Thursday, 31 May 2018

How to prepare your home for a new pet

Bringing home or rehoming a new pet can be one of the most exciting events a family can experience. It's a memorable day for you, your children and for the animal you are choosing to welcome into your home, who will be a significant part of your family life. The emotional impact is something that will be a memory forever. Whether you're welcoming a dog or cat, a gerbil or rabbit, a hamster or a fish, pet ownership is a great aspect of family life and also a perfect change for your children to establish a bond caring for another life and learning about responsibility. As a pet owner, you want your new addition to quickly feel at home, safe and comfortable. A lot of that is to do with how well you prepare before your new arrival comes home. You've done your research deciding which animal and breed suits your family and lifestyle, so there are just a few more steps to make everything go smoothly. 

Be Prepared - thinking ahead, introducing a pet into your family can take a lot more time and energy than you might expect. It might be wise to book some time off for a day or so after you collect your new pet, to make sure it is settled and there are no escapes or conflicts and you are there in case of an emergency! Think ahead about how best to meet the needs of your pet - even a goldfish requires thought about where to situate their tank - away from direct sunlight to discourage algae and out of reach of any other pets, like cats. Read up on the environment that will best suit your pet and ensure they have a quiet space to relax in as moving to a new home can be a huge transition for an animal.
Stock Up On Pet Supplies - make sure that you have all the food and supplies you need well in advance of your pet coming home. From spacious and clean habitats for smaller animals like gerbils, chinchillas or rats, with plenty of clean better and food and water dispensers to that perfect cosy bed for a dog or cat. Different breeds within an animal species can require quite different diets, so shop online to stock up on the correct food for your pet from iams dog & cat food to dried insects if you're adopting a snake! Knowing the correct nutrition is the key to keeping your pet happy and healthy. You may also need grooming tools available if your pet has long fur. And there are now calming feline room sprays and plug ins designed to help nervous cats and dogs settle better. And of course don't forget a few treats for your pet to keep them happy and help with any training you might need to do. If you have everything at hand you'll be much better prepared and can just concentrate on forming a bond with your new animal and helping them adapt to their new home environment.

Something that smells like them - when bringing home a new pet like a dog or cat, especially when it is young, maybe ask the previous owners if you can borrow a blanket or toy that has their scent on it. For puppies and kittens it can be so reassuring to have the scent of their mother close by. For gerbils and other small animals, ask if you can have a handful of their old bedding to sprinkle in to the fresh bedding in their new cage. In the photos here I have Thumper as a baby!
Some time to settle in - it might be a very frightening and scary experience, especially for a young animal, so leaving them a good few hours or days in their new environment may help them to adjust, as well as turning down the light and keeping the area stress free and nice and quiet and warm.

Take lots of photos! - when your pet has adjusted and is growing in confidence, exploring their surroundings, it is a perfect time to introduce yourself as their new owner aka 'the person that feeds them'! Take tons of photos, especially if your animal is young and has growing to do, it will help you to remember the day you brought them home to live with you and all the excitement you felt! 

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