New puppy and new kitten checklist

Becoming a pet parent is incredibly exciting. Bringing a new puppy or new kitten into the home is so much fun, and giving them plenty of love and attention (plus time for proper relaxation!) will help them settle right in. With all the excitement, it can be easy to forget the practical side, so use this handy guide to tick off the tasks – and get ready for the adventure to begin!


1. Get pet insurance

We hope to have many happy, healthy years with our puppies and kittens, but just in case of troubles along the way, it’s important to consider the financial side. Pet insurance can help if any illnesses or health issues arise. Shop around to find the cover package that suits you – there are many options out there.

2. Register with a vet

Ask around for recommendations and sign up as early as possible. The most popular vets sometimes have waiting lists. Knowing our pets have access to excellent medical care brings huge peace of mind and is key to their future health. Taking pets for regular check-ups helps keep them in tip-top condition.

3. Check if they’re microchipped

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Dog breeders are legally required to register every new puppy and have them microchipped before the pup can go to their new owners. If this hasn’t been done, you might want to consider a different breeder. When your puppy goes for their vaccinations, the vet will scan their chip to make sure you’ve been given the right documents.

Cats currently don’t legally need to be microchipped, but it’s still a very good idea to get this done. We’ve all heard the stories of cats who wandered far from home. Getting your kitten chipped means they’re more likely to be returned to you – especially if, like some pet parents, you decide not to use a collar and tag on your cat in case of injury or easy removal by someone else.

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4. Book vaccinations

There are lots of infectious diseases out there that are potentially serious for our pets and it’s impossible to protect our cats and dogs from them all. That’s why it’s so important to follow the recommended vaccination programme.

  • Puppies in the UK, puppies usually get their first injections at around 7 weeks, when they’re still with their mum and the rest of the litter. They then have the second set a few weeks later, usually when they’ve joined their forever family. These vaccinations protect against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, leptospirosis and hepatitis. 
  • Kittens they have their first set of jabs when they’re 8 weeks old, so any reputable breeder will take care of these. It’s up to us new pet parents to book the second set for a few weeks later, protecting our cat companions against cat flu, feline panleukopenia and feline leukaemia. 
  • Puppy and kitten boosters – these take place when our dogs and cats are around a year old, helping provide strong immunity. Your vet will let you know how often your pet needs boosters after that.

5. Flea and tick treatment

Fleas and ticks are no fun for anyone. Not for us and not for our puppies or kittens. 

When our pets come home with us for the first time, they might have been recently treated, so it’s best to check with the breeder. If they have been treated, make a note to do it when the next treatment time rolls round – some products can be used a maximum of once a month, while others can only be used every three months. 

If a new arrival hasn’t been treated, it’s up to the new pet parents to sort this out. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of regular treatment. One flea can lay as many as 50 eggs each day and these will drop off our pets, all around our homes. Yuck!

The good news is that some products, such as FRONTLINE PLUS®for cats and for dogs not only kill fleas but also stop their eggs from hatching. And it kills ticks too, phew! FRONTLINE PLUS® is suitable for puppies aged 8 weeks and over who weigh at least 2 kg and for kittens aged 8 weeks and over weighing at least 1 kg, so we need to give them a weigh (when they haven’t got a full tummy!) to check if it’s okay to use the product or not.

Getting ready for a new arrival

Being armed with the right info certainly helps us step into pet parenthood with confidence. This list covers the things it’s easier for us pet parents to forget – of course, there are other things to think about too, like litter training and puppy training. Getting prepped is all part of the fun. This a hugely rewarding and exciting time – get ready for a wonderful life together!

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Got a question about fleas, ticks or worms? We can help! Take a look at our FAQs or send us a message.

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