Adopting a pet is one of the most exciting things anyone can do. After all, with thousands of animals in pounds looking for homes at this very moment, you’ll be saving a life and enriching your own by doing so. As much joy as the addition of a pet brings to your family, you’ll also have to ensure that you have taken all the measures required to accommodate you furry new friend in your household. In this article, we look at the top 5 things you’ll need to consider when adopting a new pet, so read on to find out more!
Gather The Supplies
Ensuring that you have all the necessary pet supplies is step one in taking care of your new furry friend. Ideally, you’ll visit a pet store at least a day in advance to gather all the essentials and be ready for your new companion. Some of the basic essentials you will need for dogs are leashes, water/food bowls, wet and dry food, an identification tag and a comfortable bed. If you are adopting a cat, you will need a collar, food, water/food bowls, an identification tag, a litter tray and litter to fill it up with.
A pro tip is to purchase enzymatic cleaners in case of any toilet-related accidents which may occur due to the stress of a new environment - these cleaners are excellent at removing organic stains and will eliminate any potential build up of pet odour.
2. Ensure The Home Is Secured
Ensuring your home is pet-proofed is really important in the first few weeks of adopting a new pet. When animals are introduced to a completely new environment, stress levels are high. What this means is that a door that is innocently left open may just be an exit route for your pet to run out of the home and onto the streets.
Readying your home by installing a cat or dog flap on doors, hiding cables and wires that kittens and puppies may chew up and securing any areas of the home which your new furry friends could possibly escape out of is vital. Some other precautions to take are to be cautious of leaving food, items or possibly harmful substances around the house as animals are known to ingest items that they really should not have access to.
3. Allow Everyone To Mingle
It is important that your new furry friend has the chance to mingle with all family members - from your toddler all the way to grandma and grandpa. Keep in mind that the socialisation process may take a little longer for mature pets, so don’t fret if your pet seems to be slightly antisocial and on edge for the first few days.
Never force your pet to interact with anyone, but instead, allow their curiosity to take over when the time is right. If you have children, ensure that they are taught to handle pets gently in order to not traumatise or freak them out. It is also advised that you keep your furry friend’s claws trimmed at all times should you have young children in the home, as this will prevent any unlikely accidents from occuring.
4. Keep Your Pet Stimulated
Always remember, your furry friend is a living, breathing, sentient creature that is no different from any other family member. This is why it is so important to keep your pet mentally stimulated and physically active as much as you possibly can. If you’re adopting a dog, bring it out for at least one long walk a day, and play games such as fetch or tug of war to keep them active and healthy.
When it comes to cats, it is advised that you play games and purchase interactive toys (an automated laser pointer is a great option) that will keep your little fur ball on its toes throughout the day. Ensuring your pet is kept mentally stimulated will prevent them from developing issues such as depression, and keeping them physically active will ensure they are in the prime of health.
5. Keep Up With Your Routine Vet Appointments
Last but not least, caring for you new furry friend involves ensuring they never miss a vet appointment. Generally, adult pets will require at least one visit to the vet a year, for a general check up and to get their yearly vaccinations. We advise bringing your pet to the vet within a week of adopting it, just to ensure that they are healthy, happy and in good spirits. If you are adopting a kitten or puppy, you will need to visit the vet once a month for three months to ensure that they are getting all the vaccinations they need in their first year.
We hope that this guide to taking care of your new furry friend has given you some insight into exactly what you need to do to keep your new companion happy and healthy for a long time to come!