Having a new pet at home keeps us all up and jumping. Just like having a baby, we are excited to have a fluffy buddy – someone to cuddle and play with.
Whether it would be a man’s best friend or an itty bitty kitty cat that’s coming to your house, all you want is for them to have a first-class arrival.
To ensure that your new family member is in a haven, here are prepping tips to consider based on the Three Basic Hierarchy of Needs:
1. Physiological Needs
We need to make sure that our pet has practical access to breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. After all, these things acquire the highest percentage of the hierarchy of needs.
1.1. Set up a breathable and comfortable space for your pet. Dog owners would typically put their pup in a dog house. If you want your buddy to sleep inside your home, try setting up the same bed space with cats – a basket or small bed with blankets and huggable pillows.
Considering that you are moving in a puppy or kitten, you may put them in a crib or secure a stroller for them. Make sure their dining area is just beside their bed space for convenience.
In the living room, you may add some throw pillows with a cat or dog sheet cover to invite them to watch movies with you or to listen to music on chilled afternoons with you.
1.2. After designating a place for relaxation, look for an area for your pet’s hygiene. Unlike cats, dogs need to take a bath at least twice a week. It’s up to you if you want to do the ritual in your bathroom or at your backyard.
If your pup has sensitive skin, make sure his soap and shampoo are prescribed by a veterinarian. You might also want to consider dental and hair care schedules for your pet. Groom your pet once in a while, and brush their teeth (for dogs) for the complete hygiene package.
For the potty activities, it is normal at first to witness your dog poop anywhere in the house or your cat pee in her bed.
At times like this, you should be patient and not punish your new family member. Train your pet to do their potty sessions in the backyard. Dig up a hole for pooping and peeing, just like a toilet for humans. For cats, however, a litter box is advisable.
1.3. Take care of your pet’s body regulation. Dogs and cats alike use their furs to regulate body heat. But they may not function well when they are overexposed to a certain temperature.
Make sure your house is a good receptor of both heat and cold, so your pet won’t suffer from heatstroke during the dry season, or freeze during the winter. Imbalance in temperature can make your pet unwell.
1.4. Provide pet supplies and toys. Pet supplies include food and water bowls, nametags, dog leash, garments (commonly for small breed dogs), and so on. For toys, dogs like something chewy, while cats are contented with yarn balls.
When you have a puppy at home, a dog leash is necessary. This will help prevent accidents, especially when your house is just beside the street, as your buddy likes to run around the place constantly.
Name Tags apply to both dogs and cats. These will make the “paging” process easy whenever your pet gets lost. Further, nametags will help you distinguish your tad when they play in the park with their kind.
Feed your pet with what they were used to eat. You do not want to add up to their anxiety just because you have given them a new diet. But if you think that your pet lacks nourishment, you may slowly introduce them to a new recipe. Just don’t do it all at once, so they won’t get frustrated.
2. Safety and Security
Just like humans, pets need to feel safe and secure. Keep away all hazardous things in your house and poisonous foods as well. Put all extension wires in place and make sure breakable things are out of reach.
Beware of scattered tiny objects, for your pets might swallow them. Make sure all reachable kinds of stuff are safe to play with, just in case your dog might chew them, or your cat might knock them off.
Keep windows and doors always closed, as cats love to sneak out into these “gates”. Shut down also your garage doors and basements when not in use; your pet might get stuck in these areas. Fix your fences, or dogs can easily escape out of your house.
Schedule regular check-ups with your vet – maybe once a month, to be updated on your buddy’s health status, and to maintain their wellness. It is also important to know if you are feeding your pet well, or if he’ll be needing a supplement or vitamins.
3. Love and Belonging
Beyond basic survival, pets have emotional and psychological needs, too. Embrace them passionately as a new member of your family. Never let them feel out of place. Give them the gift of love and friendship – a sense of belonging.
Understand that your pet has certain anxieties when they move into a new home. Give them time to adjust, and always accompany them along the process. Build up a routine to make them comfortable in their new home. Sort out habits that work well enough for them, and continue doing these activities for familiarity.
The more a pet becomes acquainted with a new home, the more he will openly indulge himself in that place. In the first few weeks, they might often cry during the night (just like babies) and do not want to eat.
These are just normal phases, but when these situations prolong, you should consult a vet. Your dog or cat might be physically or emotionally unstable, and this will make them sick.
If you intend to leave your pet for work or shopping, make sure you put them in an interactive place. Leave them with enough toys so they won’t feel alone. Do not let your pet stay in dark corners, for this might uplift frightening emotions, and might cause distress.
Again, be patient with your tad. Never scold them or hurt them physically, or this might trigger the adjustment process.
Preparing your home for a new pet is exciting and challenging at the same time. Yes, they are versatile and fun to be with, but they can be highly sensitive to details, too.
Pets act the way they do because they are, from daily rise to rest, continually trying to satisfy their basic needs, just like humans. As pet parents, it is our responsibility to help our puppies and kittens heal from separation anxiety, and embrace their new environment wholeheartedly.
Be keen to their physical needs, give them emotional support, and help them grow vigorously. Follow the tips above and get ready to welcome your VIP!
About the Author:
Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.