Top Tips for New Dog or Cat Owners

Alketa Haklaj

We all love our pets. Bringing a new member of the family home, however, is no small task. There’s lots of preparations and considerations that need to be done – often even before you begin the process of selecting a new pet to bring home. Luckily, we have some of the top tips you need to make your new furry friend a happy part of the family.

Consider the Breed

Whether bringing home an excitable dog or a lazy cat, it’s important to understand that every breed of animal is going to have different needs. You should consider what your new pet will need at your home to live a happy life.

● Consider their dietary needs, as well as local environment. Is it too hot or cold at your house? Do they need a certain kind of food to be comfortable? Is your breed particularly fussy about grooming?

● Think about the amount of exercise they need. Will they need daily runs? Hours and Hours of active playtime? Or are they a bit more lazy – able to lounge for hours in the house with no harm done?

● Finally, consider the spaces in your home. Is there anywhere you want to keep them out of? Is your home going to big enough for a high or low energy pet to get around? Are there breakable objects in your home that will need to be moved or protected?

Prepare a Space

Once you’ve considered what breed is best for your current living space, the next step is to prep before they get home. Your new family member will need lots of attention to settle in, so it’s best to make that transition to a new home as easy as possible.

● Figure out where your new pet will be staying in your home. Will they sleep on your bed with you? In your room? Where are they eating? Where do they go when you’re not around?

● Find some clothes of your own you don’t mind not wearing for a while. Prepare a bed space lined with them so they get used to your smell. This will help your pet adjust to you quicker and become more comfortable around you.

● Build trust with your pet by helping them navigate your house. Don’t overstimulate them by doing too much at once, but take it slow and help them learn what and where they’re allowed to be by keeping doors opened or closed to different areas. They will naturally want to explore.

Socialize to Other Pets

The final and most crucial step is to socialize your new friend to any other pets you may have. For cats, this is especially important, as the stress of a new animal in their territory can be unhealthy. Make sure you take the time to do this before letting your pets see each other for the first time.

● Prepare bed spaces for any animals you have, swapping the blankets they sleep on for each other so they become used to the smell of the new animal.

● Let they social through doors by sniffing, barking, growling, or making noise. It may seem counterintuitive, but animals don’t need to see one another to make connections. This can be especially helpful for cats to prevent them marking their territory all over your house.

● Finally, introduce them to one another in a carefully monitored situation. Do not leave them alone together for a few days, until you’re very sure they’re okay with one another. A new animal can be scary, and the last thing you want is a fight between your beloved pets.

Make sure you identify a veterinarian near you to ensure your pets have the proper microchips and vaccinations.

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