has a hang of how things are done in their new house, keep all of their food dishes separate. Give both your dog and puppy separate areas to hang out and relax. If you crate train, it may be helpful to put their crates in different areas for the first few weeks. 

Don’t allow your puppy and older dog to spend time together unsupervised. As we know, puppies can be extremely playful. If you have a senior dog, they may just want to spend their time snoozing. A playful pup and snoozing senior may not be the best recipe for success, especially if it occurs out of your watchful gaze. 

Utilizing a baby gate is especially helpful during those times when you are home but cannot carefully supervise both your puppy and older dog together. This allows both dogs to be out and about in the home but not to be in their crates. 

As your puppy grows and matures, you can start to gradually allow your pets to spend time together unsupervised, as long as no aggressive behaviors have been observed. A critical factor in this unsupervised time is that no food is left out. Some dogs can become quite territorial over their food dishes.

Furry Friends

Sometimes dog behaviors can be tricky to interpret, especially when you have multiple dogs in the house. The animal behaviorists, dietitians, and veterinarians from AskVet in the Kong Club app are here for you whenever you have questions about dog interactions and behaviors — 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

You can also reach out to other dog parents and experts in the Kong Clubhouse for advice from those who have been in the very position you’re in now .

It may take some time, but with consistency and guidance on your behalf your new puppy and your older dogs will develop a wonderful bond. Before you know it, you’ll be taking picture after picture of your puppy and dog snuggling together on the couch.

Sources

Puppy parties and beyond: the role of early age socialization practices on adult dog behavior | NCBI

AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization | American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Canine Communication Interpreting Dog Language | VCA Animal Hospitals

Food Bowl Aggression In Dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals

Crate Training Your Dog The Right Way

crate training

What’s the deal with dog crates? Why does everyone recommend them?

Dog crates are an easy and effective way to keep your dog confined while you are training them. For their own safety – and your sanity – dogs in training need to be confined or supervised at all times.

Crate Training When Not Home:

Chewing your furniture or belongings is frustrating for you, but it may also land your dog in the emergency room or worse. An ingested sock can easily cause an intestinal obstruction. So keeping your dog confined when you can’t be watching him, is the kindest thing you can do for him.

Crate Training While Potty Training:

When potty training your dog, it is crucial to keep them confined to prevent them from peeing inside your house. The biggest mistake new puppy and rescue dog parents make, is to give them too much freedom too soon. Much like a human child, they should only be given more privileges when they earn them and prove they are ready.

What not to do while crate training:

But it is easy to misuse a crate. Crates should not be used as a punishment, but rather as your dog’s “special place”. A dog’s crate should only be associated with positive experiences. Look at your dog’s crate not as a “cage” but as their den. Or better yet, think of it as their “man cave” or “she shed”. Their crate should be a fun, safe-haven for them.

Dogs are naturally den animals. They thrive on the comfort and security that a small enclosure provides. However, dens do not have doors. So only 1 out of 10 or 15 times that he goes in his crate do you actually shut the door on him, while training.

Crate training your dog – the right way. 

Whether you are crate training a new puppy, rescue, or adult dog, these are the steps that work. But they depend on your consistency. So don’t overthink it. Have fun and make a game of it.

Everything good comes in the crate. 

Feed your dog’s meals in the crate – preferably stuffed in a KONG toy. By ditching a feeding bowl for a KONG Classic or two, you are keeping your dog engaged longer and teaching him to love to play with his KONG. So even when it doesn’t have any food in it, he will still play with it.

The crate game. 

Randomly run your dog to his crate and reward him with lots of praise and a treat, handful of kibble or a special toy when they run into it. Leave the door open and let him enjoy the reward in his crate. If you do shut the door, make sure to give him a KONG stuffed with yummy food. So you are redirecting and rewarding him for going into and hanging out in his crate.

Put it on cue. 

