Bringing in a New Pet?
I recently met with my friend to brainstorm ideas on new articles to share here on The Power of Pets website. When she mentioned the subject of new pets, she continued to talk about her childhood dog Allie who chewed her brother’s baseball mitt secretly. Only when her brother went to get his glove for a game, did he discover Allie’s work. Oh, then there was the time when the monopoly game pieces (circa 1964) from their parent’s game under a bed got chewed up and spit out. So, the trials and tribulations of bringing a new pet into the home is a subject I wanted to write and share about.
I laugh at my memories of our puppies we had as children. I also have fond memories of the adopted fully grown red dog who fell off our couch while she was sleeping upside down. She was so comfortable that she actually rolled off the couch! She was okay, but we fully didn’t realize exactly just how to keep her off the couch in the first place. When a new pet, young or old comes into your family, there are often some growing pains, which turn into funny stories later….I promise! 🙂
Whether you pick out your pet from a rescue, shelter organization or another place, it is an exciting time to get just the right fit for you, your family and your home. Pets come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve compiled some information below on some things you can implement and do when a new pet comes into your home. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
What?? Confusion is normal?: Of course there is often confusion with your newest addition to the family. Being patient and prepping your home for your new pet is key to helping this adjustment go smoothly. Researching what type of pet is essential too. Sometimes, it can take from a few days to a few months for your pet and you to get used to one another. Have a special space set up ahead of time for your new pet. If you’ve chosen a bird, have their cage ready in a good location. We need furniture, space to live and so do birds. Perches and bird safe toys as well as proper food and water areas are so important.
Get to know your pet: By making sure that you are home for a few days with your new pet, you are able to spend time with him or her and get to know them better. Enjoy this new time together!
Health: They say to take your new dog to a vet within a week of adoption. Regardless, a health check is important. Find out all you can about the breed of your pet and what your pet needs to keep them healthy and happy.
Rules: Where the pet comes and goes within the home is also important. Dogs need order since they are used to being from a pack. Cats often jump up on counters. If you don’t want this behavior to occur make sure there are places that your cat can jump safely within your home. A scratching post helps your cat immensely. Again, learning about your pet ahead of time, take a ton of the stress and surprise away.
Baby gates, crates and pet beds: A crate is often a great place for a pet to make as their den and makes training easier too. If they cry or make a fuss, wait until they settle down before you let them out. This area is a place where they can relax and it can be a potty training tool. Your pet’s instinct is not to soil their space. As long as you don’t leave your pet in their crate for too long, a crate or bed can be your pet’s space that they can call their own. A baby gate helps teach your pup or cat where not to go and keeps them safe while you are away and they are in training. When you bring your new cat home, you can use the carrier with the door propped open to introduce him or her to the new space at their own speed.
Exercise: The type of exercise your pet needs is important too. Exercise not only helps both you and your pet physically, it is a bonding tool. Remember routine is the key to happy pets and keeps you on track in your own life.
Training: I’ve learned that from the time you bring your pet home you are training them. If you have never trained a dog or cat, there is lots of support from books to trainers to friends who have a great track record in training their pets. I love to chat with my pet supply shop folks and we have great conversations. Keeping your cat in one room with a litter box helps cats get comfortable by starting with a smaller space first.
Safety: I feel this aspect of safety is so important and I’ve put it on my list because animals do not know right and wrong like we do. Be consistent as a family with the rules of the home and even jot them down and put them on a bulletin board. Prepare your yard as well as inside your home appropriately for your pet. Find out the proper ways to pet proof your home. I’ve learned that having a bird’s safety kit is important even on the first day in your home. Chose an avian vet and ask them what would be best to have at hand in case of emergencies.
Rewarding your pet: Reward your dog or cat for good behavior. It could be a treat or a special toy.
Whether your pet is new or you have had them in your family for years, pets enhance people’s lives and we can learn from them through their behaviour and then there’s that unconditional love! Pets are powerful teachers. We need to be alert and know their needs so that wonderful bonding can begin and continue.
Bottom line, enjoy your new pet and the amazing adventures that await! 🙂