Tips for Adopting and Caring for a New Pet

Deciding to expand your family with a pet is exciting and rewarding, but many have questions on how to go about the adoption process and how to introduce a new animal to the family and other animals. We have some great advice for you from Dr. Kristen Frevert of Little House Animal Hospital.little house animal hopsital

When adopting a pet, Dr. Fervert emphasizes that you should obtain as much about a pet’s health as possible.

“When it comes to a shelter adoption, the history of the pet is often unknown. However, vaccination records should be accessible as most reputable rescues have some vaccination requirements prior to adoption,” she explained.

Even if you are able to get a lot of health history, Dr. Fervert advises you to bring your new pet to a veterinarian within the first few days of adoption to ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date.

The best part of adopting a new pet is bringing him or her home. Despite all the excitement, bringing a new pet home may take a little time and patience.

“The first few days to weeks to months are a huge transition period for your pet. They encounter a new environment, new routine, new expectations, and new people. While all these changes are for the better, it can still be stressful,” Dr. Fervert said.

To keep your pet at ease, try these simple tips. Try not to change your pet’s diet in the first few days and avoid the urge to immediately invite all your friends and family to see your new pet. Doing these two things can help keep your new pet calm and ease them into their new life.

What about other animals, you might ask? If you are already the proud owner of a dog or cat, introducing a new animal simply takes time and patience.
“Go Slow!” Dr. Fervert said of introducing a new animal.

“I find it helpful to introduce both dogs while on a leash on ‘neutral ground.’ Neutral means some location where neither dog displays any protective or territorial behaviors. Feline introductions usually go about ten times slower than for dogs. This may mean that it will take weeks, sometimes even months, before cats can co-habitat unsupervised.”

Adopting an animal is extremely rewarding and will provide a lifetime of wonderful memories. Remember to check your animal’s health records, visit your veterinarian and introduce your pet to your home and family slowly.
Find Little House Animal Hospital at 1109 Battlewood Street in Franklin and on Facebook or give them a call at 791-9148.

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Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.