Teach your dog to go to his crate on command. Put a word to it. Say “go to crate” or “go to your bed” or “crate time” and then toss a treat into the crate. As your dog runs to it, cheer him on with lots of praise and encouragement. Again, more often than not, your dog is able to grab the treat and then leave the crate. If you always shut him in, he will learn very quickly not to go in at all.

Build up to confinement.

After you’ve laid the groundwork teaching your dog that the crate is a positive thing, then you can start to confine him in it. When you do have to leave your dog in the crate, always leave him with something special that he only gets when confined. A KONG Classic stuffed with his dinner and some extra special treats work well. Bonus – freeze the KONG to keep him busier even longer.

This will reward him for being confined and keep him redirected and not thinking about the confinement. Instead of you giving out lots of treats – make the KONG do it. Always work smart, not hard.

Crate Training Conclusion:

Dog crates are such a great way keep your dog safe while you train them. A crated dog is not stealing socks, peeing in your closet or digging in the trash. It prevents the bad habits so you can replace them with good habits.

You don’t always have to use the crate. It’s like training wheels for your dog. Once your dog is trained and trustworthy, and you don’t need to confine him anymore, you can take the door off the crate altogether. The crate remains your dog’s special place, but now he can truly come and go as he wants.

___________________________________________________________

By Cindy Scott, Master Certified Trainer DOGS ETC. thedogsetc.com

For a new selection of monthly toys and treats that make crating a breeze – subscribe to a KONG Club subscription box today!

Puppy Teething Troubles? There’s A Box For That

puppies with KONG

Just like human babies, puppies also must go through a painful teething process. This experience can be tough on puppies and their parents. Puppies want to bite everything in sight to relieve their pain and keeping their mouths occupied requires the right tools and a little bit of training. It can be overwhelming to know what to do and how best to take care of your new adorable pup. But lucky for you, KONG Club has created a box that gives you everything you and your puppy need to get through this stage.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WITH PUPPY TEETHING?

Did you know that the teething process for puppies starts early on? At as young as 2 weeks, your puppy will begin to grow their baby teeth. By about 6 weeks old, all of your puppy’s teeth will have grown in (about 28). This usually means that by the time you take your puppy home from a shelter or breeder — usually after 8 weeks — they’ve already experienced some teething.

That leads us to the most difficult part of your puppy’s teething, which is between 3 to 6 months. This is when their baby teeth begin to fall out. Don’t be alarmed if, when you walk around the house, you find teeth on the ground — though you may not find any teeth at all, since puppies tend to swallow a lot of the teeth that they lose. This usually happens because teeth fall out easily as they’re eating food or chewing on a toy.

During this time, you’ll also see some other dog teething symptoms. One, is that your puppy may be drooling more than usual. Don’t worry about this, as it’s completely normal. You’ll also probably find spots of blood on toys or other items they’ve chewed, which is also a sign of teething. This can happen when their gums are sore or when teeth have recently fallen out.

Another symptom that’s hard to miss is that your puppy will bite a lot. Mouthing and nipping at your hands and other items is pretty normal, but also pretty painful for you, since puppies have really sharp, thin teeth. While it’s healthy for puppies (and dogs in general) to explore the world using their mouths, it’s important to teach your puppy while they’re young what is acceptable to chew and what isn’t. You can also teach them to be more gentle when they bite, which is called bite inhibition. When your puppy bites at your skin, you can yelp and quit playing with them. This is what their siblings do and will help them learn that skin is sensitive and to be gentle if they nibble on your hands. While this is an important lesson to teach your puppy, in the end, you want to teach them to avoid biting you or other people in general by giving them proper distractions.

HOW CAN I HELP?

While teething is an important part of your puppy’s growth, it can be hard to know what to do when your dog is teething. To help promote the growth of new teeth, puppies need to chew. Additionally, chewing helps ease the pain puppies experience in their jaw and gums. One of the best things for their sore gums and growing teeth is soft rubber. It feels good on their sensitive gums and is easy for their smaller, more fragile teeth to chew. which is why your first KONG Club box includes a KONG Classic made specifically with puppies in mind. If you’ve never used a KONG Classic before, they’re a customer favorite because they’re incredibly durable and versatile.

