February 29th is not a date you normally see on your calendar. Why? Today is Leap Day! Every four years we go through a “reset” of sorts for our normal calendar in order to re-align with the solar year. What does that mean for us at HSNEGA? Admittedly, not a lot, but we do know some pawsome dogs and cats that would be leaping for joy today if you were to come adopt love!
Adopting a new animal into your family is a special time. You gain a new companion, and they get their very own human. What could be better than waking up to their slobbery kisses or falling asleep to them purring at your feet?
When bringing home your new pet, though, keep in mind there is a period of adjustment. While some animals may strut right in like they own the place, others are a bit more timid. There’s no formula to bringing home an adopted animal; however, rest-assured that by taking a few easy measures to help them feel safe and loved, they’ll be showing their true colors in no time!
The first few days of adaption into a new environment are critical. Be sure to set aside time to teach, socialize and get to know your new pet. Have a special place in the home set up for him or her where they can go for quiet time and comfort. For dogs, it’s a good idea to keep them on a leash to learn the house, keep them in their own room to let them settle and de-stress, or set up a crate covered with a blanket to give them a quiet space. For cats, make sure to show them where the litter box is and offer water. Don’t be discouraged if your pet isn’t ready to be the life of the party just yet. Appreciate them for who they are and be careful not to overwhelm them too fast.
Be sure to establish ground rules from the start; this step is especially important with dogs. Be alert and discourage any unwanted behavior such as jumping or chewing. When taking them outside to use the restroom, take them to the same general spot every time to help them quickly learn where to go. Feed your new pet at the same time each day. Make a routine and stick to it, and your new pet will appreciate the structure and it will help them learn where they fit in the household. It’s hard being the new kid, after all.
Speaking of other “kids,” if you have other pets, don’t be too hasty when making introductions. Good relationships can take time to build and are best done over incremental time, even if the dog or cat is reportedly good with other animals. Think of it this way- just because you tend to like people, it doesn’t always mean that you want to automatically be best friends with that stranger on the sidewalk, right?
Enjoy this time of acclimation with your new friend; it will help establish continue to build throughout your time together. It won’t be long before they’re leaping into your heart, your home, and possibly even your favorite spot on the couch!
Written by Bridget Bott, HSNEGA Digital Communications Intern