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Adopting Your First Pet? Make Sure You and Your Home are Ready!

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Preparing to Bring Home a New Pet!

Preparing to bring home a new pet is exciting. As you countdown the days until you can bring your pet home, get prepared. Your home should be safe and comfortable, and your family should have a game plan for caring for your pet. Planning ahead will ensure your pet adjusts faster and easier and sets up a more enjoyable experience for both you and your new companion.

bringing home your petPet-Proofing Your Home

Before you bring your pet home, ensure that your pet will be safe. Any household chemicals – such as cleaning products, antifreeze, or insecticides – should be out of reach and locked away. Even a small amount could be fatal. Some plants can be poisonous to animals too, so remove these from your home. Consider adding locks to cabinets and placing gates in entryways and stairs.

Electrical cords can be a potential issue, especially for curious puppies and kittens or nervous pets that like to chew and gnaw. Playful pets may catch the cord, causing the appliance or lamp to fall. Secure cords to keep them out of the way. Remember that cats can reach cords to blinds.

Preparing to Bring Your Pet Home

A few days before you anticipate bringing your pet home, make a trip to get all of the essential supplies, including food, bowls, collar, leash, bed, supplies for cage cleaning and baths, and toys. Also, go ahead and set up anappointment with a veterinarian for a checkup.

Prepare your family for life with a pet. Establish and discuss the rules, such as who will be responsible for feeding, exercising, cleaning, grooming, and other tasks. Teach children about foods that areunsafe for pets, even if the foods are healthy for humans. For example, walnuts and avocados can be poisonous to some pets.

When picking up your pet, ensure you’re prepared for how to transport him or her to your home. Transporting your pet in a secure kennel or carrier is a good idea, at least until you know how your pet handles car rides. For smaller pets – like hamsters, birds, or reptiles – it’s best to bring someone with you so that one person can hold the box containing the pet and the other person can drive.

Helping Your Pet Adjust to Your Home
 
Ensuring your new pet is comfortable will help him or her adjust to your home. When adopting a new pet from a shelter or foster home, inquire about keeping a favorite toy, blanket, or bed so that your pet has something familiar. If not, purchase a special bed, blanket, or toy.

Even pets need a space of their own to retreat when they feel overwhelmed. Cats and dogs can have a crate or bed in a quiet area of the home, and smaller animals in cages can be in a room where a door can be shut and the lights dimmed. This is especially helpful for rescue pets, who tend to be more nervous or fearful as they warm up to their new environment.

Bonding with Your Pet
 
Bonding with your new pet is an important part of him or her adjusting to your home. Set aside special times to focus completely on that moment and engage with your pet. Some pets enjoy fun games while others just want a snuggle session. Even grooming can be a bonding experience.
 
You may need to hire a dog walker if you have a particularly demanding job or are away at the office for long spans of time during the day. This is especially true in the first few weeks of being in the home, when your pet needs extra attention. You want to ensure your new pet is well looked after and doesn't feel abandoned or forgotten.

An important part of being a pet owner is helping your pet adjust to his or her new surroundings. Consider safety concerns, provide a place to retreat, and make an effort to bond. There’s no set time for the adjustment period; every pet is different. Being patient and doing your best to make the transition easier will benefit both you and your new pet.


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Arizona: Havasu, Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson California: Huntington Beach, Indian Wells, Mammoth, Napa Valley, Newport Beach, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Venice Beach Colorado: Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Vail Florida: Miami Beach, Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach, St. Augustine Georgia: Savannah , Sea Island Hawaii: Waikiki Idaho: Sun Valley Louisiana: New Orleans Massachusetts: Berkshires, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Salem Michigan: Mackinac Nevada: Las Vegas New Mexico: Santa Fe, Taos New York: Niagara Falls, Hamptons, New York, North Carolina: Outer Banks, Raleigh-Durham Pennsylvania: Poconos South Carolina: Myrtle Beach Tennessee: Nashville Texas: Austin, San Antonio, South Padre Island Utah: Deer Valley Virginia: Virginia Beach , Williamsburg Washington: Seattle Wisconsin: Door County

Canada: Banff, Montreal, Vancouver, Whistler--


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