Get Ready

There are a few ways you can get your home ready for a new pet.  Start by looking around your home from your pet’s perspective.  Are there things they could break or hurt themselves with?  Put breakables and important heirlooms out of reach of curious paws.  Make sure there aren’t places your pet could get hurt or stuck, like crevices or unstable furniture.  

Check doors and windows to be sure they close properly. Take a walk around the outside of your home to check your yard for poisonous plants, and look for holes or gaps in gates and fences. If you do not have a fence around your yard, consider installing one. That way your new pet will have a place to run and exercise without having to be on a leash.

Research what types of foods might be harmful to your new pet and keep them, along with household cleaners and other chemicals locked up.  You can keep kitchen cabinets and pantries closed with child safety latches to prevent your pet from getting sick or injured.

Make sure you have the necessities before your pet arrives.  Buy feeding dishes,  food, a collar and leash, toys, grooming tools, a pet bed or crate, and whatever else you think you might need for your new pet.  It’s definitely better to have the important stuff on hand when you need it.  

Bringing Your New Pet Home

Bringing your new pet to your home for the first time could be a little bit scary for them.  This will be foreign place to them compared to where they came from.  They will need some time to wander around and adjust to the new sights and smells.

Make sure you have a few pet cushions or blankets in different places around the house for your pet to find a cozy spot to relax or sleep.  Some pets like to move around depending on their temperature or where family members are hanging out.  Giving them choices will keep them comfortable.

Set aside time to bond with your new pet.  Taking the time each day to play with and exercise your pet will be beneficial to both of you.  You are investing in the loyalty and trust between owner and pet.

Make sure your pet has something to occupy their time while you are away from the house.  Toys, food, and water can help your pet thwart boredom and avoid destructive behavior.  If you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, a pet-sitter or daycare can make sure your pet is well-cared for while you are away.

Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Your new pet will need you to care for all of their health needs, too.  Schedule regular trips to your veterinarian for vaccinations and checkups.  The vet can also help you with the best food options, grooming tips, and flea and tick medications for your pet.

Elderly pets have changing needs, so be sure to adjust to them as your pet ages.  Arthritis, joint problems, failing eyesight, and other health issues may make it necessary to modify your home in some ways to accommodate an older pet.  Changing where your pet sleeps to avoid stairs or raising their food bowls up higher are some examples of things you can do to make your pet more comfortable.

Being a good pet owner will keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy.  It will also build an unbreakable bond between you and your pet that will enrich your life and those around you.

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