BRINGING YOUR NEW FUR BABY HOME
So, you’ve fallen in love and now you’re bringing your new fur baby home. Maybe it was planned or maybe it was a spur of the moment adoption. Whatever the case is, here are some tips on how to make this new transition as smooth as possible.
1. Make sure you have all the basic pet supplies that you need.
a. For dogs:
Kennel and bed – Crate training is commonly recommended. A crate/kennel is to be treated as your dog’s own private space, and not as a place of punishment. If you plan on crate training, it is recommended to get a kennel that you can section off and gradually make bigger as your puppy grows.
Food and water bowls – Stainless steel bowls are recommended as they don’t harbor as much bacteria as plastic or ceramic bowls. They are also durable and easy to clean.
Dog food – This requires a whole other post to really delve into details. The important thing is to make sure it is a food that is formulated for your dog’s current life stage (puppy, adult, senior). The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) website (https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/) has a lot of helpful information. It is recommended to feed a diet that is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles. It is even better if the label indicates that AAFCO procedures are used for animal feeding tests.
Collar or harness and leash – Choosing the right collar or harness for your dog is important for their safety. Too many dogs get loose from the collar and escape from their pet parents. It is important to make sure the collar or harness is appropriately sized for your dog. Make sure to periodically check the fitting of the collar or harness as your dog’s size may change. For leashes, we recommend one that is between 4-6 feet in length. We do not recommend retractable leashes, as those can cause injury.
A few toys – Everyone’s favorite part is picking out toys for their new fur baby. It is important to not start out with too many toys at once, as that can overwhelm your dog. Make sure that the toys are durable, and do not leave your new dog unattended with toys until you know how they interact with them.
b. For cats:
Carrier and bed – The best and safest way to transport a cat is in a carrier. Some cats can be leash trained, but the transition period of going to a new home can be very scary for a cat. They feel more comfortable in an enclosed space – safe from potential dangers. Once home, the carrier should be treated as a safe space for the cat. If you set up that impression early, then you might not have such a difficult time getting your cat into the carrier in the future for travel.
Food and water bowls – Again, stainless steel bowls are recommended. However, you could also consider purchasing a water fountain for your cat. Cats tend to not drink as much water as they should, which can lead to health problems in the future. Water fountains help promote more water intake as cats prefer to drink from running water (think of those viral videos of cats drinking from the faucet). Water fountains also have filters to help filter out any potential toxins in the water.
Cat food – The above notes about dog food can also be said about cat food. You could consider feeding some canned food to help increase moisture consumption. If you choose to feed solely canned food, remember that most canned foods are less calorically dense than dry food, so you will have to feed a larger volume than you might think.
Cat litter and litter box – There are multiple options for litter boxes and litter. It can be difficult to know what is going to work best for your cat until you get them home and have them try out one of the litter boxes. The most common litter box is a covered box with an opening on the front, and it tends to work for most cats. However, some cats prefer an open top. Cats with mobility problems may prefer a litter box that has a low lip, so they don’t have to step up to get into the box. As a pet parent, you may also have your own preference to help with smell and cleanliness. A robot litter box is a splurge, but it can be a great option for someone who really doesn’t enjoy scooping the poop. Clay clumping litter is the most common, but there are many other options available. Again, you will have to see what works best for you and your cat.
A few toys – Again, too many toys at once can be overwhelming. It is also important to make sure the toy is cat friendly, and make sure to monitor your cat closely while they are playing with their new toys. Many cat toys have strings or feathers that can be very fun, but they can also quickly turn into an obstruction if ingested.
2. Transporting your pet
Dogs should ideally be transported in a kennel in the car if possible. If that is not possible, then the dog should be kept in the back seat, preferably attached to the seat belt if possible. A new dog that is freely roaming around the car can be a hazard/distraction to the driver. In an accident, dogs in the front seat can be flung from the car or hit by the airbags.
Cats should remain in their carrier in the back seat, preferably attached to the seat belt if possible. Safety first!
3. You’re finally home with your new fur baby!
It is important to not overwhelm your new pet when you first arrive home. They should be placed in a part of your home that is safe and away from other pets. It can be a very stressful time for everyone, and your new pet needs a place where they can feel safe while they get acclimated to their new home.
Show them where their bed, food and water, and bathroom spot is located.
Set up a routine. Pets need consistency in training and in their day-to-day routine. Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. Avoid introducing your new fur baby to too many people for the first couple weeks.
If you have other pets in the house, keep your new pet separate from them for the first couple of weeks. Then, slowly introduce your new pet to your other pets – this introduction can take a while, and that’s okay.
Once your new fur baby has finally gotten acclimated to their new home, you can slowly introduce them to other parts of the house. Remember, this whole process can take some time. Do not rush – let your new pet set the pace. This transition period will set up your relationship with your new fur baby for the rest of their life.
We hope you found this information helpful. Please check back for more articles with more information. Our goal is to provide knowledge that will improve your and your pet’s quality of life and forever relationship.