Welcoming a new pet into your home is incredibly exciting. Everyone can’t wait to play together and make new memories.
If you want to make sure the experience goes smoothly, there are some tried-and-true methods of introducing a new pet to your home.
Have Important Items Ready
Before your new pet ever reaches your door, lay the groundwork for a good experience. Stock up on things you and your pet will need right away. Here’s a short list of things to have on hand:
- ID tag
- Grooming supplies
- Cleaning supplies
It’s also a good idea to keep your veterinarian’s contact info close at hand, in case a big issue comes up right away. The ASPCA’s poison control center can also advise you if your new pet swallows something or has an allergic reaction.
Do Some Prep Work
Next, pet-proof your home by removing hazards and adding protective gear. Here are some areas to address:
- Set a place for your dog’s bed, bowls, and crate. It will become their go-to spot in times of stress, so make sure it’s outside the busy flow of everyday life.
- Put all chemicals and beverages up out of reach of curious pets.
- Add door and cabinet locks for particularly dangerous areas.
- Store sharp things, especially tools, behind closed doors.
- Remove cords and dangling electronic devices.
- Remove all houseplants that are dangerous to pets.
- Add a basket of toys that are specifically for your pet, so you can redirect their energy to these things instead of dangerous items.
Keep the First Day Quiet
Okay, it’s time for the big day. Your pet is ready to join your household for the first time. The most important thing to do at this point is keep things calm, so your new friend has an easy transition.
Don’t schedule a big welcome party, because the new environment alone will be overwhelming enough for your pet. Hold off having visitors for a bit to allow time for your pet to bond with your household family members first.
For the initial few days, stay with your pet within your home and yard. Don’t take them along on errands or visits that will confuse them, unless a trip to the vet’s office is required. Give time to sniff around and become fully familiar with their surroundings.
Start Consistent Routines
In the days and weeks that follow your pet joining your home, establish consistent routines they can rely on. For dogs, take them out frequently and guide them toward the proper places to go to the bathroom. For cats, clean the litter pan often to keep them using it.
Present food at consistent times and don’t give too many treats. Your pet’s tummy is sensitive during this time, due to nerves and a likely transition in food. They’ll need plenty of fresh water.
Provide lots of quiet time each day for your pet to rest, away from the family. This is especially important in households with young children who may be overwhelming to your pet at times.
Schedule a Vet Visit
Make sure your new friend sees the vet soon after you adopt them. The vet will do an examination for any pre-existing issues and advise you on preventive treatments that will keep them happy and healthy for a lifetime.
Welcoming a new pet? We can’t wait to meet them. Schedule a first appointment with Academy Animal Hospital.