Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to adopt a new fur ball into your family – we promise you won’t regret it. This week, we’ve gathered a list of important tips for making your new furry family member feel at home to ensure successful integration and a lifetime of love and joy.
We always recommend adjusting things to your own family’s needs and discussing special circumstances with your vet or other trained animal care expert.
When possible, gather necessary supplies before the pet enters your home. Make sure you have the basic necessary supplies including a leash, collar, food, and bowls to serve food and water. You don’t need to purchase high-end products, but we do suggest having the basics to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible. We also recommend purchasing a pet ID tag and getting them micro-chipped as soon as possible.
Schedule your time so you have time to set house rules and hang out with them for large amounts of time, at least for the first few days. The first few days are usually the most challenging as everyone is adjusting to a new family set-up and your fur ball is figuring out their new space. We recommend designing your schedule so you have large blocks of time to do things like show them where (and when) to potty, introduce them to their new feeding regimen, and tell them where they can and cannot go in the house. This extra time will also help them adjust to other furry family members that are already in the house.
If you have other pets in the house, make sure to introduce them slowly. Patience is key when you’re introducing dogs to dogs, dogs to cats, and even cats to cats. Set up barriers and allow them to adjust to smaller spaces and then gradually let them sniff noses through gates or through crate openings first, rather than trying to do everything at once. Trust us, patience in the beginning will increase the chances of lifelong fur ball friendships.
We recommend crate training for dogs; of course there are certain circumstances when this isn’t the best solution, but many dogs thrive when they have a special safe space they can call their own. This definitely helps with house training and preventing chewing with puppies, but if you rescued an older dog, check with a shelter staff member. Chances are high that the pup had a den-like space and would appreciate something similar at home. HINT: cats can benefit from confined spaces in the adjustment period too!
Don’t expect your new pet to be excited and over-the-top playful the first few days; even though you are probably very excited to have them, not all fur balls adjust the same. Some animals might have temporary appetite loss, lethargy, or accidents in the house as they take time to adjust. Be patient and give them time to settle in.
Schedule their first vet appointment to make sure they’re happy and healthy. In addition to getting a full physical examination for your pet, you can discuss things like diet, exercise, and micro-chipping at this first appointment too.
The Village Pets, Pet Sitting and Pet Care team are huge fans of pet adoption and rescuing! Let us know if you’re interested in discussing customized pet care services for a new fur ball and remember PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.