What To Prepare Before Adopting a New Pet

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Whether you’ve decided to adopt a kitten from a local shelter or bring home a puppy from a rescue group, introducing a new pet into your home is an exciting adventure.

To help your new furry friend successfully adjust to your home and family, it’s essential to be prepared and patient. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of months for you and your new pet to feel comfortable around each other. To make your new pet’s transition as smooth and as stress-free as possible, here’s how to prepare.

Create a personal space for your pet.

Before bringing your furry friend home, you’ll need to decide on a space for your pet to spend most of their time. Your pet’s personal space should not only be appropriate for the animal you’re bringing home, but it should also be safe and pet-proofed.

To get started, ask yourself whether your new pet will be restricted to one area or whether they’ll be allowed to roam freely. It’s also important to set up your pet’s crate or bed before bringing him or her home.

If you’re having trouble finding the right space for your pet, now is the perfect time to remodel your home to accommodate your furry friend. Whether you’re interested in replacing your flooring or remodeling your living room, now is the best time to plan a remodeling project. Many contractors are currently offering discounts on labor and materials, allowing homeowners—and new pet parents—to take advantage of great deals on home renovations and remodeling projects.

Stock up on pet supplies.

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Make sure to plan a shopping trip to pick up collars, leashes, ID tags, toys, litter, potty bags, pet food, and anything else you’ll need to welcome your new pet into your home. Especially for new pet owners, the American Kennel Club recommends making a checklist of everything you need before heading to your local pet store.

To minimize stress during the first few days, purchase the same kind of food your furry friend has been eating. The stress of adjusting to a new home is enough for your pet to deal with, and introducing a new diet will only add to their anxiety.

Invest in pet insurance.

Pet insurance helps offset some or most of the costs of paying a licensed veterinarian to diagnose and treat unexpected injuries and illnesses. In some cases, home insurance policies include limited pet insurance coverage, but you can also purchase an individual pet insurance plan for your pet for additional coverage.

Like other insurance policies, pet insurance allows you to choose your preferred level of coverage. While some pet insurance plans provide comprehensive coverage for illnesses, routine care, emergency care, and annual vaccinations, other plans offer injury and illness coverage. When searching for the best pet insurer, it’s important to keep in mind that pet insurance typically doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, behavioral problems, pregnancy, or diet products.

Schedule your first vet visit.

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Within a few days of your pet’s arrival home, schedule an initial checkup. It’s always a good idea to build a relationship with your vet early on. This way, if your furry friend becomes ill, your vet will have a better idea of his or her condition beforehand, and you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your puppy or kitten is in the hands of a trusted professional.

If you’re adopting from a local shelter or rescue group, the organization should provide you with up-to-date vaccination and health records. Make sure to bring these to your first vet visit.

Above all else, patience and preparation are key when bringing home a new pet. The first few days in your home are critical for your new pet, and preparing for their arrival can help make the transition as smooth as possible.

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