As the summertime rolls in, you might be thinking of adding a new furry friend to your household! With the weather getting warmer, and the world beginning to return to normal, there’s never been a better time to get new pets. For some, especially first-time pet owners, it can be difficult to acclimate a new pet to your home. If you find yourself in this category, you’re not alone! Here are some essential tips to welcoming a new loved one.
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New Pets are the Best!
During our Covid quarantine, my daughter really worked on us about getting a dog. She put together a pretty impressive Powerpoint presentation on all the reasons why we need a dog. At first we said no, then we said yes! In October of 2020, when she was just eight weeks old, we brought this adorable puppy home. Meet Indie, our Goldendoodle! Bringing Indie home in the middle of a pandemic may have seemed crazy, but these tips for acclimating a new pet were very helpful.
Tip #1: Plan Out Food and Hydration
The first step to welcoming your pet home is ensuring you have enough supplies to properly hydrate and feed them. Just like us humans, pets can be affected by sudden changes in their environment and diet. Whether you’re adopting your pet from a rescue shelter or purchasing from a breeder, they will have to adapt to their new environment. This means you should be prepared to have all of the essential pet items. Especially the food they are currently eating, even if you plan on switching to a different brand. Do it slowly, but have their current food in your home waiting for them. One resource to keep in mind is pet supplies delivery. Home delivery is a great option because it allows you to spend time with your new pet, allowing them to get used to you and their new environment. Plus, you can order ahead of time and have it all waiting for you when you get home!
Tip #2: Buy the Right Crate/Bed for Your Pet
Every pet needs its own space inside the home, so making sure you prepare your pet with a quality crate and bed to sleep in beforehand will make them feel at home in no time! If you’re welcoming a puppy or kitten into your home, this step will be even more important! All pets spend a lot of their time in their bed and crates, so it’s key to provide them with something comfortable and enjoyable!
As you pick out your accessories for your pet, make sure it is size correctly for your pet. When we got Indie, I knew that she would be rather large and grow quickly, so we bought a crate that would be good for her adult size. However, a large crate for a puppy is not a good idea because they will pee in it. So we made sure to get a crate that had a divider so we could make it small in the beginning and allow it to grow with her.
Tip #3: Don’t Let Your Pet Form Bad Habits
Whether you’re bringing home your very first pet or you4 10th, it’s important to set boundaries and limitations for them to learn. Dogs and cats, in particular, are creatures of habit. As a result, creating rules for them as you acclimate new pets to your home will essential as they grow and you have them longer and longer.
Some of the biggest examples include:
- Creating a fixed feeding schedule (rather than them begging for food and dictating)
- Deciding what parts of the house are “off limits”
- Choosing the right time to introduce them to other pets (both in your home or in your neighborhood)
- Potty training
It’s important to remember that you are the owner and it’s your home. Do some research on the best pet habits, and be prepared to train your pet as soon as they walk in the door!
Tip #4: Patience is Key
Like all new things in life, patience is going to be the thing that makes bringing new pets into your home a seamless experience. It’s key to remember that this will be a learning experience, and the lessons you learn will be valuable going forward. Remember to think about the big picture and all the great times ahead!
Other important concepts to keep in mind are to avoid punishing your pets, as it can cause bonding issues. Instead, redirect, redirect, redirect! Also, allow them time and space to grow relationships with other pets and family members. Finally, use positive reinforcement and affection when performing good behavior.
We have had Indie in our home for eight months and it has been the best (and challenging) eight months. When she comes home from the groomers and her curly hair is blown straight, it cracks us up! Summertime is a really popular season for getting a pet. Whether you’ve been through this process or you’re taking home your first pet, these tips should help make the experience run more smoothly.