Tips for introducing a new pet to the family
Whether you’re getting your first pet or introducing a new pet to your existing pack, here are some helpful tips to help you get it right for the whole family.
- Do your research: Picking the right pet is key. Factors to consider are:
- How much time you can realistically spend with the pet
- How active your lifestyle is
- How much space is available for the pet
- The general make-up of your family
- The temperament, age and sex of any current pets
If you are unsure which type of pet, or which breed would work for you and your family, then we would recommend speaking with your chosen vet practice for some advice.
- Prepare your home: Puppies, kittens, rabbits and rodents can all be chewers! Before bringing a new pet to your home you should walk around all the areas they will be spending time in and look for potential hazards, including small objects that they could swallow or accessible foods that might poisonous. Creating a quiet spot like a crate or bedded area, for your pet to take some time out will make them feel safer and more at home.
- Ensure your garden is safe: Check how secure your fencing is and whether there are any holes or gaps that a pet could escape through.
- Set the ground rules from the beginning: It is very important to start as you mean to go on as bad habits are difficult to unteach! All members of the family must be aware of and on board with the rules as consistency is key.
- Stagger introductions: Socialisation is incredibly important for new pets; however, it is equally important not to overwhelm them. Therefore, introducing people individually or in pairs and giving the pet time to become familiar with them is advisable. The same works for introducing them to other pets.
- Introduce pheromones to your home: Plug in pheromone diffusers (which can be purchased for cats or dogs) send reassuring and calming messages to pets, providing them with a feeling of security. These can be helpful for new pets and for existing pets who are welcoming a new family member into the home and may also be anxious. For more information on pheromones please click here.
- Have lots of patience: Introducing a new pet to the family takes a lot of patience and perseverance. Certain pets and breeds may be harder to train or may take longer to bond with you. This can be particularly true if adopting an older pet. However, done right it is extremely rewarding and the pet will make a wonderful addition to your family.
If you need further advice on choosing a pet, feel free to contact your local practice.
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