Welcoming A New Pet

 

This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Mikkie Mills

 

 
Bringing a new pet home, whether it’s a cat, dog, cockatoo, or hamster, is a big responsibility. Sure, it’s exciting at first, but once the excitement dissipates, you are left with a living being trusting you to take care of him/her. One of the priorities of owning a pet is making sure he/she integrates comfortably with his/her new home. You want your pet to feel safe and secure while also respecting boundaries of the household. Here are five tips on how to introduce your new companion to his/her new home.

Allot a Space For Your Pet

Clear out a corner of your household for your new companion. Your pet should have his/her own space indoors where they can sleep, eat, and drink. A common way to let your pet know where his/her area is by marking it with a bed or crate. Make sure to pick a spot that’s open and accessible to your pet at all times. Moreover, the bed or crate should be large enough for them to comfortably stand on all fours in. By giving them a corner of their own, they have a safe haven they can go in, not to mention they don’t have to follow you around the house.

Create Structure

In a new group and environment, your pet will try to find out where they belong and what the limitations are. Pets, specifically dogs, love rules and routine. When pets don’t have any structure to follow on a daily basis, they don’t understand or know what to expect next. This creates uncertainties, which escalates into discomfort. As a result, they might go hiding under the bed whenever you try to take them out for a walk at a random hour of the day. If you establish a strict schedule for walking and feeding them each day, they will become more comfortable with the environment much faster hence a more smoother transition ensues.

Have Some Pet Products Ready

Housebreaking your new companion will take time. For puppies, it takes a few weeks to train them not to pee indoors; older dogs with weak bladder control, on the other hand, may still have an accident every now and then. Some supplies you should have in storage include pee pads, pet odor remover, and carpet cleaning agent. The best carpet cleaner for pet urine can easily remove stains, odors, and bacteria from the fabrics without damaging the colors and quality of the fabric.

Keep a Realistic Expectation

First-time pet owners usually don’t realize the responsibility that comes with owning a pet. They have expectations of getting the smartest and most well-behaved dog or cat who requires minimal attention and care. This, however, is unrealistic and unfair to your new companion. Before getting a pet, especially a puppy, reel in your expectations. Avoid stressing over the smallest things, such as your new pup zooming around the apartment or your kitten tipping over her drinking bowl. Be patient with yourself and your companion, and acknowledge the fact that both you and your pet are still learning each other. Pets can feel when their owners get stressed out. This negative energy can make them anxious and uncomfortable.

Socialize

Let them socialize with other people in the household as well as other pets around the neighborhood. If you have other pets in the house, make sure you introduce them slowly and in a controlled space. At first, limit interaction with people and allow family members to approach them slowly. The same goes for relatives and children. Introduce your pet to other dogs in a neutral space and don’t leave them alone together. If there are any signs of aggression, such as growling or tail dropping down, separate the two immediately.

Introducing your new companion to the household should be done slowly. Remember, he/she is a part of your family now. Give them the space and time they need to let loose and embrace their new home.

Mikkie Mills, is a freelance writer who often writes about family, home improvements and the occasional DIY project.