How ready are you for your new pet?

Sensible measures and clear boundaries can get lost in the excitement of the impending arrival of a new pet. But the happy occasion can soon lose its sheen if you’ve overlooked important steps towards a stress-free transition from no pet, to new responsibilities.


An overly anxious cat will find holes to crawl in you didn’t even know existed, while an excitable dog could jump higher than you anticipated; perhaps over the fence. Think ahead to how your new addition could get itself into trouble or in harm’s way before bringing them home.


Clear commands
Dogs especially have incredible capabilities in understanding various phrases, but don’t challenge them too hard. Make sure everyone in the household uses the same commands for each action so your dog doesn’t have to think too hard about what you’re asking her to do.


And clear rules
Can the cat sit on the coffee table? Is the dog allowed upstairs? Should the rabbit be in the kitchen? Have one set of rules that everyone, most of all, the pet, abides by. If one person lets the dog sleep on the sofa but others don’t, it’s going to cause confusion for the dog and frustration for those who keep telling them “NO” and wondering why they don’t listen.


Get to know your pet
Ideally before you bring them home. This can be quite straightforward if you’re re-homing a mature pet, as the shelter or charity you get them from will often have a good idea of their character traits. In fact these may have been the basis for your decision to adopt them in the first place. Take into account these characteristics to work out ways to accommodate them, or indeed mitigate against them!


Be patient
As irresistible as your new friend might be, try not to fuss over them too much, as they will likely already feel overwhelmed by their new surroundings. Be understanding with young pets that have yet to be trained, and those who have some bad habits to get over. It may take time, but patience and perseverance is essential.


Look at insurance
As well as signing your pet up to the local vet, you should consider taking out pet insurance. Medical bills can be very costly without financial support, and even a minor condition can recur throughout a pet’s lifetime. For more information, call R Collins & Co on 01977 558391.