Adopting a New Pet

Spring is the season of puppies and kittens. Often this is when we think about adding a new pet to the family.

Spring is the season of puppies and kittens.  Often this is when we think about adding a new pet to the family.  The Martindale Animal Clinic Team has put together a few things to consider before bring a new pet home.

1. Cat vs Dog? Both dogs and cats require exercise, mental stimulation,  and social interaction.  Cats can be more self-sufficient and allow for owners to be away from the home for longer periods of time during the day.  Puppies require a great deal of interaction and teaching.

2. Find a pet whose personality meshes with yours. In general, understanding the needs and characteristics of specific breeds is very beneficial.  Consider how active you and your household are.  Also, how big is your yard and your house?

3. Schedule a veterinary visit within the first few days after bringing your new pet home. Make sure to bring along any medical records you received from the adoption center. Getting your new pet to a veterinarian early will help make sure there are no underlying illnesses or injuries and allow you to develop a plan to help your new pet live the happiest, healthiest, longest life possible.

4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared for a new pet. Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new pet to join your existing pets, discuss with the adoption facility or your veterinarian how to make a proper introduction.

5. Budget for both short-term and long-term costs. A pet adopted from a shelter may be a bargain, considering many shelters provide spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip. But make sure you’re prepared for the routine expenses you’ll incur throughout the pet’s life.

6. Stock up on supplies before the pet arrives. Try to create a homelike environment for your new pet right away. Depending on if you get a kitten or puppy – you will need a litter box, litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush, and nail clippers.

 7. Pet-proof your home. A new pet will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your pet might chew on, make sure the pet isn’t chewing on electrical cords, and pick up random items like paper clips, which they may swallow.

8. Go slowly when introducing your pet to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a pet to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded in a single room with all of its supplies until it’s used to the new surroundings. Socialization is important, but remember: take it slow.

9. Include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list, and be sure to have a several-day supply of pet food and medications on hand.

Please remember that one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians is available to help with any behavior or training questions you have.

We are pleased to offer this service at no charge to our registered clients.

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