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Tips for Welcoming a New Pet

Updated on February 25, 2008

Bringing a new pet home is an exciting event, but it can also be a stressful time for the pet. Although your family is excited about your new pet, you need to make the transition as comfortable as possible. Go slowly with exposing new things to your pet. You won’t be able to explain to your pet that he has no reason to be scared, and that nobody will hurt him, so you will have to show him that he is safe. Let your pet adjust to his new surroundings on his own time. This will make him feel comfortable, helping all of you to bond more quickly.

Books About Puppies

Before You Bring Your Pet Home

There are some things you can do before bringing your pet home to make the event as easy on everyone as possible.

First, purchase and set out the pet supplies you will need. Depending on the pet, you will probably need bowls, food, toys, and a bed. If you are getting a puppy, you will need a training crate (if this is the route you have chose to go in training), a collar, and a leash. For kittens, set up a litter box in its usual spot—this way the kitten will know from the beginning where her box is. You should also get a scratching post before you bring your kitten home, so she won’t feel inclined to scratch anything else (scratching is both natural and normal for all cats). No matter which kind of pet you bring home, you should definitely have a book about training and caring for the animal. As well, finding a vet ahead of time is a good idea in case your new pet gets injured or sick.

Next, you need to pet-proof your home. Pet-proofing is similar to baby-proofing, in that you need to make sure the pet won’t have access to any dangerous items. As well, you should put away anything that you don’t want to get messed up or destroyed (dogs love to chew and cats love to climb and pounce).

If this is going to be a family pet, everyone should agree to help care for the pet. Before everyone gets carried away with the excitement of bring your pet home, agree on a plan or schedule of who will feed, wash, groom, walk, and clean up after your pet. For example, my husband and I have a schedule for who cleans the litter box out each day.

Choose a comfortable, safe room for your new pet. When you first bring him home, you should only expose him to one room for the first few days. With a puppy, place the crate near the door he will use to go in and out of the house. If you are getting a kitten, make sure she is kept in the same room as the litter box (if this is possible) so she can learn where it is. Gauge how your pet is doing, if she is adjusting well, go ahead and expose her to one or two new things at a time. Just be sure not to overdo it.

If your children are overly-excited about the new pet, gently remind them of how they felt on their first day of school. They were probably a bit scared and confused. Let them know that their new pet will feel exactly the same way, so everyone needs to help out with making the pet feel safe. Best of luck with your new furry, family member!

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    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      10 years ago from United States

      I loved the article and pictures :)

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