Looking for the purrfect Howliday gift for your loved ones? How about a new four-legged companion to ring in the New Year with?! The Howlidays are a great time to open your heart and your home to shelter a homeless animal. Whether you have decided to add another member to your barktastic pack or want to become a first time pet parent, there are always things to consider before bringing home your new bundle of joy.
Before giving any loved one a pet as a holiday gift, make sure they are willing and able to care for a new pet. While it is rewarding, it is a huge time commitment and first-time pet parents may not be ready for the responsibilities. Make sure your loved one is fully involved in the process and selects the furry bundle of joy on their own to match their personality and lifestyle.
Here are a few more tips to help you and your furry friends fall in puppy love and have a Happy Howliday season!
- First Things First: To avoid a cat-astrophe or doggy disaster, make a clean sweep of your home to remove any pet hazards. Cover wires with tape, cap electrical outlets, keep cleaning products, pesticides, house plants and people food out of reach.
- Do Not Disturb: Ever have an annoying roommate or noisy neighbor that just drove you crazy? Your new pet might feel just the same way, so a private area is an absolute necessity. A spare, low-traffic room where the pet can spend time away from people and other pets is ideal.
- Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize: Just like you need the perfect handbag to finish off an outfit, new pets come with their own sets of indispensible accessories. The absolute must haves include food and water bowls that allow constant access; durable, safe toys; safety release collars or harnesses; litter boxes and scratching posts for cats; a soft, comfy bed and grooming supplies. The right accessories will keep your new furry friend happy and healthy, and protect other items in your home (your favorite shoes, or your best armchair) from meeting an unfortunate end.
- Travel in style: So you’ve adopted a pet – how do you get it home? Your mom might have told you to always buckle up, and as a pet parent you need to remember that your pet will be safer in a moving vehicle if it is in a comfortable pet carrier. The variety and style of carriers is endless, and you can find one that matches your preferences purr-fectly.
- Keep it Consistent: Have you ever felt uncomfortable sleeping in a strange place? Your new pet can relate! From the same food to a favorite toy, your pet’s adjustment will go more smoothly if as many things as possible are kept the same from the old home to the new.
- Clean-up in Aisle 5: Even the cleanest animal will make the occasional mess. Be sure to have safe, non-toxic cleaning supplies on hand, and schedule time in your day to clean your animal’s new home, and your animal itself!
- Meet the Family: Any step-relative will tell you combining families is hard. It may take weeks for your new pet to adjust to other pets and humans in the household. Make sure your pet has a consistent routine, and then introduce each new family member one at a time, in the new pet’s private area. This introduction on home turf will cut down on doggy drama and kitty confusion.