Introductions are downright unpredictable. As we are all different, there could be clashes of identities that can be a problem to building a harmonious relationship. The same goes for our pets. Animals may look simple-minded, but their social system is actually even more complicated than humans. Bringing in a new pet among the mix could be challenging, especially if you have not prepared both parties and you yourself.
Now, whether you are introducing a month-old puppy or a grown rescue horse, see to it that every little thing is set and that you are ready in case the unexpected comes. This is to ensure a smooth homecoming for your brand-new family member!
Getting a New Pet
We can never get enough of animals. Dogs, cats, horses, turtles, hedgehogs, lizards, and even fish – you name it, we all had one at some point in our lives and a lot of us are presently caring for one.
And most often, to fill the holes our dearly departed pets, we turn to a new companion to love. A beautiful thought as though we know that their lives will not be as long as ours, we still choose to open the door into our homes, to treat them as family, and to spoil them until the end. While that is good, you should understand that getting a new pet is not an easy feat and shouldn’t be treated as such. Things are about to change and there could be discomfort, but it’s all for the better!
Accomplish Preliminary Measures
Now, before you swing by a pet store or the local pound to pick up a new pet, you need to take certain actions to guarantee that you are giving them the best care there is. You might have done it before but know that not every pet arrival will be the same, so expect the unexpected.
If you have your sight for a furry or scaly friend to bring home, the first thing to learn is their history – where they’ve come from or if they are ill. Proper documentation, whether adopting or buying, is vital to ensure that your pet is not a product of illegal trades. Once all is accomplished in the pet store or the pound, how well-equipped your home is what comes next.
Prepare Your Old-Timers
Most domesticated animals like dogs and cats can be territorial, and this is one of the major problems you have to think about before getting a new one.
The best option to prepare your old pets is to build a space between them and the new one. Prior to the day of your new pet’s arrival, you can create a gated barrier made out of wood or any objects in your house. Or just have the new pet on an area unreachable by your other animals.
Your old pets should also have some idea that a new pet is in their midst. You cannot hide the new pet from them and suddenly expose it without warning. This could create more problems regarding territories and their trust in you.
Because of the novelty a new pet brings, we tend to forget our old-timers. Ignoring your old pets will not do any one good as they might harbor some form of jealousy and create competition against the unsuspecting newbie. Focusing too much on the new arrival could mean neglect, and this is a risk to your old pets’ well being and your own pet parenting habits.
Introduce New Pet Gradually
After a while, if the time seems right, introduce your new pets to the old ones. If it’s a puppy, you could have the old dog watch or sniff on it. Just ensure that you have the puppy firmly in your hands. If there are signs of aggression from the old dog, it’s better to keep them away from each other for a little while. This could apply to every other species that you desire to domesticate.
You can also try introducing them to a stress-free environment for better bond development such as a park, a garden, or a social animal gathering. As much as possible, make introductions natural.
Thankfully, most pets could easily take in new arrivals, but you still need to be vigilant and take things slow in case the worst scenario comes.
Ready What Your Pet Needs
If you are bringing in a kitten or a puppy, make certain that beddings, food, toys, litter boxes, etc. are prepared. Pet reptiles such as chameleons and turtles have needs beyond what cats and dogs require, such as an organic diet or a water-filled aquarium so also stock up on that! Large animals like a horse will also demand rigorous care. It is better than you consult with animal experts to know if you are equipped for such an undertaking.
Make an Easily-Adaptable Environment
It will be easier for your pet to absorb the new environment they are in if they are comfortable. With this, ensure that all things are right in place prior to their introduction to your family.
Once at home, allow it access to particular areas only then gradually expand their reach as they grow and as other pets have gotten used to its presence. A baby animal-proofed home can also be beneficial to avoid unwanted accidents during their roaming around.
Having a little checklist of the tangible things that you’ll need is handy, and aside from the pet equipment, you also need to determine the kind of routine you would want your pet to have.
Make sure to teach them young so they will know (mostly applies for cats and dogs):
- When and where to potty
- The time of meals and treats
- Their boundaries
- Who’s in charge
- How much they are loved
A healthy routine will render good habits!
Taking in a new pet is an exciting time, but we could be too caught up in the moment to even ready ourselves. Knowing that you are in a suitable state physically and emotionally for a new animal is important to your pet’s adaptation. Appropriate research is also essential to broaden your mind of the further things that you and your pet will need. There are informative pet blogs on the Internet that should help you get started.
If you are picking up a new pet to distract you from your recently departed pet, then maybe it’s better to soak up and learn to live with the grief first as the memories of your old pet could overshadow your ability to see the needs of your new pet.
A New Pet is a Responsibility!
If you cannot devote the time, resources, and your whole being to it then maybe it’s better to lay off for a little while. Don’t worry! You will know when the time is right!
Arrange the Trip Home
When all things are in place, then it’s time to bring your new pet to your lovely abode! It is always preferable to do the transfer by day as most pets are active at this time, and because people and the overall mood are in a better disposition.
Make it a family event! Delegate tasks to each member of the family. Older children could help bring in the new pet or control the other animals inside the house while younger children could sort the supplies or organize a little welcome party to the new pet. Just make it low-key as not to stress out older animals in your house. Even very small changes in the house can be easily perceived by other animals, especially cats, which could cause them anxiety.
The safety and comfort during your new pet’s transfer are also of utmost importance. If it’s a small mammal, have them inside a spacious crate or cage with lots of openings for air and warmth. If it’s a fish or other aquatic animals, keep them in a secured bowl. You can hold them while placed on your lap, or you can fasten them with a seatbelt. Don’t even think about locking them up in a car compartment!
Know that it’s Just the Beginning
It’s not the time to relax.
Settling your new pet at home is not the end of it. It actually is just one of the many phases of the entire affair – sleepless nights and frequent visits to the veterinarian of your choice should be a guarantee. Since it’s a new environment, it could take a lot of adjustment not only for the animal but also for you. It gets better though, so brace yourself and have fun!
Having a new pet is just like having a new baby, and just like having a human bundle of joy, it is essential that we take things with caution! Make sure everything is all set right from your home to yourself as to provide an incredible welcome to your new pet and make your old ones feel more at home than ever before.
Got any personal stories about a new pet arrival? What were your expectations? Were you able to encounter them? Disastrous or pleasant, we would like to hear it!
About the Author:
Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.