Getting a New Pet? Here’s Some Advice to Keep in Mind
So you have your fully furnished pet friendly apartment in Los Angeles, and you are planning to bring in a new member of your family: a dog or cat! The idea of having a little companion to fill up your home with love is something most of us will consider.
A furry little friend can transform ‘a place where you eat and sleep’ to a home. It’s easy to ‘want’ to bring in a pet, but it’s not as easy to be a responsible pet owner.
Not only do you have to take care of yourself, you now will have a furry creature to take care of as well – and correct puppy proofing is essential.
What some people don’t realize is that your interaction with your pet is determined by the first few days and weeks. Once certain behavior starts, it’s tough to change it later on. Here are a few pointers to make sure you ensure you get through those first few days the right way.
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash
You will have to adopt the mantra: ‘be patient.’ Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you should expect that your relationship with your pet won’t be either. It’s going to take time and patience before your pet is fully acclimatized. Every pet is different and when you first meet you know nothing about each other.
You don’t know your pet’s temperament and personality, and your pet doesn’t know yours either. You will be sizing up each other, and it’s going to take some time.
Linked to the point of patience is the need to plan ahead. Don’t expect to be able to bring in a pet on an afternoon and to be able to go to work the next morning. Well, you can, but don’t be surprised if you come back to a warzone.
The best approach is to take a few days off work to be able to guide your pet in its first few days in a foreign environment. Think ahead of what kind of things you might need to ensure a good transition.
Think of gates and playpens with puppies or cat doors for cats. You don’t want to have to spend time on things you could have prepared beforehand when your attention needs to go to the pet self.
As part of preparations, you will need to get the basics first. Sure, going into a pet shop will feel like being a little kid going into a toy store, but all of that can come later. You need to have time so you can keep costs in check, focus on the basics of food, digestion, sleep and play.
So your shopping list will be:
Food and water bowls
Crate or basket
Collar and leash (for dogs, cat bells for cats),
Also, don’t go out buying the biggest bulk pack of food you can find. Remember, you don’t know what your new pets likes or dislikes. Start with smaller food packs to discover preferences. Just don’t forget the collar and leash, wink.
It is important to feed your dog with high-quality dog food that has all the essential nutrients without the excessive calorie or fat content. The same applies for their doggy treats
Also, in regards to the bed, don’t go for the most super deluxe versions. You might have a nervous sleeper that will eat their bedding (dogs) or very demanding ones that will sleep anywhere but in the bed that was bought for it (cats).
As patience is a mantra, so should tranquility be. Pets are usually a reflection of their owners. A nervous owner often results in nervous pets. So, especially for the first few days, try to keep things as calm as possible.
That means no fast movements, no loud music, no flashing lights, and not too many new people around. Being put in a new environment with a total stranger is already a lot (maybe even too much) for pets, so trying to keep things predictable is key for proper acclimation.
Having this calm environment helps you make a proper introduction. Show your pet around and let him or her meet all the new humans it will be meeting regularly. Again, in a calm fashion and taking time to ensure smell, touch, and sound are absorbed in a non-threatening way.
With so much focus on your new pet, you run the risk of not giving it a break from time to time. Pets need some time to absorb all the new information and have a breather.
It might be hard to just leave your pet alone at the beginning, but just imagine how that would feel if the roles were reversed.
And lastly, but not least, love your pet! Animals are naturally attuned to pick on emotions, more so than humans.
Truly loving your pet and showing that affection will not only lower defenses, it will also allow your pet to be ‘accepted’ into their tribe. Before you know it, you will have the best personal bodyguard (dogs) or will be gifted a dead bird once every while (cats).