New Pet in the House

Dec 26, 2020

So - you have a new pet - now what?
Credit Jeffrey P. Home [ Flickr]

Having a new pet in your home can be a fun and exciting time for both of you, but it's important to get things off on the right foot.  Your new furry buddy will need some supplies, and especially attention from you.  After all, it takes time to adjust to all-new surroundings - and people!

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With a lot of folks opting to stay home for the holidays, you may have decided it’s a great time to get a pet. And as the new year comes, and things settle down a bit, both you and your new furry friend can begin to adjust to each other – for you to learn what its personality is, and just how it will fit in with your schedule and with other members of your household.

Begin by scheduling a visit to a veterinarian, to make sure your pet is healthy and stays that way. Talk to the vet about vaccinations. Also ask about having your new family member microchipped. It’s quick, easy, pretty painless for the pet, and a great tool to help find your furry buddy if it gets lost.

Talk to your vet about the best diet for your pet. Table scraps may seem like a convenient way to feed your new buddy, but not a healthy way. Instead, choose a good-quality food, one that is specifically formulated for your dog or cat’s age, weight, and even breed. The right food is a great investment that can help your new friend live longer and stay healthier.

For a puppy, begin thinking about housebreaking right away. Try to anticipate when it might need to go outside, and praise it when it does.

A cat will need a litter box; in fact, put it in the litter box right away, and let it explore its new surroundings from there. It’s recommended that the number of litter boxes should be equal to the number of cats in the household, plus one.

The best advice for a new pet owner is to realize your new pet doesn’t know what to expect from you – there’s an adjustment period. Remember the 3-3-3 Rule. It takes a pet 3 DAYS to transition to your home with its new sounds and smells and people, so have patience. It takes 3 WEEKS for a pet to become accustomed to your daily routine, and for you to begin to see its real personality. With patience, after 3 MONTHS your furry friend will understand that your home is now its home, and it has become a member of the family – truly a great relationship, when you’re speaking of pets.

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