What Every New Pet Owner Needs to Know

dog carrying ball

There’s a big difference between imagining a life shared with a pet – and actually bringing one home. Without a doubt, their sweet, silly cuteness goes a long way toward solidifying your bond,  but when things start to get “real” around the house, expectations and reality may collide. To truly understand the immense responsibility, a new pet owner should zoom out to focus on the big picture.

The Right Stuff

As a new pet owner, acquiring the right supplies is one of the keys to success. Food and treats, bowls to eat and drink from, bedding, age-appropriate toys, travel gear, and more, are essential for a smooth transition. Be aware of your new pet’s needs for safe sanitation and how often you should be addressing their bathroom needs – housetraining can be a bigger challenge than a new pet owner is anticipating. 

Cats benefit from scratching posts, cat trees or climbers, and a proper perch to observe their new territory. They also need at least one litter box per cat.

Safety 1st

Pet proofing your house is another crucial step. Be sure that all your windows and doors are secure, and that any hazards, such as cleaning chemicals, toxic foods/plants, and choking risks, are removed prior to their homecoming. 

A sturdy fence is helpful for dogs, but not necessary if you plan on walking them numerous times a day. If your aim is to care for a strictly indoor cat, be sure that their environment meets their needs.

Adjusting Your Life and Lifestyle

Few pet owners are completely prepared for changes to their daily routine and lifestyle. Following adoption, young pets and new-to-you ones require a significant period of adjustment. Establishing specific times for events like meal times, bathroom breaks, and training can help them settle in.

Getting to Know You

Within the first week as a new pet owner, it’s ideal to set up a new patient wellness exam. We customize each nose-to-tail exam to your pet’s needs, and look forward to collaborating with you on a long-term health plan. 

Many pets are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and de-wormed prior to adoption, but we can also provide these services. Maintaining year round parasite prevention is part of pet wellness. 

Dental care is a huge component of pet health and we’re excited to set your pet on a path of excellent oral hygiene. We can also share pointers on grooming, exercise requirements, the benefits of training and socialization. Also, being able to recognize the signs that your pet isn’t feeling well or might be injured ranks high on the list of things to do for a new pet owner.

Congrats, New Pet Owner

We cannot wait to meet your new pet! Like many other owners faced with the transition, we’re sure that any potential kinks will work themselves out. However, if you need help please let us know. 

From all of us at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital, congratulations on your new addition!