To alleviate pain, your puppy-sized KONG Classic can be thrown in the fridge or freezer. When your puppy chews on the toy, the cool temperature will soothe their gums. Additionally, our KONG Classic can be filled with treats or water and thrown in the freezer. After the treats or water have frozen, pull them out and give them to your puppy to keep their teeth occupied for a longer amount of time. They’ll love being able to enjoy this cool, tasty treat and the relief that comes from it.

Still not confident about how to handle teething? Another great thing about our boxes is that you’ll get helpful advice from dog experts. These training cards provide helpful tips to successfully work through growing pains together with your puppy.

Here at KONG Club, we believe the bond between dogs and owners is so important. And we know that every dog parent wants to give their furry friend only the best life. With specially selected toys, treats, and training tips at your disposal, you can help your dog become the happiest, best version of themselves. And when they’re happy, you’re happy.

New Puppy Checklist: Everything You Need for Your Furry Friend

new puppy

Welcoming a puppy into your home is an incredibly joyful time. Similarly, preparing for your new puppy is also delightfully exciting.

Perhaps you are looking at pictures of puppies or forming cohesive shopping lists, including everything from food to water bowls to dog beds to nail clippers and more. No matter what your specific strategy is, there is so much to look forward to.

While the process should absolutely be a fun one, there are also some serious considerations. Make sure that you have a vet ready so that your new puppy will always be taken care of.

Not only will this veterinarian be immensely helpful should any questions or concerns regarding your puppy’s health arise, but they will also be able to provide a plethora of helpful advice. Even if you are convinced you are the first one to face a certain puppy problem, this is almost certainly not the case.

Continue reading everything you need to know about bringing a new puppy home.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Before finding the perfect dog to bring home, it is a worthwhile exercise to ask yourself a few questions. These questions can either be primarily about you or about your family’s lifestyle, depending on who your dog will be spending much of their time with.

When thinking about becoming a pet parent, ask yourself:

Key Lifestyle Questions

Are you an outdoorsy person? Are you looking for an adorable hiking buddy to take with you during your adventures through the wilderness? Or, do you prefer the simple pleasures of hanging out on the couch with a nice movie and want a dog to keep you company?

Consider your new dog’s desired energy level and what would best fit in with your life. From there, you can determine what possible breeds may work well for you.

Consider your resources and environment. Do you have a sizable yard or easy access to a park or doggy daycare? Your puppy should also be exposed to other dogs because puppyhood is a huge time for social development.

For breeds that are both full of energy and profoundly intelligent (as many puppies are), an abundance of space and stimulation is key to making sure their mischievousness stays adorable rather than destructive.

Is the length of your new puppy’s coat or fur important to you? Are you willing to exchange potential frequent grooming for a long, luscious coat that you can pet? Otherwise, would a short-haired dog be better for you?

Keep in mind that just because they have short hair does not mean that they will not shed; the hair itself will likely be easier to brush and manage.

What size of dog is best for you and your circumstances? While your German Shepherd puppy may be pint-sized now, that will not always be the case. What can you manage both in terms of your own personal preferences for walks, transport, and resources? The size of your home and backyard is imperative.

Our Care Squad and Ask Vet Community can weigh in on your questions about common dog breed traits and what to consider as you welcome the puppy of your dreams. 

What You Need To Train Your Puppy

Now that you have realistically assessed what you are looking for in a canine companion, you are much further on your way to having a furry bundle of joy to keep you company.

Once you actually have your new furry family member, there are a variety of items that you will need to ensure the best results when it comes to training. Training your puppy is a crucial part of their puppyhood, as it will set them up for a fun and safe adulthood. The process of training also helps to instill trust in both you and your puppy, as well as to keep them mentally stimulated. 

