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Bringing Your Pet Home

Mar 16, 2021 | Adoption Resources

Patience and preparation are vital to successfully acclimating your new pet to your home. The entire process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months for you and your new pet to adjust to one another.

Prepare your home

  • Gather Supplies
    • Thinking about the things your new pet will need in prior to bring them home. Purchase the appropriate equipment—leash, collar, food and water bowls, a bed, a crate perhaps, and a few toys.
    • You’ll need to decide if you’ll keep the dog on that same food or switch her over to one of your choosing. If so, make the change slowly, over a week or more, gradually adding more of the new food and reducing the old. The slow switchover will help prevent diarrhea, which often occurs when a dog switches food too quickly.
  • Make a Plan with Members of Your Household
    • Create a pet-care regimen with the members of your household. Discuss schedule- when and who will walk the dog in the morning? When will you feed your pet and who will feed them?
    • Establish house rules. Will they be allowed on the couch, beds or other furniture?  Are there rooms in your home that are off-limits?

Once Your Pet Arrives

  • Anticipate and prepare for an adjustment period
    • If it’s a puppy or a kitten you’re bringing home, be prepared for crying during the night as they adjust to their now home. Rather than bring them into your bed to soothe them, instead set-up a quiet and comfortable enclosed space for them.
  • Establish Your Pet with Your Veterinarian
    • Schedule a visit to your veterinarian within a week or so to ensure good health.
  • Use Training & Discipline to Create a Happy Home
    • Consider enrolling your dog in a basic obedience class to start things off on the right foot.

Long-term with your Pet

  • Plan Exercise and Active Time for Your Pet
    • Depending on the species & breed of your new pet and their energy level, be sure to plan plenty of exercise for your pet. Take your dog on walks or jogs with you, or play fetch or Frisbee.  Be sure plan playtime sessions with your cat. Ideally, play sessions should occur twice a day and should last around 15-20 minutes each.
  • Be Patient
    • Remember to temper your expectations. Life with you and the members of your family is a different experience for your new pet, so be sure to give them time to adjust. You’ll soon find out that you’ve made a friend for life.

Related Resources

bottle-feeding-kittens

Keeping kittens warm, bottle feeding, assisting with grooming, and stimulating urination and defecation are all essential skills for any kitten rescuer. Learn the basics with this step-by-step tutorial.

petsmart adoption program

WCAS has partnered with six PetSmart locations to help cats and kittens find their new homes.