Bringing a puppy or kitten home is such an exciting time. There are endless decisions to make from naming the furry family member to buying the right food. While some pet owners might already be knowledgeable about what they need to have upon purchasing their puppy or kitten, there are invariably many questions that come up that your store might need to address.
We put together a list of the six most common questions that customers have when purchasing a new puppy or kitten.
But…. the first thing they should do is a quick inventory of their home.
Pet parents should first safeguard their homes
The first thing that your customer should do is to make sure that their home is safeguarded for anything the puppy or kitten might encounter. All loose wires should be tucked away or anything that might be dangerous to their puppy or kitten should be stored in a cupboard or put away far from reach.
Pet parents should take stock of their home of anything that could harm their puppy or kitten. Their young pet is just like any infant that wants to explore and touch (or paw!) anything and everything.
Below are just some of the many questions your customer might ask after purchasing their puppy or kitten:
1. What are the essential supplies for new puppy and kitten owners?
The most important items that your customers will need for their new pet are: food that is specified for puppies or kittens, water and food bowls, a place to sleep (blanket or a bed), a crate for puppies, training pads, a leash and some chew toys for teething. A kitten will need a litter box and a scratch pad or post.
Having these supplies handy are essential to your customer and ultimately may lock that customer in for future business. One-stop shopping.
2. When should the new puppy or kitten be spayed or neutered?
Spaying a puppy or kitten is important for their pet’s overall long-term health and behavior. Spaying or neutering can also help to prevent kittens and puppies from straying from home as they mature. And, of course, it helps prevent the increase of the stray population.
While any new puppy or kitten owner should always check with their veterinarian as to when they should spay or neuter their puppy or kitten, the consensus is the following:
- Puppies should be spayed or neutered around 6 months to one year of age depending on the size of the dog.
- Kittens should be spayed or neutered no later than 8 to 10 weeks of age.
For puppies, it is important to wait until their bodies are fully formed to perform the surgery. Kittens, on the other hand, mature more quickly than puppies and can become pregnant at a very young age.
3. How soon should a new puppy or kitten owner take their pet for their first veterinarian visit?
It is very important for new pet parents to schedule a veterinary visit within the first ten to fourteen days after purchasing a puppy or kitten. The vet visit can help determine if the puppy or kitten is healthy, the different vaccinations that are needed, as well as the best feeding schedules.
If you have a recommendation of a local vet to give to the new pet parents, that could be helpful.
4. Why is microchipping so important?
Microchipping is vital to each pet because it is the safest and most accurate way to return a pet to its owners if the dog or cat gets lost. In fact, one in three pets become lost at some point in their lives and a pet id tag isn’t enough.
Microchipping is a very small identification transponder that has a specific identification number for each puppy or kitten. The microchip is tiny and is injected underneath the loose skin between the puppy or kitten’s shoulder blades. It is not painful for the kittens or puppies and ultimately could save their life, or at the very least reunite them with their family.
If the kitten or puppy is lost and someone finds them, any vet can scan the pet and their microchip will identify the owner’s information. However, it is imperative that pet owners register their pets in the national recovery database particular to your store. Otherwise, the whole process is meaningless.
5. Should pet owners feed their puppy or kitten wet food or dry?
During their infant years, the most important thing for both kittens and puppies is to eat. Wet food is always an easy choice because it gives both kittens and puppies the moisture they need if they are not drinking a lot of water yet and need the hydration.
Dry food, on the other hand, is great for chewing, has needed carbohydrates, and can help both kittens and puppies strengthen their teeth. This can be particularly important in their early years when their teeth are forming.
There are many different wet and dry food choices that are made specifically for kitten and puppyhood. Your store probably has both healthy dry and wet food options made for this young age. Their veterinarian can also recommend the best food for their pet.
6. Is Pet Insurance Really Necessary?
Pet insurance is extremely valuable to any new puppy or kitten owner. It is the assurance that if any unforeseen medical condition or accident occurs, they the have financial support to pay for it.. And if your customer purchases a pure breed which are known to be predisposed to certain genetic or hereditary conditions later in life, pet insurance is pretty much a no-brainer for a new pet owner.
The monthly cost of pet insurance is very low particularly during puppy and kittenhood compared to a costly bill for a medical procedure or an unforeseen accident.
Further, if your customers enroll in AKC pet insurance, they can receive a free 30-day certificate of illness and accident coverage and their pet is immediately covered. Therefore, if any medical issue or accident occurs in their first 30 days of owning their pet, they will be covered.
While there will be more questions that will come up, these questions (and answers) should cover the most common ones.
And always keep in mind that our Solutions.pet agents are happy to help answer any questions your customers might have after purchasing their new furry friend. Contact our Success Team to learn more about our services: email@example.com