Here are some essentials that will help you get started on your puppy training journey:

A Crate

Picking the perfect crate for your new puppy goes far beyond just thinking about what might look best in your home. Crates are great for creating a safe space for your new best friend and for helping with potty training.

You should also consider their current size, the size that they will grow to as an adult, and what you are looking for in a crate (and dog bed). For instance, should it be portable? What would your dog find to be the most comfortable?

When it comes to the rewarding process of crate training your puppy, the more resources you have, the better.

Finding the Right Collar and Leash

Puppies have delicate necks, so traditional nylon collars are the softest and best way to train your new pup how to walk on a leash. Choke or pinch collars are not the way to go for young puppies.

Harnesses are ideal for protecting dogs’ throats. Front clip harnesses prevent pulling behaviors. Otherwise, most harnesses with the clip on the back actually give the dogs more power when pulling.

Choose a comfortable and appropriately sized collar that will not slip off. Also, make sure that you are able to insert two fingers under the collar while your puppy is wearing it. The collar should have identification tags with your puppy’s name on it and your phone number (and potentially the address of their new home). Even with a collar, a microchip is still necessary.

This will prevent the collar from being too tight. Meanwhile, a puppy’s leash should not be retractable. Retractable leashes usually extend from ten to 20 feet. With this kind of length, your puppy may run off to a point where you cannot control them and they could be at risk of injury. The best kind of leash is a flat nylon leash. 

Household Cleaners

Where there are puppies, there will likely be some bathroom accidents. These are to be expected, so make sure to have an animal-safe enzyme-based household cleaner or spray at the ready.

Training Treats

These are small, low-calorie treats that are designed to be carried with you to reward your puppy quickly whenever they succeed at something—like going potty outside. Your dog trainer may be able to recommend certain brands. 

What You Need To Keep Your Home Safe

One of the most important considerations when bringing home your new puppy is ensuring that your house is safe and ready for them.

Here are some best practices to make sure that your home is both welcoming and secure:

Install Child Safety Locks

Putting in child safety locks will help to keep your puppy out of dangerous materials or simply from accessing their treats when they are not supposed to. Install these locks on cabinets at their height for maximum effect.

Get Your Yard Ready

Puppies can get through anything, and that very much includes weak spots in fencing. Comb through your space. Make sure that your fences are thoroughly intact and that your yard is free of any plastic or pesticides.

Cover Electrical Cords

A variety of inexpensive cord organizers and cord covers are available to protect your puppy from chewing on dangerous electrical cords. Loose cords can pose a real threat to puppies and even older dogs.

Other Items You Will Need

High-Quality Dog Food

Your puppy is going to grow before your very eyes, and they need the right fuel to do it. If you are not sure what kind of food would be best for your dog or how much to feed them, their vet is sure to have a plethora of helpful advice. Keep in mind that puppy food is different from adult dog food. Look for food high in protein and low in fillers. 

Medical Records

Whether you adopt your new puppy from the local animal shelter or purchase a puppy from a breeder, make sure to obtain your pup’s medical records. These forms will be immensely helpful for both you and your dog’s veterinarian at the first check-up.

Ask your vet about supplements, flea prevention, and what toothpaste/dental care is best for your pet. 

Puppy Toys

Now that all of the serious stuff is out of the way, it is time to have some fun with your new pet! Puppies are incredibly playful, so get them a variety of toys to choose from. Choose toys that are large enough that they don’t pose a choking hazard but are still soft enough for puppy teeth to handle. Depending on your dog, they may prefer rubber chew toys, puzzle toys, or soft plush ones.

Their Perfect Forever Home

 Puppies are rambunctious and do not always operate on a set schedule (at least until later in their training process). No matter what stage of your pet’s life, you should always be in touch with a vet. Veterinarians are specially trained to understand and help you through the ins and outs of puppyhood, so never hesitate to reach out when you have questions.

