Tips for integrating a dog or cat with a past owner into a new home

Are you adopting a dog or cat from a shelter? Or possibly from a friend or family member who’s no longer able to take care of her? At Chico, our team knows just how difficult it can be for a pet to change owners and environments. Here are some tips to make this transition easier for you and your pet.

Make an appointment with the vet

It’s very important that your pet is up to date with all deworming treatments and vaccinations. A full checkup is also a wise idea. This will let you know if your dog or cat has any health problems, skin problems, allergies or other medical issues you’ll need to take care of.

Let your pet get used to her new environment

It’s important to welcome your pet into your home in the gentlest way possible, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the animal’s history. For example, you don’t want her to feel frightened or overwhelmed by your family members’ excitement at meeting her. If you’re adopting a dog, start by showing her around the yard and letting her mark her territory. If you’re adopting a cat, point her to the litter box. Next, show your pet how to find her water and food bowls, bed and toys.

If you’re adopting a cat, give her time to get used to you before giving her too much attention.

Establish the house rules for your pet

Before bringing a new pet into your home, decide what rules you want to establish. Are you going to allow her to climb onto couches and beds? Are there rooms she won’t be allowed to enter? As soon as your pet lays a paw in the home, everyone in the family needs to work together to have her follow a common set of rules. Keep in mind that it’s better to reward your pet for good behaviour than to scold her for bad behaviour. The latter approach could cause her fear and stress due to past experiences.

Make sure your pet is house trained

Whether you’re adopting a puppy, kitten or an adult dog or cat, you probably won’t know how long your new pet can go before needing to do their business. If you have a new dog or puppy, regularly take them outside (especially after playing, eating and sleeping) but gradually space out bathroom breaks as time goes on. If you have a new cat or kitten, make sure that she knows where the litter box is. Or, if necessary, move the litter box to the spot where she’s decided she wants to do her business.

Whether you’re welcoming a new cat or dog into your home, the team at Chico is available to provide you with quality advice. We can also help you get everything you need for the newest member of your family. Drop by one of our stores today. 

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