Bringing a new pet home is a big event for any family, but it can be jarring for your new companion. Take time to prepare before introducing your new family member to their new home so they can transition smoothly. Some cautious steps early on can make a big difference in helping everybody adjust.
Be patient and gentle with your new family member.
Petfinder points out that the first few days in a new home are vital for any pet. They will likely be confused about what is happening and they won’t know what your expectations are right away. If you are adopting a rescue pet, they may be even more fearful about their situation.
Don’t wait until the pet gets into your home to decide what your expectations are. Know where you will and will not allow the pet to be and stock up on basic supplies. If you can keep your new companion on the same food they were on in their former home for a while, that is typically best.
Set up a safe place for your new pet during the transition.
Cats will often adjust fairly quickly to a new home, although they may lay low and hide for a while. Start them off in a small room like a bathroom where they have access to food, water, and a litter box, and give them some space to explore and adjust on their own timetable. They may take a few days to venture far from their safe space, but most cats will gain confidence fairly quickly.
When it comes to dogs, there is typically more work that needs to be done during this transition period. The Humane Society suggests bringing your new dog home on a weekend when you have a couple of days available to stay close by their side as they adjust.
Even if your new dog is already housebroken, they may have some accidents early on, so the kitchen may be a good spot for them during their transition. Most experts recommend crate training dogs, so have a crate ready for your new pooch and let them explore the it a bit on their own.
Keep the new pet’s world small at first and remove items that could be dangerous
Spend some time dog-proofing your place before Fido arrives. As Petco details, cleaners and chemicals need to be put up high and remember that medications and foods like chocolate and onions are dangerous too. In addition, items like plants, rugs, and fragile belongings may need to be moved, and baby gates can be helpful in these early days.
Your new family member will probably adjust best if you keep visitors away for a few days and focus on bonding as a family. Teach children how to approach your pup and keep a close eye on them to make sure they are gentle and give your dog some space. Put together a reliable routine right away focusing on sleeping, feeding, toileting, and exercise.
Build up to excursions away from home and introducing them to others
You will be anxious to take your dog for long walks and have fun with them, but take things slowly and read your pup’s cues for when they are ready for more. Getting them out and socialized is important, but doing too much, too soon can backfire, especially if they are a rescue dog.
Adding a pet to the family is exciting for everybody involved, but the process can be stressful for the animals. Prepare your home before their arrival and give them an opportunity to explore and settle in before expecting too much of them. You will likely have this pet in your family for years to come, and those early transition days will have a big impact on how smoothly the relationship progresses.
[Image via Pixabay]
Author: Jessica Brody (OurBestFriends.pet)