New Pet Guide
By Dr. Anne Ray, Veterinarian
Did you get a new pet as a gift this holiday?!? Bringing a new pet into the family is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There’s so much to remember and do to make your new animal’s homecoming a joyful and positive experience.
Here’s a 3-step guide to safely and successfully acclimate your new furry friend to your home.
- Provide a warm and safe environment. First things first, you need to make sure your pet feels comfortable and secure in their new surroundings. Do a bit of pet proofing by clearing all small or hazardous items out of reach including any medications, household cleaning supplies and/or poisonous plants. Also be sure you have supplies on hand especially kitty litter, collars and toys. And create a calm space for your pet such as a quiet room or a crate. The new arrival can be scary or over stimulating for your new furry friend, especially around the holidays.
- Schedule a visit with your vet. We encourage you to make an appointment for your new furry friend when they are 6-8 weeks old. At your visit, your new pet will receive vaccines as well as necessary parasite screenings. You should also discuss plans to get your pet spayed or neutered, ID micro-chipping your pet and plans for ongoing wellness. Be sure to maintain regular exam visits based on veterinary advice so they continue to stay healthy.
- Start training early. You don’t have to wait until your pet is 6 months to start training. You can begin teaching them to sit, come, stay and walk on a leash at 7-8 weeks of age. And when potty training dogs, make sure you take them out first thing in the morning, 10-20 minutes after eating, after naps and last thing before they are left alone for the night. Also be sure to take them to the same spot each time, as their scent will prompt them to go. For cats, place their litter box in a low-traffic, quiet area with an expansive view.