Introducing a new pet into your family is an exciting time! But whether you’ve chosen a budgie, a kitten or an adult dog, the way you help everyone adjust to the changes is the same. Today I’m going to share with you some tips on how to make it an easy transition for everyone, furry or not!
Paving the Way for Introducing a New Pet in Your Home
When you brought your new baby home for the first time, what preparations did you make? Chances are you organised a cot, bedding, clothes, formula if bottle feeding and you’d told your friends and family a new arrival was imminent. You did all this to ensure a seamless transition, to help not only your new baby, but also any siblings and even family pets.
When you are introducing a new pet, you also need to prepare, but in different ways. Before they arrive, you’ll need to:
- Choose the right pet to suit your family. Consider things such as house and garden size, allergies, exercise and food costs.
- Learn about your new pet. Find out what they need to eat and drink, where they’ll sleep, how to toilet train them and what vet care they will need.
- Talk with your kids. Let them know how they should treat your pet, what they can do to help it settle in and which signs they should look out for which show the pet has had enough attention.
- Organise all the pet supplies. Food, bedding, shelter, cages and toileting products.
Bringing Your New Pet Home – Do’s and Don’ts
When it’s time for your new pet to come home, make sure you do it when you have plenty of time to help them settle in. As the adult, you’ll need to make decisions about when your pet needs some time out and what enthusiastic kid actions are okay or not. Here are a few more of our top tips for the first day of introducing a new pet into your family:
- Model the tone of voice, way to hold and how to pat your new pet to your kids
- Start off in one room, letting the pet get used to it before allowing it to roam the rest of your house
- Let any existing pets smell the new pet’s scent on clothing or blankets before introducing them face to face
- Give your pet lots of space
- Supervise all interactions between your pet and your kids!
- Be patient as it will take plenty of time for everyone to get used to the new arrival
Remember that a pet is a lifelong responsibility and not suitable for every family. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being around animals, by visiting local zoos, farms or even the pet store! Then there’s the imaginary play using animal puppets which can bring plenty of joy and even help kids learn about caring for pets too! Do you have any pets at home? What tips can you share with us about integrating them into your family?