Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Article written by Blog Post Contributor HolmesContentTeam
There are many things to consider when welcoming a new pet into your home, especially if you’ve never cared for an animal. Here are our best tips to help guide you in the process of finding your new furry family member.
1. Be Prepared
Welcoming a dog or cat into your life is a major commitment. Take stock in your personal situation to see if you are ready to care for an animal. How is your financial situation? Can you afford the food, training, daycare, grooming, vet visits, and other costs necessary to ensure your pet’s health and safety? Do you have time to properly exercise a pet? Is there adequate space for an animal in your home? Do you have the patience to train an animal, if needed? All of these factors need to be carefully considered prior to committing to a pet.
2. Research Pet Services
What pet services are near you? Groomers, daycare and boarding facilities, dog parks, pet sitters, and veterinary clinics are just a few examples of services you may want or need for your future pet. Knowing where the closest veterinary clinic is may influence your decision to adopt if it is located too far from home.
3. Adopt Don’t Shop
There are many animal shelters and rescues throughout Jacksonville. Likewise, there are many pet stores. While purchasing a new kitten or puppy from one of these shops is tempting, you may inadvertently be contributing to inhumane breeding practices. Animal shelters, rescues, and humane societies are frequently on the verge of overpopulation and struggle to keep up with the number of animals they care for. Find which shelters are near you and see if you can meet their animals.
4. Ask for a Sleepover
Once you’ve found a shelter or an animal you are interested in, see what interaction services they offer. For dogs, see if the shelter you wish to adopt from offers the opportunity for a sleepover. You will get to take the dog home for the night to see if his or her personality and behaviors work well with you and your family. One night may not be enough to make the adoption decision, but this uninterrupted interaction can provide insight into whether you and your potential pooch are a match.
5. Prepare Your Home
Once you’ve settled on a pet, it’s time to get ready to bring it home. Beds, bowls, ID tags, food, treats, toys, flea/tick medication, brushes, and many more products are needed to properly care for an animal. Remove hazards that your new pet may have access to such as cleaning chemicals that may be left on the floor. Clean your living area of debris or small objects that could be swallowed.
6. Introducing Your New Pet
Most animals will need time to adjust to a new environment. This can be a slow process. Ensuring your new pet is comfortable and warmly welcomed, but not rushed, is integral to a happy transition. Accidents may happen even for house-broken animals, and understanding this ahead of time will help you transition to this new phase of your life, as well.
7. Schedule Your First Vet Visit
Typically, you will need to get your pet vaccinated once you leave the shelter. Some pet rescues offer vaccination services. If not, you may need to take your pet to the veterinary clinic you’ve chosen. Whether you need to update shots or get your pet vaccinated for the first time, you will want to schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a thorough check-up to ensure your furry friend’s continued health.
It will take time for you and your pet to adjust to each other, but learning what he or she likes and helping your new family member adapt to a new routine will help ease the transition period for everyone. Over time, you will become comfortable around each other and, before you know it, it will be hard to remember what life was like before adopting your furry friend!