Pet Blog / How to introduce your new fur baby to their new home

How to introduce your new fur baby to their new home

Adopting a new pet is a joyful experience and one you may even remember vividly: locking eyes for the first time, talking excitedly about how happy you’re going to make them, debating the perfect name, and perhaps even picking up the pet as Rafiki does in the Lion King with Simba holding him high in the air.  

Now that Simba is officially part of your family, the next two weeks are critical for the pet to become acclimated to their new home. There's even a name for it: The Two Week Shutdown period. This is the time to focus on your pet's needs and make them feel welcome.  

It can be overwhelming at times, and there are a lot of things to watch out for. Here are a few tips to make it easier on everyone.  

Create safe spaces 

There are a lot of emotions happening when a new pet comes home. Typically, it includes excitement— Let me at him! I want to squeeeeze him!—but other emotions such as anxiety, happiness, jealousy, and maybe even some fear are also at play. Creating safe spaces for everyone will get things settled quickly and alleviate stress. If there are other pets in the house, keep them separated. Or better yet, take your pets outdoors for a neutral site to meet and greet. It may seem chaotic at first, but most of the time, pets just need some space to ease into their new homes.  

Stick to a schedule 

Some people prefer regimented schedules, and some prefer a more relaxed schedule. Either way works, but staying consistent with some structure is a great way to introduce trust. Pets are habitual creatures, and they rely on their humans to feed, bathe, and make them feel safe. Anxiety can be enhanced by an erratic schedule, so try to stay as consistent as possible.  

Watching your pet’s behavior 

Some pets adjust right away, and really don’t need much attention. Others may require more in-depth guidance. It’s key to watch their behavior: 

  • Hair sticking up on their backs 
  • Prolonged stare 
  • Teeth showing 
  • Tails wagging  
Reward good behavior when Cali-the-cat reacts positively to her new roommate. Be firm with Bruce-the-dog when he gets too close, and the other pet isn’t ready for close interaction yet. Professional training is another tool in the tool belt. Not only will it tighten the learning curve, but it’s also a great way to develop a bond with your pet. Soon, you’ll notice all the mannerisms for what your pet is needing.  

Become the pack leader you were meant to be 

A pack-leader is just that – a leader. The pack-leader mentality brings stability and awareness to situations where you may need the attention of your pet. These situations are numerous, but to name a few: potty training, kennel time, and walking on a leash. A pack-leader mentality has expert communication skills. Consistency for pets is what they count on. Be consistent with your messaging, and your pets will learn from you. 

Gradually, everything will fall into place, and your new fur baby will be happy as a clam. As you begin your journey with your new companion, vet trips will become an annual occurrence. Pet insurance helps cover costs associated with vet visits, from emergency trips to routine care. Visit our Direct Benefits Marketplace for more info or talk to one of our customer happiness experts today.