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Bringing home a new pet is a big responsibility, similar to having a child. You are now in charge of making them comfortable, feeding them, and keeping them safe. It’s a big job, but it can be truly rewarding.
Before Your Pet Arrives
Before bringing your pet home, put any breakable or important possessions out of reach of your new pet. Look around for places where they could get stuck or furniture that could hurt them, and secure doors and windows to prevent your pet from escaping.
Learn about foods that could be dangerous for your pet and keep them out of reach or use child safety latches on cabinets and pantries. Don’t forget to keep household cleaners, pesticides, and any other chemicals locked away from your pet. Assume they will try to eat anything they get ahold of.
Walk around the outside of your house, checking for poisonous plants and holes in gates or fences. Scope out your neighborhood to be aware of other animals that may roam around off-leash and that you may want to avoid with your pet.
Bringing Home Your New Pet
Once your pet arrives home, let them wander around the areas that are safe for them so they can adjust to their new surroundings. Your home is completely different from where they were and they will need time to get comfortable.
Make some comfortable beds for them in a few different places so that they can choose where they would like to be at different times during the day. Many pets like to vary their sleeping arrangements depending on temperature or where you might be in the house. You can use cushions, blankets, or pet crates to give them a secure spot to use when they are tired or need some alone time.
Just like any other member of the family, it’s important to spend time with your pet. Carve out some time every day to hang out with your pet and play with them. They need exercise and companionship as much as they need food and water. Spending time with them will build trust and loyalty, and cut back on destructive behavior.
Before leaving your pet in the house alone, make sure they have food, water, and toys. This will help help them feel satisfied and quell boredom while you are out. If you will be gone for a longer period of time, try getting a pet sitter or using a daycare to care for your pet when you are away.
Keep Your Pet’s Health a Priority
A good veterinarian can help you keep your pet happy and healthy. Schedule regular appointments to ensure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, gets flea and tick treatments or other needed medications, and that any health issues are caught early.
As your pet ages, they will require more time and patience. Just like humans, elderly pets can have more health problems. They are more prone to arthritis, weakness, joint issues, kidney problems, and heart problems. You may need to make some modifications in your home to accommodate these issues, such as raising pet food platforms so they won’t have to lean down as much or adjust their safe spaces away from stairs or drafts.
With love and support, your new pet will become a valued family member. Time and patience will help them forge a lasting bond with you and your family that will make for a lifetime of memories.
Jessica Brody has her own delightful website at OurBestFriends providing pet photos and stories.