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Bringing a new pet home

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Introducing a new pet into the family could go either two ways: Is it going to be a smooth transition or a bumpy road. Tips and hints to help you through it.

Photographs: Istock

Text: Tarek Abu Sham

Many people are bringing home new pets these days, and that's great! When you adopt a pet, there are some steps you need to take, especially if the pet has already been rehomed previously. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your newest family member, but understanding the reasons why your pet has been rehomed can help make its adjustment to your home more comfortable.

The first steps When you prepare to bring your newly adopted pet home, you'll want to have everything you need, such as a new leash, collar, litter box, food and water bowls, or even a crate. You'll want to designate a safe space within your home, a place where your pet can retreat to if it gets nervous or overwhelmed. Not being prepared for this can increase the odds of your new pet becoming stressed or anxious.

Introduce family members of the two-legged and four-legged varieties slowly and in a neutral and calm area. Pheromone products such as Adaptil or Feliway can decrease the stress of welcoming new four-legged pets into the fold.

Make sure you ask if your new pet has been introduced to cats, dogs, or children. For example, adopting a large dog that doesn't get along with kids if you have a couple of little ones is not advisable unless you're experienced with canine behaviour and rehabilitation.

Next steps

Once you introduce your new pet to everyone, it's time to explore the house. Make sure you have pet-proofed your home. Until you know if your pet is a chewer or not, you won't want things like loose wires just lying around.

Make sure everyone in the family is on-board with taking care of your new pet. You'll need to establish a routine, such as who is going to feed and clean up after your pet. Be prepared for difficulties in housebreaking, even if you are bringing home an adult pet. This new environment can be nerve-wracking and stressful, especially if your pet has been in a shelter environment for any length of time.

It's essential to work on training, even if you have a well-mannered pet. Understanding basic commands are vital for every pet, and it'll make your life easier, as well as provide a sense of security to your newest family member.

"Make sure everyone in the family is on-board with taking care of your new pet."

Ensuring a healthy pet

Most shelters will have dogs evaluated by a veterinarian before they are adopted out. You may receive some basic information about your pet's health status, such as a parasite check, or vaccination status. Regardless of whether or not your pet has been vet-checked, you need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to review your new pet's medical and vaccination history. Also, a faecal exam to check for intestinal parasites or blood work to check for health issues, such as kidney disease before it manifests itself in clinical signs, would be recommended.

In summary

When you bring a new pet home, it's a fascinating time for everyone in the family. Get as much information about your new pet's history as you can. Help make the transition smooth by setting up safe spaces for your pet and slowly introducing everyone in the family.

If you have any questions or need advice, The Pet-agrees is owned by a trained veterinarian. Send us a message today!

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