Here are some tips to help furry friends acclimate to a new home.

Preparing for a new pet

July 28th, 2016 by

Here are some tips to help furry friends acclimate to a new home.

The day you bring home a new cat or dog can be one of the happiest days for a family. Animals enrich our lives with love, affection and play, but making sure your home is ready for a new pet is key. Here are a few simply steps to make sure you are ready for that furry bundle of joy:

Make sure that your housing contract allows pets
This may seem obvious, but sometimes housing contracts – particularly for renters – may bar tenants from having pets or assign a penalty. Go over any housing-related contracts carefully in search of pet clauses and contact your landlord or homeowners association before you consider adopting a new pet.

Check local rules and regulations
Most municipalities require animals to be registered with a local animal control department, which includes providing verification that all shots and vaccinations are up to date. There may also be rules about how many animals can live on-site.

Locate a local vet
As you would find a local primary care physician, it helps to locate a certified veterinarian in your area before you need it. Your furry friends will need yearly checkups. In addition, make note of any 24-hour animal hospitals nearby.

Have a family meeting to discuss the new rules and responsibilities 
Before you arrive to pick up your new dog or cat, sit down with all the members of your household and go over what kind of rules and responsibilities will be needed to take care of the pet. How many times a day should they be fed and whose job is it to feed them? How often do they need to go out? What room are they allowed in and what rooms are they not allowed in? Try and create consistent rules and command language so that when it comes time to train your pet, everyone will be on the same page.

Research the breed
Do your homework and familiarize yourself with the specific breed you are adopting. Are there certain foods they should or shouldn't eat? Are there medical issues they are particularly prone to? Even more specific, ask the place you are adopting from what kind of food or medications they have been taking before you bring them home.

Pet-proof your home
A new puppy or kitten can sometimes be a handful at first. Low-to-the-ground furniture, carpets and other items left at pet height may be subject to an exuberant shredding or other marking. Pet-proof as best you can by raising the height of certain valuable items, putting away what you can and giving your new animal buddies plenty of toys to play with. Also consider taping up loose electrical cords, storing household chemicals on high shelves, and removing plants, rugs, and other breakables.

Choose pet spots around the home
The transition from a shelter to a stable home can sometimes be a stressful one for your new pet. To ease them into this new space, try starting them off in some specific areas in the house, then slowly let them wander as they become more acclimated. A kitchen is a good place to start off a new puppy, and a baby gate can keep them in there. With cats, choose a place to keep their litterbox and start them out in that room. Whatever you do, try and limit their exposure to new elements so that they don't get overwhelmed by too much, too quickly.

If you get a new pet, contact your home insurance broker at Fundy Mutual. You may need to make changes to your home insurance policy to accommodate your new family addition.