Plenty of preparation goes into deciding what size and breed your new pet will be. After thoughtful consideration, wouldn’t it be prudent to also consider how you will be introducing your new pet to their new home and family?
- Prepare supplies
Gather what your new pet will need in advance. There tend to be unexpected pet messes and pet oopsies! Why? Just like you and me, pets can tend to get territorial and in order to feel comfortable in a new home, behaviors such as marking can happen. This is not selective to dogs or cats, but also rabbits, hamsters, birds and other domestic animals.
2. Establish a schedule
Structure breeds familiarity and with that, your pet can learn to trust you. Establishing a regular schedule requires a certain amount of commitment but it is worth it once they acclimate to the routine. For example, set your alarm to wake up an hour before you have to get ready for work. This way you have the time dedicated to walk, feed and bond with your new feline or fido. Consider having to take your pet into an elevator or three flights of stairs. Is your pet familiar with the sights and sounds of your new neighborhood?
3. Give your pet a crate
This may be surprising to us humans, but crates provide your pet a much needed space to call their own.
According to the Humane Society, “A crate may look to you like the canine equivalent of a jail cell, but to your dog, who instinctively likes to den, it’s a room of his own. It makes house-training and obedience-training easier and saves your dog from the headache of being yelled at unnecessarily for problem behavior. Of course, you won’t want to crate your dog all day or all night, or he will consider it a jail cell. Just a few, regular hours a day should be sufficient.”
4. Create variety
Introduce your pet to a variety of smells, people, pets and other things but don’t overdo it. Have activities that engage your pet’s instincts and provide opportunities for problem-solving. It is helpful to have a resident portal like www.mycamden.com to create or join interest groups for dog or cat lovers in your local community. Perhaps your pet’s best friend is waiting at the neighborhood bark park?
5. Keep your pet healthy and their records accessible
With the ubiquity of technology, having your pet’s current photo and shot records accessible at all times in case of an emergency is vital when your pet get injured or lost. I cannot tell you how many times a dog, cat, bunny or bird has escaped and in my two years of working at Camden as a Leasing Consultant in San Diego, I can tell you that at least one of each kind of pet has managed a jailbreak. Since our community does pet interviews, we get to know all pet residents and it helps us get pets back their relieved owner – every single time.
6. Build an emergency fund
Having a pet can get expensive and with all the unconditional love they provide us with, it is a terrible feeling to have to decide finances over a member of your family. Just don’t do it! Instead, save a minimum of $50 per paycheck and put it towards a savings account. There are unexpected expenses, especially in a pet’s first year with vet visits, shots, and making sure you have money handy to pay apartment pet deposits that can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 per pet!
7. Lastly, enjoy the ups and downs
Remember that caring for a new pet has its highs and lows, but the rewards are priceless. If you are not ready to move in with a new pet, then be patient and wait until you are ready. Your new buddy doesn’t need to be abandoned, left on the patio because you got stuck at work, or left in an unsafe situation. Being a responsible pet owner means more to your pet than it does to you.