Whether you already have pets or not, it’s a huge commitment to bring a new pet into the household. Fun as it might be, it is going to be more work for you, so make sure that your family’s up to it if you don’t want the standards in your house to slip. Different animals have different requirements, so it’s worth researching what kind of animal would be the best fit with the space you have and the amount of free time your family has. It’s also essential that you aren’t treating your new animal cruelly or unfairly by not looking after it correctly, so read these tips for bringing a new pet into your household. Pets don’t make good surprise presents – that’s how they end up being forgotten about – so make sure you’re 100% prepared and excited to meet your new family member before you finalize your decision.
The First Trip to the Vets
One of the very first things you should be doing, once you’ve introduced your new pet to the family, is making that first trip to the vets, and there are a number of reasons for going. Firstly, your animal will need to be vaccinated with all the relevant inoculations, and you’ll be informed of how regularly you’ll need to come back, either for further treatments or for checkups. The vet will also check your animal for existing health problems. This is another reason why it should be one of the very first things you should do – because you want to know exactly how to care for your animal as early on as possible, especially if they have something that requires treatment. If they have a minor disorder like asthma then it won’t be such a big deal, as they will just need regular tablets. However, visiting the vet is also useful to get more general advice about pet care, and to get answers to all the questions you have – even if they feel a bit silly to ask. It’s better to feel sure that you know what you’re doing.
A Pet-friendly Household
This mainly applies to kittens and puppies, but before you take these excitable animals into your home then you should prepare for the fact that they’ll have new teeth and claws that they need to learn to handle. They’ll also want to practice hunting and playing – in short, they’re going to be difficult for you to manage, and they’re going to want to chew up a lot of your possessions. It isn’t just a case of them causing damage to your things, however, as your home could be just as dangerous to them. Make sure you pack away anything that could either hurt them or that could be swallowed. You’ll also have to decide where their food bowls will be, where their toys will be kept and, if it’s a cat, where the litter box will be located.
Reduce the Chance of Pests
One of the biggest risks to introducing a new pet into your household is that of pests. Before your pet comes into your house, make sure you check it for pests like fleas, worms and ticks – particularly fleas, which will be most likely to infest your home. You should be able to see ticks or fleas, or their fecal matter on your animal, so a visual check should be enough, but check with your vet on the first visit if you want to be doubly sure. It might be that you’re reading this too late, and you can see fleas from your new pet jumping around everywhere. If this is the case then don’t hesitate to act. Bag up all fabrics on display, treat the animal, and get a team of local professionals like Go-Forth Pest Control of Greensboro to remove the infestation from your home. If you have these or any other critters like rodents, termites and bedbugs you need to get them treated too, besides, they won’t be good for your new pet to be exposed to either.
A Toilet Training Strategy
It’s a priority for your animal to learn how to use whatever means are in place for them to go to the toilet as soon as possible. Different animals will need different kinds of training. For dogs, you should take them outside every time they make a mistake inside the house, and you can supplement this with some basic conditioning – have a call like ‘Be quick!’ which you can call every time they go. This means that you can tell them what to do when you’ve taken them to the right place for them to do it. For cats, you need to put them in their litterbox every time they make a mistake. You should also put them in their litterbox after every time you change it so that they know where it is and that it’s clean. These are habits that will stay with your pet forever, so help them get it right as soon as they can. For other caged animals, the important thing is that you remember to change their cages regularly, or make sure that your children are doing it if the pet is kept in their room. Don’t forget to check they’re doing it regularly, because you don’t want to find out that they’ve forgotten for a few weeks by discovering a sick animal.
Guard against Your Animal’s Stress
Your pet will do most damage to your home, and be most unhealthy, when it’s dealing with stress, which can be severe in animals. If your animal calls out at night then you shouldn’t be too harsh with your conditioning – make sure you give it some comfort. There are other signs of stress too; excessive grooming, repetitive movements and noises, over- or under-eating and some forms of misbehavior. It might be that your pet is struggling to find its place in the hierarchy of your existing animals, or it might be because one of the family members is neglecting their job and the animal isn’t being walked or isn’t being cared for correctly in some other way. If there is anything that doesn’t seem to be going right then get help for your animal as soon as you can, either by making an appointment with the vet or doing your own research into what the problem is.