Some preparation and planning for your new pet’s arrival can be helpful in getting them to settle in a little easier.
Remember that your new cat or dog may have been passed from family to family before ending up with you. They may be confused, or even scared. Your existing pets will likely also be a little confused when you arrive home with a new pet. They may not immediately want to welcome him or her into their home.
- Your family should be relaxed when leaving the animal shelter with your new pet and when interacting with him/her. Keep noise and activity to a minimum so that your new pet feels calm in the car, as well as at their new home.
- If your new pet is nervous, it’s okay to sit in the car with them for a bit when arriving home, until they’re calm. Try to see things from their point of view and give them time to survey and take in new surroundings. Keep cats securely in a pet carrier until you’re in the house, in a room with windows and door closed.
- Have your new dog’s bed ready. Place it in a cozy corner alongside your other dogs’ beds and show them the area taking your time and using gentle encouragement. Give your new dog some time to explore the area.
- Try to keep all noise and acitivy in the house and garden to a minimum for the first few days and especially when arriving home – music, TV, vacuum cleaner, lawn-mower, kids and visitors etc.
- Show your new dog or puppy where the water bowls, back door and garden are. Walk around outside with them, keeping everything nice and relaxed. Give your new dog an opportunity to smell and look around whenever introducing him/her to new areas of your home.
- Ensure that you have: an extra feeding bowl, some extra toys and chews, a new collar and leash with ID tag and of course an additional doggy bed. Ensure that there are enough resources for your pets’ needs.
If there is tension or fighting, please book a consultation so we can help your dogs to settle and come to accept each other as family.
If you’ve adopted a cat, keep him or her securely in a room with their bed in a cozy corner, a litter tray and some food and water. It might be helpful to make kitty’s bed on a low shelf in your cupboard and leaving the cupboard door open for them to get in and out as they please.
Ensure that the windows to the room where you’re keeping kitty are kept closed – else kitty will get out and run away (remember that he or she doesn’t yet know that your home is their new home), he or she will be confused and unfamiliar for a little while.
Keep kitty in this room for at least 4 or 5 days and spend time in there with him or her so he or she can get used to you and the area. You will eventually see kitty becoming more relaxed after a few days, when you can try to take them out of the room safely holding them at first, so they can see your home outside the bedroom door.
Remember to keep all windows closed and unfriendly pets away so that kitty can explore safely. After about a week, depending on how fast kitty adjusts, you can take him or her out to see the garden – again holding them in your arms so they don’t feel too vulnerable, and only doing little bits at a time.
Ensure that everyone is calm, and if dogs and kitty don’t know each other, that dogs are locked away at first until later when they have met. Take kitty out for short periods only if he or she is calm, but return back indoors if they look scared. He or she may need a few more days in their kitty room with the windows and door securly closed.