10 Ways to Prepare for a New Pet Over the Holidays

10 Ways to Prepare for a New Pet Over the Holidays
The holiday season is a very special time of year, filled with joy and celebration. Decorations are everywhere, families gather together and gifts are exchanged. Typically, the gifts we give and receive are traditional or items like clothing, toys, games and household items. But what if Santa decides to bring a very special gift this year? One that can’t be placed in a box and wrapped with a bow. The kind of gift that won’t be forgotten about or replaced in a few months. What if Santa decides to place a new pet underneath your tree?

Welcoming a new dog or cat into your family can be very exciting, especially during such a cheerful and joyous occasion. But at the same time, it can also be hectic and stressful, especially if you are unprepared. Unlike other holiday gifts, a new pet takes a lot of forethought, planning and preparation. If your new pet is a holiday gift for your family, be sure everyone is on board and prepared for a new addition. Many animal organizations and shelters advise against giving pets as surprise gifts – owning a pet is personal decision that requires commitment and responsibility.

As long as everyone is ready for a new furry family member, this may be the best holiday gift you’ll ever receive (your pet will feel the same way!).

Here are 10 ways to  prepare for a new pet during the holidays.

  • Establish house rules with other members of your household before your new pet arrives. If you wish to restrict your pet from using your furniture, gently and consistently discourage him from doing so. Have a comfortable bed available for your pet and encourage him to use it as a place to relax.
  • Discuss the responsibilities of caring for your pet with other members of your household. Will there be a schedule for dog walking? Will someone feed him in the morning, while someone else feeds him at night? Will everyone be involved with training? If so, discuss the training techniques you’ll use in order to stay consistent.
  • Make training fun for your pet and it will be easier for him to learn. Maintain patience, compassion and respect. This will build confidence and make the training process fun for you both. Always view things from his point of view and you will build a bond with your pet and achieve fantastic results and a lifelong friendship.
  •  If you have children, discuss the dos and don’ts for interacting with your new pet. Jumping and yelling can cause a dog to get upset and sometimes snap, especially if he’s the nervous, so it’s best if your child stays as calm as possible around him, at least until he settles in. Cats prefer to be on the ground so let your child know not to carry your feline around the house. Your child should know not to approach your dog from behind, as it could frighten or startle him.
  • If adopting your pet, ask for his medical records. If your pet is a puppy or kitten, he should have been to a veterinarian at least once. He will also need to visit a veterinarian several times during his first year to receive vaccinations and twice a year after he’s one year old. You will need those vaccinations in order to board your pet while on vacation.
  • If you have other pets in your household, make sure they are up-to-date on their shots and in good health before introducing your new pet.
  • Purchase the important items your new pet will need upon his arrival. A collar and leash, bowls, food and lots of toys and bones are all necessities. If he has toys of his own, he’ll be less likely to play with things that are off limits, like your personal items.  If a new feline friend will be joining your family, have scratching posts and perches available.
  • Just like small children, pets can be very curious. Keep them safe and out of trouble by pet-proofing your home. Place chemicals and harmful substances on high shelves or if they are in low cabinets, use childproof latches. Keep trash cans covered or hidden away. Look for holes and small nooks that your new pet could get himself into and block them. Keep any harmful food out of reach. Put away children’s toys and games, especially small ones that can cause choking. Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing.
  • Upon your pet’s arrival, your house may have some holiday decorations that are hazardous to pets. Tinsel and ornaments, dangling lights, candles, gift wrap ribbon, chocolate, fat trimmings and bones from dinner, and certain nuts can all cause harm to your pet. Also, keep in mind that some holiday plants are poisonous. Christmas tree pine needles, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are toxic to pets. Be sure to keep all these things away from your new pet, as well as other pets in your house.
  •  When your new pet arrives, try not to pay less attention to your other pets as they may get jealous. Introduce them, let them get to know each other and spend quality time together both outside enjoying walks, in the yard and inside playing with toys.
Bringing a pet into a home is a great joy and all of us at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts hope to meet your new family member soon. Plan and prepare correctly and you’ll have started a beautiful friendship this holiday season.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France.