So, you’ve chosen a reputable rescue group or visited a shelter, or maybe you decided to go with a breeder – but you’re finally adopting a new member into your family. You might think all you need are a couple of food and water bowls, a litter box if you’re getting a cat, and you’re good to go! Well, you’re in for a rude awakening if this is the case. Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Since we were children begging for our first pets, we’ve heard that it bears a lot of truth, like many cliche phrases.
There are many things that you’re going to want to already have in place when you walk in the door with your new fur baby. The truth is, it’s not just an acclimation for you and the rest of your household’s members; it is for the animal. Tensions and nerves may run high for the first several hours or even days – so you want to be armed with all the creature comforts and necessities for your new pet. Let’s dive into what those are!
Quality Food & Treats Are A Must
You don’t feel good when all you’re consuming is junk food and candy, right? Well, unfortunately, a lot of the cheaper foods and treats for cats, dogs, and any other animal are essentially that. You want to make sure you’re buying your pets nutritious foods, snacks, and treats. You can even commit to making their food if you’re going to know precisely what they’re consuming every day. Thankfully, there are many reputable, nutritionally dense options on the market today. So, do the research on the breed you’re bringing home, or consult with a veterinarian about the best diet for said animal or breed.
Stock your pantry with all the food that will nourish them. Just like humans, our pets are what they eat. So, you’re making sure they’re set up for success and longer life if you’re giving them the best possible nutrition. Additionally, you can add treats like probiotic chews for dogs, CBD for anxious animals, Omegas for health, the list goes on.
Vet Your Veterinarian
Just like you wouldn’t go to a doctor you didn’t feel comfortable with and trust, you don’t want to bring your new pet to a veterinarian you don’t feel the same way about. So, please consider interviewing or vetting potential doctors for your new family member. Some vets specialize in cat care, certain breeds, etc. If you’re adopting a pug or bulldog, for example, who is prone to respiratory issues, you want a veterinarian that is well versed in taking care of such breeds. You also should have a check-up, wellness visit scheduled within the first couple of days that you bring your new baby home.
Safe Spaces Can’t Be Overstated
If you’re adopting a dog or cat, you want to make sure that you have areas of your home dedicated to them feeling safe. For a dog, crates are important places of refuge that they should be able to count on to go and relax in. If you have young children in your home, for example, you want the dog to know he can “take five” in a safe space from the shrieks and grabbing from a toddler.
With cats, you want to make sure there are high areas they can reach to feel safe when they need to. If you already own a cat, you need multiple safe spaces they can escape to as they get used to one another. It would be best if you talked to your vet or animal behavior specialist about introducing new animals to each other. You never want just to let her rip, so to speak – you’re asking for anxiety (at the minimum) and aggression in the worst-case scenarios. Also, if you have multiple cats, remember they each need their litter box; litter boxes should not be located in the same area where the cat eats.
Bringing home a new animal is an exciting time, and it’s expected you’ll be eager to get them home and in the fold. But, it will pay off if you prepare your home and everyone in it before bringing the new animal home. Everyone will be happier and more comfortable that way. Remember, luck favors the prepared! And, congratulations!