Top tips for getting a new puppy or kitten this summer

July 7, 2023

The school holidays are here and for many of you, that may mean having a new furry friend joining your family! If you do plan on investing in a puppy or kitten this summer, read our short guide below on why this is an ideal time and how best to prepare for this exciting change.

Remember to contact our team to register your new pet and book their vaccinations, weigh-in & parasite prevention appointments, or you can start this process on our website – register your pet online

We also have a helpful guide on what to look out for when buying a new puppy or kitten – download it here.

Tips for purchasing a new Puppy or Kitten

Why the school summer holidays are ideal

We typically see an uplift in new puppy and kitten registrations during July and August – good reasons for this include:

  • You may have an extended period of time at home (depending on your profession and family setup) meaning you’ll have more time to properly care for, train, and socialise a young pet. Remember to ensure they get used to spending time alone though to reduce separation issues down the line.
  • If you have children, they can be more involved with the early stages of your new pet’s development and acclimation to your home during the 6-week school summer holidays – the perfect time to teach them about pet care responsibilities!

How to prepare your home for a new pet

1. Pet-proof your home

Puppies and kittens are curious and love to explore their environment, so it’s important to make your home safe for them. This may include removing any hazardous items, securing loose electrical cords, and ensuring that all cleaning chemicals and medications are safely locked away. You may also want to install a stair gate to ensure your puppy’s safety. It is wise to check your garden too for hazards, including poisonous plants as young pets like to explore with their mouths.

2. Purchase supplies

Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies such as food & water bowls, a collar, lead, a pet crate, bedding, toys and food suitable for a puppy/kitten. Talk to the breeder and try to stick with the same brand of food they were feeding the litter to minimise the risk of tummy upsets. Stock up on puppy/kitten treats and register your new pet with us at Garston Vets.

3. Plan for toilet training

Toilet training is an important part of your new pet’s early training, so plan ahead for this. Decide on a designated area in your garden (or home for litter trays) and establish a consistent schedule for potty breaks. It’s also worth investing in puppy/kitten training pads to use in your house in case of accidents!

4. Make arrangements for your absence

Puppies and kittens require a lot of attention and care when they’re young. If you’re going to be away during the day, make arrangements for someone to take care of your pet or consider using a dog day care service for puppies or a pet sitter at your home. Our team at Garston Vets will be able to advise on local pet sitters/walkers in Wiltshire and Somerset for you.

5. Research training techniques

Start researching training techniques and consider enrolling your puppy in a regular training class. This will help to socialise your puppy and you will both learn basic obedience commands. You can actually train cats to respond to some commands too!

6. Prepare your family

Getting a new pet is an exciting time, but it’s important to prepare your family, especially children, for the responsibilities that come with owning one. Teach them about the importance of gentle handling, proper feeding and exercise, and encourage them to be part of your pet’s daily care. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to welcome your new furry friend into your home during the school holidays. Remember, patience and consistency are key to successful ownership and don’t forget to register your pet with Garston Veterinary Group.

7. Attend a Garston Puppy Clinic

Why not come along to one of our Puppy Clinics presented by Charis Vincent from Charismatic Pets Dog Behaviour & Training Centre, Warminster for advice on:

  • Establishing clear communications with your puppy
  • Safely socialising within the big wide world
  • Preventing separation anxiety
  • Integrating your puppy into family life
  • How best to deal with mouthing
  • Plus plenty of opportunities for your own questions
  • The sessions are open to both current and new clients, from pre-purchase to owners with puppies up to the age of 18 weeks.

    Puppy Clinics are held at our Westbury Surgery on a Monday evening. Please ask at reception for the next available session.

    Attendance is £10 per client or £5 if on a Garston Wellness Plan.

    This event is for ‘hoomans’ only, but every attendee will receive a special goody bag to take home to their pup!


    Download and share our guide on the do’s and don’ts of buying a new puppy or kitten this summer.

    Get our tips for purchasing a new Puppy or Kitten