Getting a new pet is exciting. New toys, new pet bed, new everything! You want your pet to be pampered but you also want your pet to make the transition into your home easy and non-threatening.
5 Tips To Prepare For Your New Pet
Pet proof your home – Puppies and kittens, and other animals learn about the world through their mouths, so pick up and put away any item that could be within an animal’s reach. Remove potentially dangerous or poisonous items such as electrical cords, needles, thread, string, ribbon, pins, medications, food items (particularly chocolate) and some houseplants.
Pet proof your yard – Fence off forbidden areas like water gardens or landscaping that you don’t want your pet to get into or that contain plants that are poisonous to your pet. Remove sharp objects and garden ornaments that may cause injury. A visibly fenced-in yard could be ideal, but always examine an existing fence for any openings or weak areas to prevent a pet’s escape. Plan to supervise dogs at all times and plan to walk them on a leash if you do not have a secure fenced-in area for them.
Get stuff – Purchase the equipment needed to house, feed, groom, and play your new pet. Dogs tend to need a crate with soft bedding, baby gates, bowls for food and water, an adjustable collar onto which tags will be attached, a 4 to 6 foot leash, toys, grooming equipment, and wee wee pads if it’s a puppy and learning. Cats tend to need a litter box, litter and scoop, bowls for food and water, a crate/carrier to safely transport them, brush, toys, and scratching posts. Fish, reptiles and amphibians may need heaters and thermometers and covers for their tanks. Small mammals and birds may need an easy-to-clean spacious cage or enclosure, bedding materials, food and water dispensers, and safe toys for chewing and enrichment.
Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian – within 48-72 hours of your pet’s arrival get an examination done as a preventative checkup. Bring any health records that were provided by a shelter, rescue group or breeder.
Make a routine – Devise a schedule for “pottying,” feeding, playing, napping and bedtime. Animals thrive and feel more secure when they have a daily routine to follow. Puppies will need to be walked frequently- every time after waking up, 15 to 20 minutes after eating, after playing and before bedtime. Owners are advised to take dogs out of the same door and to the same “potty” area consistently.