Welcoming A New Pet Into Your Home

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What could be more exciting than knowing it's time to expand your family with a four-legged, furry face or crawly critter?  

If you're ready to bring a new pet into your life, you'll want to choose one that is right for your lifestyle and family:

  • Are you a high-energy person or more interested in a couch companion?
  • Do you live in a home with a big yard that provides plenty of zoom room, or is your pad a small apartment?
  • Who will take care of your pet when you travel for business or vacation?
  • If you rent, does you landlord give permission to add a pet?  If so, is there an additional fee?
  • How will a pet affect your children? Are they ready for a critter, too?

If you've had a dog or cat before and you are considering bring in another, clean your carpets first. Even if it's been a year or more since a different animal lived in your house, a sensitive nose can detect their scent. You wouldn't want a new cat spraying his territory. Regular carpet cleanings are great for removing stains and odors but also preserve high traffic areas. Humans are just as tough on floor coverings.

Pet Proof and Prep

Think of your new pet as a curious little kid or toddler. Remove curtain pulls and cords. Move plants out of reach. Lock away household chemicals. Close doors to rooms you'd like to keep pet-free. Keep closet, cabinet, cupboard, washer/dyer doors and toilet lids closed when not in use and always check for pets before you close.

Determine where your new pet will eat, sleep, and a where you will put the litter box or crate. Designate an outdoor spot for your new pup to toilet.

Dogs

Wildlife photographer and preservationist Roger Caras said, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." To find the "perfect" dog, you want to consider:

  • Whether to get a puppy or senior.
  • Whether to get a purebred or a mixed breed.
  • Whether to adopt or purchase.
  • How large (or small) of a dog suits you.

Cats

Sigmund Freud said, "Time spent with cats is never wasted." and feline aficionados agree. While cats tend to be more independent than other pets, they due rely on the daily attention of humans. Please consider:

  • Does anyone in your home have allergies.
  • The time you have to play and socialize with the cat.
  • If you are willing to commit to a critter whose lifespan may last 20 years.

Rescued Pets

Adopted or rescued pets may need a little extra TLC to help them acclimate to their new home. Whatever pet you choose:

  • Give your new pet plenty of space. Find a safe spot where he can relax away from action.
  • Establish a routine. Dogs (and cats) respond to structure and rules. Set your pet up for success by helping her figure out how she fits in.
  • Get the right stuff:  Non-sliding food and water bowls, indestructible hard rubber toys for dogs and scratching posts for cats.  
  • Dogs like beds and crates preferably located where they can see what's going on but they can still chill when they need a break.
  • Cats love cozy spots, too. Most love higher perches that are sturdy and provide a good lookout.

No matter what critter you bring home, take time to bond with your new pet. Have patience while your pet adjusts. Cats and dogs might adjust quickly while some will take longer, but their steadfast companionship is worth it.

Photo credit: pexels.com

Guest blogger:  Jessica Brody, Founder, OurBestFriendsPet.com