Involve Family in Helping a New Pet Thrive
Agencies and organizations report there’s been an uptick in people getting new pets in the last few months, due to staying home more and social distancing. Bringing a pet home for the first time can be very exciting but also overwhelming to a pet. It’s important to involve the whole family in your preparations for a smooth transition.
Regardless of the type of companion you’re welcoming into your home, adjusting to a new environment can lead to anxiety. Because dogs and cats do not communicate like humans, they often express it by misbehaving. Be willing to spend the first several days bonding and forming good habits.
Here are some suggestions. You can read more tips at petsmart.com.
1Introduce all pets.
When bringing a new pet into the family, set up a proper introduction with any current pets. For dogs, have the initial meeting at a neutral environment outside of your home. Cats typically need a more gradual introduction to get comfortable. Start by keeping your felines in separate rooms with their own litter boxes, but have them see each other periodically.
Allowing your pets to eventually play with each other’s toys can also create familiarity with their new housemate’s scent.
2 Pet-proof your home.
Because new pets can be especially curious and jump onto high surfaces or squeeze into small spaces, ensure cleaning supplies, electrical wires and cords are out of reach. Other measures include keeping toilet lids closed and latching trash can lids. Also create a pet-friendly space, such as a scratching post for cats.
3 Create a schedule.
Setting a routine for your companion’s mealtimes, bathroom breaks and playtime can make the transition smoother for everybody. Keep in mind that younger pets typically need to relieve themselves more often.
4 Prepare the necessities.
Decrease stress by getting the necessities ahead of time, if possible. Ensuring your pet comes home to his or her own crate or bed, food and water bowls, a collar with identification, leash, food, pest treatments and toys can make the adjustment to new surroundings much easier.
5 Keep your pet looking good.
While a proper diet and plenty of exercise can go a long way toward keeping your pet feeling his or her best, it’s also best to regularly bath and brush them.
Adoptions During a Pandemic
If you are looking for a pet to adopt (or foster) from a shelter or other animal rescue organization, check their website and Facebook pages. Inquire about their COVID-19 precautions.
Often, people apply online and discuss their needs with shelter counselors in phone interviews. Ask specifically about a potential pet’s exercise needs and behavior, including how she or he gets along with children and other pets. Once you are approved, you can often wait outside a closed shelter for a text telling you to pick up your new furry friend curbside.
More tips on caring for pets