If you’ve ever gotten a new pet, you know exactly how exciting it can be to welcome a furry friend into your home, and it can be an adjustment for everyone in the family, including Fido or Kitty. Luckily, there are some steps to take before and after getting your pet to ease the transition.
1. Check Local and Neighborhood Pet Rules
The first step in your transition as a potential pet owner is to check any rules and regulations in your neighborhood. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, here are some items you should look for in leases, HOA rules, and any other governing body where you live.
- Pet/breed restrictions – It is common for rentals and homeowners’ associations to have pet policies in place for the community. Regulations might also include restrictions on the breed, weight, and number of animals in a home.
- Spaying/Neutering regulations – To prevent overpopulation and unwanted breeding, you may be required to spay or neuter your pet. This may sway you to adopt a pet that’s already fixed.
- Insurance policies – Whether it’s home or renters insurance, it’s smart to check if damage from your new pet is able to be filed as a claim. You might discuss with your insurance agent about protection options in case there are any accidents.
2. Pre-Adoption Steps
Now that you’re certain you’re allowed to welcome the pet into your home, here are some steps you can take to prepare your home ahead of time.
Prepare Your Home
The temperament of your new pet will be unknown until you bring it home with you. Thechance that it could be curious about its new surroundings is enough to consider making sure valuable items are secured. You want to keep Great Grandma Gabby’s 100-year old vase safe from accidentally being knocked over.
Instead of letting the pet roam the entire house, set up a room for it to get used to their new home. Place articles of your clothing in the pet’s kennel or room so they become used to your scent. Family members can become familiar with the new pet and any damage will be contained to a single area of the home.
Purchase Pet Necessities
Before picking up your pet on their adoption day, you can have some of the pet necessities already purchased. Here is a list of items to consider getting ahead of time:
- Leash and/or harness
- Travel carrier for the car
- Kennel or pet bed
- Food, dishes, and treats
- Cleaning products specific for pets
Before you clean up any accidents, it’s essential to know that some common household cleaners contain ammonia or bleach, which attract animals back to that area they marked. Research or ask a pet store associate about cleaning products that are free from these ingredients.
Discuss Responsibilities and Rules
Just like human children, fur children work best when there is consistency in their environment. Have a meeting with the entire family to discuss everyone’s responsibilities regarding the new pet. You can also set expectations for your new pet’s schedule and pet-related chores. Some question you should consider are:
- What time will and how often will our new pet be fed?
- Who is responsible for feeding the pet?
- Where will the pet sleep at night?
- Who is responsible for cleaning up after the animal?
- If you’re adopting a dog, who will and how often will it be walked?
- What areas of the home, if any, is the dog allowed in?
- If you’re adopting a cat, is it going to be allowed outdoors?
3. Pet Training
Your new pet is finally home! Everyone is excited! You should consider investing in a trainer to guide you and your family on strategies that encourage good behavior from your new pet. It’s absolutely true that new pet owners need just as much training as a new pet.
During the training period, make a schedule with time specifically for using the strategies you learn from the trainer. Be sure to include your children in this process, so they are aware of how certain situations should be handled for the best results. It’s a team effort!