Bringing Home a New Pet
- 17 July 2018
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Bringing a new pet into your life can be an emotional decision, but it shouldn’t be made hastily. There’s much involved in the process of caring for a new pet and a lot to think about in advance. Yet the happiness and love a pet can bring to your home makes the effort worthwhile. Here’s an overview of things to consider and some tips to help ease the transition for you and your new furry friend.
Finding the Pet For You
When looking for a pet, there’s plenty to consider. Besides questions of training and free time, there are considerations like how much space you have in your home and how well a pet will get along with children or roommates. Even if you select a pet who is child-friendly, animals don’t always have a good rapport with young children. After all, both animals and children are excitable, so they won’t necessarily know how to play together. You need to introduce your little one to the new pet in a safe and supervised environment. If you’re rooming with others, make sure that they are fully on board with bringing a pet into the home.
From unfortunate accidents to allergies, loud noises and pet hair getting everywhere, there are several ways your home can change when introducing a pet. Pre-planning will keep you from being surprised by these.
When it comes to space, it’s prudent to avoid high-intensity breeds if you live in a small apartment. All dogs need time outdoors, so it’s also important to think of your neighborhood. Is there a pet-friendly park? Safe places to walk a dog? Finally, think about what you want in your new friend. If you’re looking for affection, an energetic companion, and are motivated to go outdoors a dog can be perfect. If you want a companion with fewer demands on your time, a cat could be best.
Preparing Your Home
Once decided on a pet, pet-proofing your home is crucial. Make sure that inappropriate items your new pet could chew or swallow are not easily accessible. Cats can climb and dogs can knock things over by jumping up, or wagging their tails, so consider the placement of breakable objects. Secure wires and cables so they are not a temptation to be chewed, you may even want to glue vases on shelves and place gates to the upstairs or anywhere else you’d like to restrict access. Go about this from a pet’s point-of-view. Look around from their height level and consider what might be a temptation.
Safety doesn’t just mean keeping your pet from harm. Creating a comfortable environment is essential as new pets may be nervous or even fearful, especially rescues. Try to bring along some favorite items, such as toys, bedding and blankets. All this can go a long way to helping your new furry friend feel at home.
Bonding with your pet
Bonding is essential to nurturing trust and loyalty. It can be a hit-or-miss process, but a rewarding one. Pets usually thrive on routine, so plan time for them. Both dogs and cats enjoy energetic play that includes toys and games for mental and physical stimulation. Involving family (or roomies) in this play can help form bonds of trust between your pet and the entire household.
Grooming and treats are other ways to help you bond. Brushing your pet can promote closeness, while making a ritual out of feeding treats reinforces routine and bonding.
If you have a dog, plan dog-friendly family outings. These adventures can be great fun, while strengthening relationships between family and fur baby.
Having a pet is a great responsibility, but pre-planning and choosing the right pet can result in many benefits for you and your pet. Pets provide unconditional love and keep you physically active and mentally positive. So, do your research, consult with everyone in your household to be sure all are ready to welcome a pet, consider the best type of pet, or breed, for your situation and then go find your new best buddy!
(Our thanks to Jessica Brody, friend of Pet Wants Northern Westchester and our new contributing blogger.)