Are you adding a new pet to your household? Pets have a special way of making any house feel homier! While adopting a new pet is fun and exciting, it can also be stressful while they adjust.
Each pet is an individual, so just be aware, what works for one may not work for another. Let's have a look at what's considered the mainstream wisdom for introducing a new dog or cat.
Before you leave to pick up your new pet, make sure you've prepared your home. For a cat, acquire a litter box and litter and put breakable things away. For a puppy, remove things you don't want chewed up.
- Picking up your new pet
Plan to transport the dog or cat in a crate. The crate should have some comfortable towels or blankets inside for the ride. If it's a long drive home, plan to stop to walk the dog or to provide water. The cat might need a litter tray. It's best not to feed the pet until you know how well it will manage the car ride.
- Introducing pets to other family members
Go slowly. Make introductions to other dogs outdoors, one at a time. Try not to crowd either dog. Let humans meet the dog quietly and one at a time, refraining from petting if the dog seems shy or frightened. Introduce the dog to a resident cat indoors, but do not let the dog chase the cat; make sure the cat has an escape route from the room where the dog is. Let a new cat into a space where it can make itself at home in relative privacy until it gets used to its new setting.
- Sleeping arrangements
You may not want to let that new pet sleep on your bed or the kids' bed right away. Maybe it'll happen in time, but until your new canine friend is housebroken, it's best to try to keep the pup in its bed. You may have to keep the dog in a utility room or a crate at first but do be prepared for some crying if the dog has separation anxiety from its mother or its previous home situation. Be patient. Try leaving a light on, or providing the dog with a stuffed toy at bedtime.
Hopefully, your new dog is already housebroken. If so, you will just need to get it used to going outside regularly to do its business. If you have the time, you should also start walking the dog on a leash. This is very helpful for housebreaking a puppy. You may also try to introduce a dog to training pads. Cats should adapt easily to litter boxes, if not talk to your vet to see if there is a larger issue.
- Start a routine
Pets need a routine in order to be completely comfortable. Whether this is mealtime, a time for a walk, or sitting down with them to cuddle your pet will appreciate knowing what to expect out of the day and from you. Give new pets some time to adjust to the new routine. For the pets you already had, their usual routine will help them adjust to the new member of the pack.
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