Bringing home a pet equals to getting home oodles of joy! The joy that’s going to take shape of an added family member, sharing your space, doing things with you and so much more. But the unfamiliarity of space is one of the many things that frighten animals, leaving you with the responsibility of setting up a comfortable space for your pet to get used to. In fact, there’s so much more a first-time pet parent needs to be conscious of while bringing in a pet apart from physical space. Addressing those concerns, here’s what you need to know about welcoming home your first furry or feathered family member!
A decision hard to make, harder to regret!
What Do I Need To Do Before My Pet Is Home?
Before you start toying with the thought of getting home a pet, one of the most important things to ensure is to have all your family members on board. The vote of every family member living in your home determines the decision to get a pet. A pet calls for the same responsibility as that of a baby --in fact, it’s a lifetime commitment of care, unlike children who grow up and do so for themselves.
Once everyone is on the same page of bringing home a pet, the next call for action should be to address the kind of pet you’d like to bring home! Taking into account time, money and space can help you assess whether you want to get home a dog, cat, bird, etc. While cats and birds are fairly independent, a dog requires a lot of attention. Space available can further determine how big or small a dog you can consider.
Pets, regardless of their shape, size, colour are a pool of cuteness, joy, loyalty and above all -- unconditional love! Adoption can be a great choice should you want to help give a faultless animal a second chance at life. Ultimately it comes down to being confident enough to bear his responsibility; not to mention you will be restoring love, faith and hope to a less fortunate life.
Innocent lives deserve a second chance!
Building up with all the basics that your new family member is going to need will ensure no last minute rush. Also, having handy essentials like toys can be a good way to break the ice of unfamiliarity. Other necessities include a litter tray (for cats), a spare leash, pet First-Aid kit, harness, food and water bowls, shampoo and a bed for all those prospective snuggles!
Before your pet starts foraging around the house by himself, do so yourself. Determine spaces and objects that will require getting puppy-proofed. Puppy proofing essentially is the removal or prevention of access to potential indoor household hazards a puppy may be subject to. Don’t forget that a little puppy could actually prove to be a chew monster you never imagined! The initial days may also require you to get some spaces covered with plastic, just in case toilet training is still underway. In fact, whether you are bringing home a puppy or a senior dog, pet-proofing is a must!
Find a Vet and a Behaviourist
Get in touch with a vet of your choice and schedule an appointment to introduce your pet to his new doctor (and vice versa!). The need for vaccination or deworming too can be then determined. Some vets also register and microchip pets, should you want to consider that. Issues like getting familiar with a new environment can be behavioural which will be best addressed by a qualified behaviourist.
Plan How You Will Be Getting Her Home
Finally, before you step out to actually get your pet home, do some good planning. You must be extra cautious should she be a puppy. Just like human babies, puppies lack the muscle and bone development as well as strength to hold themselves well; not to mention car rides can actually be pretty stressful for most pets. Should you be getting home a cat, you must carry a cat carrier with you. Having someone to hold your pet while you drive can be the ideal way to bring home Her Cuteness! Remaining calm and composed is equally necessary as a stressed animal may take a while to get into the vehicle.
What Should I Do After My Pet Is Home?
It’s only natural to be excited about bringing home your first-ever pet, but the excitement may be limited only to you. New faces, spaces and smells may take time for him to get used to, causing quite some stress. If you have family members or friends with a high temperament or uncontainable excitement, it is best to politely make them understand the importance of remaining calm. Letting the pet explore the space by himself under your discretion can be a good way for him to get familiar with his new surroundings. Showing him where his food and water bowls are; his litter tray, if he is a cat, can happen after he has explored the house at its own pace.
While you let this happen, you must also understand that some pets will settle down immediately and some will pace about, some will hide, some will run around and some may even try to escape! This is all normal and humans as the new pet parents need to be calm and keep reassuring the animal.
Happiness is great company!
It may take some time for your pet to get used to his pooing and peeing areas. Vets say that a puppy can hold his poo and pee for as long as one hour for every month of his age. So if your puppy is two months old, you should ensure that he pees or poos every two hours. The process does require dedication of and discipline on your part, but is extremely rewarding in the long run!
Starting to inculcate basic training from the first day itself can be easy, more so if your pet is a puppy or kitten. The younger ones possess a good amount of curiosity and capability, whilst adults or senior dogs greatly reduce your required effort when it comes to training. Whether puppy or adult, however, basic training pertaining to the pet’s new environment must be started to help set the pattern for all future rules and acceptable behaviour. You can start with food and praise training that can be very practical in teaching commands or practising the commands the animal already knows. Positive reinforcement is the way to go!
Walking, eating at a certain time, pooing at a certain time, and play time can eventually start getting incorporated as a routine. As you get familiar with your pet’s likings, you may slowly start exploring activities that she may enjoy, which can then be incorporated into a daily or weekly routine. For example, some dogs like to swim, some like to hike, play frisbee and even just socialise with their buddies making these great activities to include in her routine.
Whether you prefer to go the old-school way of having your pet don a name tag or go all-out with technology by getting a microchip, some form of identification is absolutely vital. Your pet’s name, your phone number and address are great to add on their tags. However, if you like taking your pet out often then a tag saying “I am microchipped”, “I am lost”, “Help me find my way back” can be extremely helpful in case an unanticipated misadventure occurs. If you are planning on bringing home a cat, the Feline Club of India aids for registration and microchipping; for dogs, The Kennel Club of India can be consulted for the same.
And finally: delegating responsibility! Once both parties -- the pet and your family -- get used to each other, you should consider delegating work as per the bondings. For example, if someone from the family loves a walk, the furry addition to your family can be walked by them. You could ask one family member to groom him, another to feed him, etc. Above all, bear in mind that bringing home a pet is a work of responsibility and must be thoroughly fulfilled!
Just go for it!
Being a pet parent can be extremely satisfying and rewarding. Many individuals also believe that adopting their pet is the best decision they’ve ever made. Having gone through the above tips, rest assured that you are all set to embark on one paws-perous journey! Ready to make your best decision yet? Click here to find your new best friend!