Bringing a New Friend into Your Home

Pet Proofing Your Home

The first step is making your house is safe for your new Friend. Make sure your new Friend can't get into any toxic materials like antifreeze, household cleaners or rat poison. You'll also need to watch out for heavy objects that are high up or unstable, like an iron perched on top of an ironing board. It's important to remember that pets like to chew in things (especially young pets), and they can do a lot of damage to electrical cords, furniture and woodwork.

Settling In

Whether it's a baby or an adult, your new Friend is going to need a little time to adjust to new surroundings. Ease him into his new surroundings as gently as possible. Take him to a part of your house that will be his retreat, and give him a little time there alone.

Show a dog to his crate, for example, but don't force him into it or lock the door. You should put a cat in an empty, quiet room. This alone time will give your pet a chance to explore the new surroundings and learn that they're safe. Look in on your Furry Friend every once in a while, and let him come out on his own- this usually doesn't take very long.

If you have children, talk to them before bringing the new pet inside, and explain that he may be a little scared at first. Also explain that they'll have to be quiet and gentle with him. In the beginning, supervise the kids as they interact with the pet to make sure they know how to treat him and vice versa.

If your new pet is joining other pets in your household, you'll need to supervise the animals' interaction for a while. Start off by letting them sniff each other through a closed door. Once they get used to the new smells, open the door a crack, and let them see each other. Gradually allow more contact, eventually letting them meet face-to-face.

Building a Routine, Building a Bond

Establish a routine and help your Furry Friend feel more secure by doing the following:
When your newest family member is feeling calm and secure, you can concentrate on strengthening the bond between the two of you. Take plenty of time every day for positive play, and set aside some time for petting and scratching. Let your pet get used to the voices and hands of everyone in your family.

Visit Your Vet

One of the most important things you can do for your Furry Friend is make an appointment with your vet. Your vet can help prevent health and behavioral problems, vaccinate your pet against diseases and catch potential problems before they become serious.

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