Introducing a new pet to your home is exciting. However, it is important to prepare for the transition. By doing so, you can minimize stress for both yourself and your new family member.
Even pets who are normally playful and happy can be fearful or lethargic in a new environment. It is important to give your pet a healthy and suitable place to grow and thrive, as well as adequate time to adjust to their new home. Below are valuable tips for welcoming a new pet to your household.
Prepare Your Family
Before bringing a new pet home, talk to your family members to ensure they are comfortable with the idea. Set expectations for how each family member will help care for the pet.
If you have kids, you can use stuffed animals to help them practice how to behave around the pet. This is particularly important for the safety of both your pet and family members. It’s also a good idea to supervise kids’ interactions with a new pet during the introductory period. Remember that every pet is different, and not all animals appreciate hugs, loud laughter, or being touched in certain places. Patience is key while you and your family get to know your new pet.
You can minimize unnecessary stress by purchasing everything your pet needs before you bring it home. Common supplies include a bed, a carrying crate, food and water bowls, a leash and collar, and plenty of toys.
If possible, stock up on your pet’s food before bringing them home. To select the right food, first find out what your new pet has been eating prior to adoption, and consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to their diet. If you decide to change your pet’s diet, continue feeding them what they are familiar with as you gradually introduce their new food.
If you have other pets, place your new pet’s food and water bowls away from your current pets’ eating areas. This can help eliminate any feelings of competition or hostility as your pets get to know each other.
Prepare a Schedule
The transition will be less stressful for you and your pet if you prepare a good schedule. Create a routine for your new pet’s playtime, mealtimes, and walks. Ensure that the program favors your pet’s age and breed. For instance, a young pet’s schedule will likely include more playtime than an older pet. While your new puppy might appreciate daily walks and trips to the park, your newly adopted cat might be more content with one-on-one playtime indoors.
Try as much as possible to stick to the daily routine. Consistency ensures that your pet knows what to expect and can adjust to your household with minimal stress.
Pet-Proof Your Home
Pets can be inquisitive in a new environment. They might want to explore small spaces or jump on high surfaces as they learn the ins and outs of their new surroundings. Ensure all potential hazards such as electrical wires, cleaning supplies, and food items are out of reach.
Additionally, remember to close the lids to toilets, trash cans, and any other receptacles that might attract prying paws. As you pet-proof your house, create a pet-friendly play area with toys, scratching posts, and other items to direct your pet’s energy in the right direction.
Only bring a new pet home when you have enough time to help it transition and settle in. If your new pet seems scared or aggressive in their new surroundings, consult with your vet to ensure they have everything they need. With love, care, and a bit of patience, you can help your pet be as comfortable as possible in their new home.