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5 Lessons for New Pet Owners

Adding a furry member to the family can be an exciting—and frustrating—endeavor. Whether you have recently adopted, or are considering adopting, here are five tips to keep in mind.

1. Agree on expectations.

You want your new pet to sleep in bed with you, but your significant other is set on having a pet bed in the living room. Is getting on the furniture ok, or is dad’s favorite chair off-limits? Set a family meeting to discuss what the rules of the house will be for your new addition. It is extremely important for all family members to be on the same page, as inconsistency will only undermine the rules you put in place.

2. Create a safe space.

Transition is tough for humans and animals alike. Help your new addition adjust to the environment by creating a safe space for them. For a pup, this could be his kennel, which he will grow to see as his “den.” For a kitty, it might be a bathroom where her litter box and food are kept. These safe spaces are meant to be somewhere your new pet can be kept when you aren’t home to supervise him or her. Additionally, help make your entire home safer for your pet by taking care to put away (or make inaccessible) dangerous objects. Electrical cords can be enticing “chew toys,” and leftover scraps in the trash bin are very attractive to curious pets. Invest in a covered trash bin, tuck wrapped electrical cords out of the way, and always supervise your new pet when he or she is not in their safe place.

3. Set boundaries.

Boundaries go hand-in-hand with expectations...

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