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Dr. Kwane Stewart getting a kiss from a sweet black pit bull.

Lifestyle

Dr. Kwane Stewart shares tips for bringing a new shelter pet home

8 tips to consider as you welcome your new fur family into your home.

Bringing home a new pet from an animal shelter or rescue? It’s important to keep in mind that shelter pets have unique needs and may require adjustments to your home and lifestyle. 

Here are some tips to consider as you welcome your new fur family into your home:

  1.  Establish a routine: Establishing a routine can help your pet adjust more quickly to their new home. This could include scheduled mealtimes, potty breaks, and playtime, as examples
  1. Give them time to adjust: Your pet may need time to adjust to their new surroundings. Provide them with a safe and comfortable space to call their own, and give them time to get comfortable before introducing them to other family members, pets, and visitors. 
  1. Provide plenty of enrichment and exercise: Shelter pets may have had limited access to enrichment activities in their previous home. It’s important to provide stimulation for them. This could include interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and other activities that can help keep them mentally and physically active. Exercise, like basic daily walks, has a dual benefit: it stimulates them physically and is also the best way to socialize and acclimate them to their new environment. 
  1. Consider crate training: Crate training can be a great way to help your pet feel safe and secure in their new home. Make sure to use a crate that is the right size for your pet and provide plenty of bedding and toys. 
  1. Get pet insurancePet insurance can provide peace of mind in the event that your pet needs unexpected medical attention for illnesses or injuries. It can also save you money in the long run if your pet has any unexpected health issues. (Pro tip: get a fast & free quote here.) 
  1. Visit the Vet: Make sure to schedule a visit to your vet. This will help ensure that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. When you visit the vet, bring a list of questions (like diet, exercise, and necessary vaccinations), and any medical records you have. You can also check out your pet health forecast for a personalized health profile with the conditions your pup is most likely to experience in their lifetime.

  2. Seek Out Training: Join a training class or sign up for one-on-one sessions with a trainer to teach basic obedience commands. This creates clear communication dogs understand and pet parents can rely on.
  3. Puppy Proof Your Home: Make an effort to keep electrical cords, medications, household cleaners, and houseplants out of reach, and lock up your trash cans. You can also use gates or barriers to keep pets out of unsafe areas.


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