As a pet owner, you may want the help of a vet at different hours of the day. Luckily, the veterinarians from AskVet in the KONG Club app are ready to answer your questions whenever you need them at any time of the day or night.

While some items you need to prepare for your furry friend’s arrival may seem simple or like no-brainers, it can be easy to accidentally overlook certain necessities once the ball gets rolling. (Oh, speaking of, you will probably want to get your new puppy some balls to fetch.)

By following these tips, and the ones laid out by your puppy’s veterinarian, you are sure to create the perfect forever home for your new pet in no time.

 

Sources:

Puppy Parties and Beyond: The Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog Behavior | National Library of Medicine

Improving Dog Training Methods: Efficacy and Efficiency of Reward and Mixed Training Methods | Public Library of Science

Variation in activity levels amongst dogs of different breeds: results of a large online survey of dog owners from the UK | NCBI

Microchipping FAQ | American Veterinary Medical Association

New Puppy Won’t Eat: 4 Reasons Why

new puppy wont eat 4 reasons why

Your new puppy is a source of joy, laughter, cute moments, and sometimes even anxiety. You are busy trying to keep them from chewing and peeing on everything on site. You’re also making sure they are not trying to eat things that are not good for them (like the smelly trash can they keep making their way towards).

Sometimes though, we may see that our puppy is not interested in the trash can or their food. While this can be a cause for worry, there are several reasons why your puppy may not have an appetite.

Picky Eaters

Just like children, puppies can be picky eaters. This can occur if you have offered your puppy a variety of foods and they have found something they particularly enjoy. They may “strike” until they receive the food they want. You can win this stakeout with a few tips to get your puppy excited for mealtime again.

Here are some key tactics to helping your puppy find their appetite to clean out their bowl:

Meal Enhancement

Like all humans, we would get tired of eating the same thing, prepared the same way, every day. To help your puppy enjoy their food a little more, you can enhance it by changing the way it is prepared. If you are feeding them moist food, you can warm it up a little. You could also mix some dry food into the wet to give the meal a little crunch and variety in texture. 

If you are giving dry food, you could add a little canned food and mix it into the dry kibble. Some warm water, or broth, can also change the texture of the dry kibbles if they are given enough time to soak and soften. 

There are also dog-specific food enhancements, like gravies, that can be poured into food as a flavor enhancement. Try adding at room temperature or warmed up to see which your puppy likes the best. 

When adding anything to your puppy’s food, make sure it is done in gradual amounts to avoid any upset tummies. Your puppy may associate that food with not feeling well and may develop an aversion to that particular preparation. Experiment and see what is appealing to your dog’s tastes.

Bribery

While we won’t say that we condone bribery, when your puppy refuses to eat, you may just have to bribe them with a little human food. You’ll want to work with your vet on this, as there are many foods that are not healthy for dogs.

In general, these options are dog friendly:

Chopped chicken breast – plain with no seasoning

Chicken broth – make sure there is no onion or garlic, and it is low-sodium

Dry scrambled egg – no seasoning

Honey – all-natural, no xylitol 

Green beans – unseasoned

When mixed into their regular food, pups may be bribed into finishing their bowl. Be careful with this, as your pet may become too dependent on these enhancers, especially if they aren’t the best food for a consistently healthy diet. You can wean these enhancers off little by little, so your dog isn’t surprised by not having the same delicious meal they had the day before. 

Any Medications?

If you recently had a visit to the veterinarian’s office, and your puppy is on any medication, this may have affected their appetite.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice your puppy’s appetite has changed after taking any new medication or if they have been switched to a prescription diet. They may consider switching medications or adding an appetite stimulant to help them regain their appetite back. 

If this medication is a temporary one, like an antibiotic, keep monitoring your puppy after they are finished with their medication to see if their appetite returns. 

Environment

Puppies may not want to eat their dinner because their environment is not conducive to eating. If things are not normal for them, they may want to wait until they feel at ease again before eating.

