How to Make Your Adopted Pet Feel At Home
Adopting a new pet is exciting and fun, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth. However, it can also be a bit stressful. As a new situation for both your human family, and your new fur kid, the transition will take some time. Patience and understanding are essential.
Thankfully – there are plenty of helpful tips, tricks, and advice below to help you become the best possible pet parent.
Before You Adopt
ARE YOU READY TO ADOPT A PET?
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new furry bundle of joy, but it’s not a decision to take lightly. Owning a pet is a financial commitment as well as a commitment of time and energy. Before taking on this responsibility, you need to assess your current situation. Are you prepared to handle the vet bills, food, and supplies? Do you have time to spend with the pet?
Some adopted pets had difficult lives before they were rescued. It’s likely that their needs weren’t met, and some faced abuse in their previous homes. This can leave them feeling sad, stressed, or troubled and it may take them a while to learn how to trust humans again. Understanding that the transitional period may be lengthy will help you set reasonable expectations and provide the comfort and understanding the animal needs. Even an animal that came from a good home, will need some time to adjust.
Pets come in many shapes, sizes, ages and breeds, and some will work better for your situation. If you are home quite a bit and have the time to walk, go to the park, and play with an animal, an active dog may be a great addition to your family. However, if you prefer to spend your free time binge-watching Netflix, an older dog or cat may be a better pet for your lifestyle. There are many benefits to adopting a senior pet, so don’t count them out when you’re looking for your future fur kid.
Understand the qualities and other aspects that your pet may have (energy level, size, training ability, grooming needs) so that you can be sure you are making the right choice for you and the members of your household, and most importantly, for the animal.
Some pets have an extensive background story and when you adopt from a rescue like Hearts Alive Village, you’ll likely have the opportunity to speak with an Adoption Counselor. Ask questions to get a good idea of where the animal came from and why they need a new home. Discuss what type of home would be best for them and what you’re looking for in a pet. The more knowledge you can gather, the better it will be for both you and the animal.
Before You Bring Your Pet Home
Once you’ve found the perfect pet for your family, you’ll need to get your home ready to welcome them. Some rescues have a 24-hour waiting period which will give you time to do everything you need to do.
STOCK UP ON PET SUPPLIES
Pets need stuff! And this means investing in some pet supplies. Here’s a helpful checklist to get you started:
- Food and water
- Pet bed and cozy blankets
- Pet toys or games
- Leash, harness, or pet carrier
- Baby gates/ crates
- Litter box/ litter if adopting a cat
- Any essential medications or preventative aids as prescribed by a veterinarian
You can find new and gently used pet supplies in Las Vegas at the Hearts Alive Village Pet Supply Store. Low prices, you’ll never pay sales tax, and the money will go to help save the next animal in need.
You should also establish which veterinarian you will see and make sure that the animal has had (or will be having) all necessary initial check-ups and vaccines, and has been spayed or neutered. Your vet will be an excellent source of guidance for general questions and for more specific issues, such as wondering why your dog is throwing up, why your pet is itching or licking itself a lot, why it is drinking more water, and so on.
If you are looking for an affordable, full-service Las Vegas veterinarian, please check out the Hearts Alive Village Animal Clinic. Call (702)780-0002 to schedule an appointment.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE FOR YOUR PET
Dogs and cats are inquisitive by nature and some can be quite destructive before they’re trained. If you’re not prepared for this, it could pose a danger to your new furry family member – not to mention your bank account. Pet-proofing your home is essential when it comes to keeping your fur baby and your furniture safe.
Provide your new pet with a comfy, cozy space in the house where they can retreat to for some quiet time. You may have a mudroom or other enclosed area that you can dedicate as their space, or you may provide a corner of a room with a pet bed and some toys.
If you are taking your pet outdoors, be sure to have them leashed or provide a fenced-in area to prevent them from getting startled or distracted and making a run for it.
Bringing Your New Pet Home
While some animals are happy to hop in your car and start their new life, some may feel insecure, unsure, and possibly even frightened to begin the next chapter. Walk your pet around your home, giving him or her plenty of time to sniff and familiarize themselves with the surroundings and the people in it. Show him or her where food, water, and nap areas are located. If you’ve got a cat, let them know where the litter box is, and if you’ve adopted a dog, show them the doggy door or take them outside to sniff around your yard or communal potty area.
As your pet builds confidence, you can invite friends and family over to visit and practice proper behaviors.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE AND SET BEHAVIOR RULES
Just like humans, pets benefit from structure and need routines. This includes feeding times (and areas), bathroom breaks, walks, training, and playtime. They’ll experience less anxiety when they know what to expect… and you won’t have to shampoo your carpet as often.
When you bring a new pet into the home, you’ll also need to establish rules. Teach your pet appropriate behavior early on to prevent major issues in the future. This could include puppy classes, hiring a trainer, or training them on your own with lots of love, positive reinforcement, and yummy treats.
If you’ve got another pet in the home, introduce pets slowly, taking care to keep each encounter positive and safe.
PROVIDE LOVE, COMFORT, AND CARE
As a pet parent, your ultimate goal is to ensure that your fur baby is happy, healthy, and loved. Proper care, exercise, affection, and playtime, as well as setting a routine, will help your new pet adjust more quickly and feel like a part of the family in no time.