(Family Features) Bringing home a new furry friend can spark joy while adding new routines for the whole family. When adding a pet to a household, it’s important to take into consideration the type of companion, a pet’s life stage, size and how to select a veterinarian.
Seeking out materials to help you become a better pet parent can make the transition a bit smoother. For example, WALTHAM Brand’s Pocket Book of Responsible Pet Ownership outlines how new pet parents can care for a pet’s medical, dental, nutritional, social and behavioral needs.
- Research the pet well in advance of picking him or her up so you understand the breed’s energy levels, temperament, trainability and other traits that fit your lifestyle. After all, adding a pet should be mutually beneficial and the right fit for the family.
- Consider adoption. More than 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year and nearly half of them get adopted. Shelters can be a source for neutered, vaccinated and trained pets in need of a home.
“We know there are countless animals in shelters, and we are committed to spreading awareness for shelter dogs in need of forever homes,” said Bo Segers, associate general counsel for Mars Petcare Americas and president of PEDIGREE Foundation Board of Directors. “Adoption is a great option to consider and can change not only an animal’s life, but your own.”
Before a shelter visit, take a look at an adoption questionnaire to get a sense of how to best prepare and create a smooth transition for a new pet.
- Review available medical records to ensure your prospective pet is healthy and up to date on vaccinations. Request a health report from the shelter at the time of adoption to learn about any health or behavioral issues you should be aware of.
- Consider your home environment. Think about your lifestyle routines and how they align with a pet’s well-being – specifically take into account both physical surroundings and social interactions. When bringing a pet home, gradually introduce him or her slowly to different areas then expand the accessible spaces. If possible, bringing the pet’s former bedding and toys can help him or her more quickly adapt to the new surroundings.
- Establish regular mealtimes. Setting feeding times for furry friends can help create new routines for the whole family. Consider feeding your pet in the same location and similar times each day to minimize stress or conflict that may arise around feeding. One wet cat food to consider is SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS, an option to help introduce your feline to meaty and seafood flavors. Because they’re appropriately sized for each meal, even the youngest family members can learn about pet responsibilities.
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