Here are some environmental changes to consider if your puppy does not want to eat:

Temperature – is it too hot or too cold inside or outside? People don’t like big meals when it is hot, and your puppy may be too busy laying in front of the fan or air conditioning vent to eat. They could also be too cold, and their snuggly, warm bed is not a place they want to leave.

Excitement – are you having an event where there are a lot of people at your home? Your puppy may be too excited with all the commotion to eat. There are too many people to see and meet, as they may give belly scratches and say, “Who’s that good dog?”

Change in schedule – If your puppy is used to eating at a certain time, they may not be hungry if their meal is served earlier than usual. Any large change in schedule could throw your puppy off, and they may be more focused on trying to figure out what is going on. 

Teething

Your pup’s little teeth are making an appearance, and you may realize this as shoes and other hard objects make a disappearance. Chewing helps your puppy relieve any pain they are experiencing as their little teeth grow. 

If your puppy is eating dry food, the kibbles may just be too hard on their sore mouth, and they may refuse to eat. You can soften the kibbles by adding warm water or broth. You can also mix in some wet food to provide some soft texture.

Don’t forget to support your pup’s teething pains by offering chew toys. Some chew toys are specially made for teething puppies. Additionally, you can freeze them to provide some cool comfort on those tender gums. 

Illness

When we feel unwell, we usually lose our appetite. The same can be said for dogs and puppies, and if you notice they are not eating, they may not be feeling well.

As you try tricks to try to get your puppy to eat, you may notice that they are symptomatic and are not acting like their usual selves. This is when it is time to worry, as your puppy may be experiencing an illness and need veterinary care. 

Parvo

Parvo is a gastrointestinal illness that is easily spread from dog to dog. A sad fact, parvo is especially lethal in puppies if not treated by a veterinarian. Puppies lose their mother’s immunity as they grow older but haven’t matured enough to fight infections on their own, and parvo can be a major blow to their system. We definitely wish this were not the case, but since it does exist is, it vital to know what to look out for if your puppy refuses to eat.

Lethargy – your puppy seems to have no energy and does not appear interested in anything.

Vomiting

Abdominal Swelling – your puppy’s belly will be very swollen, and they may bark or yelp when touched.

Appetite Loss/Dehydration – your puppy refuses to eat or drink; this dehydration is exacerbated by vomiting and diarrhea. 

If you do see these symptoms, you will need to seek emergency veterinarian care. This will involve giving fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary infections and round-the-clock care. With treatment, many puppies do survive parvo and lead normal lives after this scary and sad experience. 

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a respiratory disease. It is known by the honking noise that dogs make when they cough. Symptoms for kennel cough, of course, include coughing, but lethargy and a loss of appetite could single this condition as well. 

Parasites

When your puppy has parasites, it can affect them through a change of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, and a swollen abdomen, among other symptoms.

Parasites can be picked up from outside walks or given by other dogs. If you suspect your puppy is suffering from parasites, they will need to be dewormed and prescribed medication to prevent this from occurring again. 

Time To Eat

Puppy days are among some of the favorite days of being a pet parent. Seeing your little fluffy friend discover the world around them is so much fun and such a big responsibility. You are caring for an animal for life, one that cannot speak for itself and tell you when things are out of sorts.

Our AskVet Veterinarians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for your puppy’s needs. Whether it’s reassurance that you may have a picky puppy on your hands or if you need a professional opinion on if your dog is ill and what next steps to take—we are here to provide kind and caring care for you and your puppy.

 

Sources:

Canine Parvovirus: Current Perspective | NCBI

Canine Parvovirus | American Veterinary Medical Association

How Do I Get My Picky Pet to Eat? | Tufts University

Picky pet prescription: What to do when your pet won’t eat her prescribed therapeutic diet | Tufts University

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5 Fun Ways to Keep a Puppy Entertained

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