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  • Writer's pictureColleen O'Brien, DVM, CVA

You got a new pet. Now what?


You just got a new furry friend (hopefully after reading my previous blog on how to choose a pet)! Now what?

Whether it's a playful pup, a curious kitten, or any other adorable companion, this is an exciting and rewarding time. However, before diving headfirst into the joys of pet parenthood, there are a few important steps to consider to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your new pet.

Here are six essential things to know before you get too carried away with the excitement:

  1. Take It Slow and Steady: Take some time to get to know your new pet in a calm manner. While it might seem like a good idea to do it on a holiday weekend, having family coming and going, big decorations, and lots of loud sounds can result in a very stressful introduction to a new home. Instead, opt for a calm and quiet environment where your pet can explore at their own pace, allowing them to feel safe and secure in their new home.

  2. Patience Is Key: Don't rush it. Every pet has its own personality, and some may take longer than others to come out of their shell. Your pet may be very shy for a while. Some pets take months to warm up, and that's ok. Once they learn to trust you, you'll have an even more special bond.

  3. Prioritize Veterinary Care: Schedule a vet check up as soon as possible after bringing your new pet home. Ideally your new pet had one prior to you getting them, but it's a good idea to get them established at your regular veterinary clinic for their ongoing healthcare needs.

  4. Invest in Training and Socialization: Start training and socialization (especially if young!). Talk to your vet about the best way to go about this for your specific pet, but always make sure it's in a positive environment. That means no shock or prong collars. 

  5. Prepare Financially for the Future: Start a savings account for your pet. As much as we wish our pets could stay healthy and happy forever, unexpected medical expenses can arise - and the unfortunate reality is that medicine costs money. By planning ahead and setting aside funds, you can ensure that your pet receives the best possible healthcare without financial strain.

  6. Pet-Proof Your Home: Before bringing your new pet home, it's essential to pet-proof your living space to ensure their safety and well-being. Dogs can jump up on things and reach food. Cats will find small holes to hide in if scared. If you think something might be a problem, it probably will be. 

By following these six steps, you'll be better equipped to provide a loving and safe environment for your new pet.



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