The day when you bring a new dog or cat home can be filled with both excitement and anxiety. To make the transition as pleasant as possible for both of you, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
As we mentioned the word anxiety already, this is really the first thing you need to keep in mind. Dog anxiety or separation anxiety in your new cat could be prominent or dormant, and you will need to know about it before you get the pet home. If you are getting your pet from a shelter, that is a stressful environment for any pet. And if your pet was abandoned or lost, this is another reason for anxiety.
Natural Stress Relief
Natural herbs like valerian root and mistletoe will calm an overly anxious dog or cat for a more peaceful transition. Try our Stress Relief supplement to help your new dog or cat with anxiety. Talk to the caretakers at the shelter to learn your new pet’s habits and usual behaviour to be aware of what’s normal and what’s not for this particular pet.
Be ready to spend extra time with your new pet, especially during the first few days. If you work full-time, consider taking a few days off, to help your new dog or cat to get used to the new surroundings and the new routine. This will help to cope with potential separation anxiety as they will get attached to you quickly, knowing that you are their new family.
Be extra careful about what you feed them. Read our list of foods harmful for cats and dogs before you give in to their cute faces and start offering them table scraps too.
Before you bring your new pet home, take a look through this list of things you may not have considered. Food and water bowls (obvious, but you may want to have extra ready just in case), litter/box/liners, chew toys, grooming supplies, bedding, collar and leash, identification tag, crate, gate, and odor neutralizers. Your neighbourhood pet store should have a printed list of things needed when getting a cat or a dog.
Also, take time to create a vocabulary list everyone will use. If Mom says “down” when the pup climbs on the couch, Dad says “down” when he wants the pet to lie down, and Junior utters “sit down” when he expects the pup’s rear to hit the floor, the result will be one confused dog! And if you don’t set these commands right in the very start, you will find it very difficult to train your dog. Putting the schedule and vocabulary list in writing prevents confusion and will help dog walkers, nannies, and others involved in raising the dog with you. Here are some tricks that can work when you are training your dog or cat on your own.
If you have children, hold one last meeting to lay down the rules: don’t overwhelm the pet the first day. What might look like a fun game to your child, could be a scary experience filled with anxiety for your new dog or cat. A gentle and positive environment around a new pet is very important to kickstart a strong, loving relationship. Read our tips about welcoming a new pet into your life.
So buckle up and start the fun. Your life is about to change and one furball with little beady eyes is going to become the most important part of it.