Acadiana Animal Aid advocates for the thorough consideration of all lifestyle factors when choosing to adopt a pet. To help make the adoption process most beneficial for you and your new pet, Acadiana Animal Aid recommends careful thought and planning.
Things to consider before adopting a pet
- Are you prepared to make a commitment to the dog or cat for its lifetime, up to 18 years for some breeds
- Do you have a few extra hours each day to spend with your pet?
- Who will walk, train, and care for the pet?
- Is anyone in your household or any regular visitor allergic to pet dander?
- How do you plan to introduce visitors who may be afraid of dogs or cats?
- Where will the pet live and sleep?
- Do you have a securely fenced yard and properly maintained gates and locks?
- Who will be responsible for veterinary care?
- Do you already have a veterinarian?
- Are you prepared for the monthly maintenance costs like food, toys, heartworm, and flea prevention?
- Who will take care of the pet during your vacations?
- What will happen to the pet in the event of a marriage, divorce, new baby, or move?
Once you have decided that you want to invite a new pet into your family, you need to find the best fit for your family’s activity level and lifestyle preferences.
- Do you like to run?
- Consider a dog who can keep up with you
- Have a quieter lifestyle?
- Consider a less active breed
- Like grooming?
- Go for the locks
- Don’t like lots of grooming?
- Think short hair
- Enjoy a training challenge?
- Try a more challenging breed
- Not looking forward to housebreaking a puppy?
- Consider an adult
Introducing Your Pet to His New Home
Introducing the New Dog
Congratulations on your new dog! You may be wondering how to make the introduction to your home and its house rules a smooth one. Start by making sure your dog is not too excited when he enters your home and maybe take him for a little walk to spend some excess energy. Have all supplies set up: bed, water, and toys. Then give him a leash-guided tour of his new home. Take him in the yard to let him sniff and encourage him to use the bathroom. Before you let him or her loose in the house, make sure all doors and windows are securely closed and breakables are stored out of reach. Start on your new routine of exercising, training and feeding so he learns how he is expected to behave.
If you have another pet, introduce them slowly. If you already have a dog, make the introduction on neutral ground, so your “old” dog won’t feel like he needs to defend his territory. Take them on a walk together.
If you already have a cat, make sure the cat has room to move away from the dog, if desired. Maybe leave the dog in his crate for a few minutes so the cat can safely check out his new room mate. Do not leave them together unsupervised until you are sure no one will get injured.
Introducing the New Cat
Congratulations on your new cat! What happens now? Should you just simply open the carrier and let him loose in the house and hope for the best? Maybe not.
- Here are a few tips
- Make sure breakable items are safely stored out of reach.
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed.
- Make sure plants are out of reach of the cat. They’re tempting for your cat to munch on, but they may make kitty a little queasy. Some house plants are even toxic to animals.
- Have all supplies ready: litter box, food, water and toys.
- Depending on the temperament of the cat, you should slowly introduce him to few rooms only – a shy cat will get overwhelmed by too many new sounds and smells and hide under the nearest bed.
- Give him time and space; some cats take time to get used to their new surroundings.
- Start your new feeding routine so he knows what to expect.
If you have another pet already, introduce the new cat slowly. Again depending on the temperament of your new and “old” cat, you may want to confine one to the traveling carrier for a little while to give the other cat the chance to safely check out the newcomer.