Bringing a new pet into your home can be one of the most exciting times in life. It’s a process you don’t go through a lot, and you can often get so caught up that you forget about the logistics. Whether it’s a cat or dog, from a shelter or from a breeder there are some things you should do before you bring your new family member home.
- Research the breed
There’s more than just considering whether you should get a dog or cat. It’s important to consider the differences from breed to breed. Some dog breeds, such as Australian Shepherds, need more physical activity than others. Other breeds, like Golden Retrievers, might be more friendly at the outset. If your new pet is not fully grown, it’s important to understand how large it will get so you don’t run out of space in a year or two. Other things to consider are training ability, shedding level, intelligence, tendency to bark, and the ability to be alone. It’s important to pick a pet that will integrate well with your lifestyle.
- Spend time with the new pet before you bring it home
Just like humans, all pets have personalities that can gel or clash with your personality. With a human, you wouldn’t want to invite a friend to move into your house until you know how compatible your personalities are. The same logic should be applied to pets. It’s important to make sure you get along with your pet before you commit to making them a member of your family. If you’re getting a puppy or kitten, you can spend time with the new mother, who will give you a sense of what your pet will be like. In most cases you will love your pet but it’s good to meet them so you can be certain, as rehoming can be difficult for all parties.
- Prepare your home for your pet
Moving to a new home can be really scary for your pet. It’s beneficial to have your home ready for your pet before they move in. This includes fencing if you have a yard and your pet will be spending time outside, this might also be a good idea even if it’s not your plan in case your pet gets out of your home. It’s also important to create a plan for night-time if you pet will be an indoor and outdoor pet. Take a thorough look at your home and look for any potential safety hazards for your new pet.
- Develop a work plan
Most dogs do not like to be left alone. It can be emotionally and physically harmful to your pet. It’s crucial to develop a plan for when you are not home. You should consider daycare for your dog if you work or spend a significant amount of time away from home. Cats usually function well on their own but be observant about their behavior when you leave and come back.
- Create an integration plan
One of the hardest parts of bringing a new pet home is introducing it to any other pets you may already have. Creating a plan to do so is very important. Some pets and specific breeds do better with other animals in general. Younger pets are often more receptive to other pets in the household.
It’s also important to integrate your pet with the rest of your family. If you have children be sure to have them also meet your potential pet before you commit to them. If you are adopting your pet, be sure to ask anyone who has worked with the pet how they do around other pets and children. There are a variety of way to smooth the transition, ask your current veterinarian for their suggestions.
- Get your pet checked by your veterinarian
Before you get too emotionally attached to your new pet, bring them to your veterinarian. Though most reputable rescues and breeders check for diseases and do the first round of immunizations, it’s good to double check before introducing a pet to your home so you aren’t also introducing new diseases or parasites.
- Be prepared with supplies
Your new pet is going to need food, toys, a collar, leashes etc. Be sure to get these ready ahead of time so you can spend time enjoying your new pet instead of worrying about the logistics!