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Preparing Your Pozzie for Your New Pet

Approx. 4 minutes read

All the excitement of adopting a new pet has come down to the moment of truth: bringing your new pet home for the first time. There are practical and social considerations to take care of, so let’s look at what’s involved in introducing your new pet to your home and family (furry and otherwise).

Do you have the pet supplies ready?

Your new pet (whether a puppy, kitten, or adult dog or cat) will need their own bed, blankets, toys, treats, food bowls, collar and leash, grooming tools, cat litter box, and jersey/s for winter. And it goes without saying that you should be prepared with enough dog food or cat food, though speak to your vet first about your new pet’s dietary requirements and giving them the best nutrition for their needs.

While it’s super fun buying a bunch of brand-new goodies for your new furry family member, try not to overwhelm them with everything at once. Introduce them to their bed and ‘comfort zone’ first and only break out the new toys and play when you’re sure they’re comfortable and relaxed and are ready for a new routine.

Be patient as you instil a new routine

Try to put yourself in your new pet’s… paws. They’ve endured being uprooted from their life, the anxiety of being in a shelter, and now your house is brand-new to them. They will need time to adjust and get comfortable. Puppies and kittens might transition more easily, but don’t underestimate the value of your patience and instilling a reliable routine to build their trust and confidence.

Your pets’ routine includes sleep, feeding, play, training and exercise time, and also down-time. Try to keep these times as consistent as possible so that your pooch or feline friend can get used to the certainty of their daily activities. This makes it easier to adjust after such an uncertain time in their lives.

On that note, it may take a couple weeks or even a month or two for your new pet to fully adjust and accept their new home. Don’t take it personally if they don’t relax straight away – you don’t know what’s going on inside their boopy little head, so be patient, calm, kind and understanding of your new pet’s needs. When their personality blossoms and they become a playful and engaged part of the family, it will be the best reward in the world!

Making doggy introductions to existing pets

As part of the adoption process, you should have taken your existing furry friends to meet their potential new pack-mate. Obviously that meeting went well, which is why you’re bringing your new dog or puppy home. Keep in mind, however, that the initial meet-and-greet was on neutral ground, whereas now you’ll be bringing your new pooch home onto your existing pets’ territory.

This requires a calm hand and understanding that your pets – old and new – will need to figure out how to adapt. Whatever you do, keep treating your existing pets as dominant and reinforce your love for them. For a detailed step-by-step, read our article on the introduction process.

Making your new kitty comfortable

Bringing a cat or kitten home requires a slightly different tack. Your new meow will need a safe room to give her time to adjust. Many cat owners use a bathroom as the safe room, as it’s easy to close off and easy to clean up in if necessary. The safe room should contain everything your cat needs: food and water bowls, kitty litter tray, toys, scratching post, and a bed or box. Visit the room frequently, but for short intervals and spend a little time getting to know your new cat. DO NOT introduce your new kitty to your other pets straight away – this process takes a few days to a week to orchestrate.

Ask for help from your vet or an experienced cat handler if you are unsure of how to proceed.

Your new pet’s first vet visit

As soon as your new pet is comfortable, or perhaps they need their steri stitches out, it’s time to schedule their first visit at your veterinarian’s office. Remember to take your new pet’s adoption contract and vet card with you so that your vet can get as much information as possible during the first visit. Prepare any questions you may have before the time; for instance, if you need feeding advice or if you have any health or behavioural concerns you want to raise with your vet.

Thank you for opening your heart and home to a shelter animal. Not only have you saved a life and become an awesome pet hero, but you’ve made way for the next animal who needs sheltering. We salute you!

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