Tips for when you add a new pet to the family

Congratulations! You’ve made the exciting choice to add to your family and adopt a pet. If this is your first pet ever, or your first after your previous companion passed away, prepare for putting in some hard work. It takes effort to integrate a cat or dog into the family. Luckily for you we have some useful advice.

Organise a vet
You’ll need this person for everything where your pet’s health is concerned. Our Pets at Rest service even comes to some of our partners to take care of the pet cremation process.

When your new cat or dog is a baby (less than a year old), veterinary visits will be frequent. They’ll need vaccinations and microchipping in case they get lost. The best age to take a puppy or kitten to the vet for the first time is before they’re 8 weeks old.

Prep the house
Young animals are curious and full of energy. These two combined will result in accidents to both them and the house if you don’t take precautions. Invest in security gates, puppy pads/litter, and a dog or cat house for them to sleep in.

It’s also a good idea to invest in some chew toys and scratch surfaces. This saves your favourite shoes and your walls from getting chewed out.

Warn the kids
Both your own and those who come to visit. Your new pet already feels overwhelmed by its new home, adding loud noises and excitement to the mix won’t help it settle in.

Animals have boundaries, just as humans do. One way the express this is through growling. Whether playfully or not, it’s a warning that any more pushing will result in a bite. Warn the children not to wake up the dog/cat if they’re sleeping, pull their tail, or snatch their toys away.

Organise training
This one requires a bit of Google-ing around; anyone can claim to be a dog trainer. Ask your friends as well. People are always willing to share why their pets are so well behaved. It’s important to get your dog enrolled before they’re a year and a half old. It’s easier for them to learn and form habits.

Obedience training is an excellent way to bond with your pet. You will both learn to communicate and the puppy will get used to other dogs in the same environment. They’ll also learn canine body language and acceptable behaviours. This helps them grow into a confident adult dog.

Schedule the important things
Once your pet gets into a routine, they’ll remember it well. 6am, play in the park time. 5pm, you come home. 6pm, dinner time. Don’t be surprised when your pet tries to get your attention the same time everyday for a walk.

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