New Year, New Pet!
A pet is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The key to adding a new pet to your life the right way, is by being prepared — not just on the day you bring your new animal home, but for every day after. Below you’ll find what to consider before getting a new dog or cat, and how best to prepare for your new pet!
Is Your Family Ready for a New Pet?
Discuss how a new kitten or puppy will change your family’s life, and how it will affect children—even older children. A pet can change a lot of the family’s day-to-day arrangements, like schedules (walking, feeding, training), sleeping arrangements (who gets to keep the pet in their room), and pet safety precautions. And then you’ll need to make sure that family members can handle the responsibility of litter box duty, potty training and cleaning up pet messes.
Much like a human family member, animals have a lot of costs involved, including but not limited to food, vet visits, toys, collars, grooming supplies, etc.
Choose a Pet That’s Best Suited for Your Family
For many families, an older, calmer cat or dog that’s already trained may be more practical than a new kitten or new puppy that needs a lot of attention and training.
That is why you should also take some time to visit your local animal shelter. There are many dogs, cats, puppies and kittens looking for a forever home, so you’re sure to find the perfect pet for you and your family.
Prepare Your Home for Your New Pet
In order to properly introduce a new pet, you will need to prepare your home in the same way that you would prepare it for a newborn baby. Leave no dangling cords or curtain or blind pulls, no small toys on the floor, and no candies or other foods within easy reach.
There is a lot to do in preparation, and a lot you won’t think of until after the fact. Then there are all of the necessary pet supplies, including food, a crate, a leash, beds, a collar, etc.
Before bringing a dog or cat into a house with children, rules must be established and proper handling, petting, and personal space boundaries should be taught and practiced.
There have been plenty of injuries sustained due to well-meaning children overestimating their strength and ability to keep an animal stable in their arms.
Get Your Plans Lined Up Early
Having a vet picked out before getting your new furry family member, and actually meeting that vet and their team, may be very beneficial, especially if they are open to talking about what type of pet might be best for your family situation and what things to consider.
Similarly, if you’re getting a puppy, look into getting a trainer lined up for when they are ready for socialization classes. These trainers may be able to help you in the decision making process as well.
Adding a new pet to your life is a wonderful experience, and we hope that the resources we’ve shared will help make the process easier and less stressful for you and your family.
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About Shallowford Animal Hospital
Shallowford Animal Hospital and The Pet Spa at Shallowford are dedicated to the exceptional, compassionate care your pet deserves. Pets hold a very special place in our families, and we treat yours like our own.