You're probably ecstatic about bringing a new pet home. However, your new furball may not feel the same way. Your pet may feel a bit anxious and for good reason. Imagine how you'd feel in a new home, not knowing anyone or where you are. However, you can take steps to make your pet feel welcome and make the transition easier.
Pet-Proof Your Home
If your new addition is a puppy or kitten, it’s especially important for you to pet-proof your home. This means you should remove anything within your pet's reach that could cause your new family member to choke. You also don't want to see your pet swallow a foreign object. As you get your house ready for your new pet, make sure you remove anything from your pet's reach that could be destroyed.
Keep Your New Pet Away from Other Pets
Your new arrival has enough on his or her plate trying to get acclimated to new people and surroundings. It's best to hold off letting your new pet meet other pets. Try to keep your newbie in a room by itself for at least seven days. The pets will be able to smell each other but won't have any physical contact.
Prepare Your Pet's Room Before Arrival
If you have to keep your pet in a separate room, make sure you have the room set up for him or her beforehand. It should have water, food, and toys. It should also have a bed if you plan on having your pet sleep in a bed. Cats should also have their litter box in the room. Even if your pet is going to be integrated into the rest of the house immediately, you should still set up everything your pet will need.
Show Your Pet Around
Remember when you were in school, and you got to tour the building to help you adjust? You want to do the same for your new fur baby. Let your pet roam in his or her room or around the house freely with you there.
Start Establishing Rules from Day One
If you have a no-counter rule or a stay-off-the-furniture rule, start enforcing the rule immediately. Your pet should get to know the rules from the beginning. You don't need to yell. Instead, gently and firmly say "no" and move them.
Begin Bathroom Training
Even if your new friend is potty trained already, you should show him or her where the litter box is several times. If you have a dog, you should try taking them outside or to the potty pad every so often and encourage them to go.
Don't get frustrated if your pet doesn't instantly take to you and the house. This is a major transition for them, and it'll take time.
During the first day or two, your pet may not eat or drink right away. You don't need to worry unless your pet doesn't drink or eat anything for a few days. Keep in mind that your pet may sneak out of its bed at night when the house is quiet to eat or drink.
Your pet may have a nervous stomach or have an accident or two while getting adjusting. It's important to remain calm and let your furry friend know it's okay.
Every pet is different when it comes to adjusting. For example, if you're adopting, the animal could have come from a negligent or abusive home. These pets may need a bit more attention and reassurance before they come around. Feral pets may be incredibly skittish around people. Even kittens and puppies who came from another home could have problems acclimating. Don't panic, and just wait until your pet is ready to come around. It could take weeks before your pet is completely comfortable.
Let Your Pet Come to You as Much as Possible
While you may want to snuggle as much as possible, you should avoid this. You can still hold and snuggle your pet here and there, but make sure you also give them time to roam and explore.
Choose a Name
As soon as you have a name picked out, start calling your pet by that name, so they get accustomed to it. If you don't like the name your pet came with, you should be able to change it. The animal will do better with a name change if he or she is still young, usually under the age of two.
Have Treats on Hand
Have treats available to reward your pet whenever they exhibit good behavior, such as going to the bathroom in the proper place.
Try to Start a Routine Off the Bat
When your pet first arrives, try to establish a routine. For instance, you may want to take your pup outside after every meal.
Meet and Greet With Other Pets
At the end of the first week, you can start introducing your new pet to your other pets. Do this slowly. Carefully monitor the pets together at first, and if you notice any behavior that's too aggressive, separate the pets and start over again the following day.
If you have a dog, you generally want to keep him or her on the leash while getting to know the other pet.
Children and Your New Pet
Make sure your child is calm when he or she meets the new pet. Make sure you let your child know how to read the pet's body language. Your child should also know how to respond in the event the pet starts to growl, hiss, or get aggressive.
Your new pet will eventually adapt to your home. You need to take as many steps as you can to make the acclimation process as easy as possible. It'll take time, but it's worth it for both you and your new family member.