Live Better
 
 

Bringing your new pet home

Make sure your new furry friend settles in without a hitch.

child with pet dog

Congratulations! You’ve done your research, found the perfect pet and signed the paperwork. Now it’s time to take your new furry friend home.

Help them settle in well by following these simple tips for moving in, setting the house rules, and training them.

1. Moving in

Moving can be a stressful time for everyone – including your pet. Even though your home is a much better environment for your pet than the shelter or pet shop, it can still be overwhelming. The first 48 hours are often the hardest, as your new companion has a lot to get used to.

To help them along, create a safe space that your pet can retreat to, and which can be entirely theirs – this can in the corner of a communal space or a separate room entirely. It should have food and water, soft bedding or their crate to sleep in, a litter tray if needed and toys.

When you first bring your pet home, spend an hour or two in their space with them, and only touch them if they come to you first – if they seem timid, try to avoid interaction.

Also, be warned – many animals will urinate to mark their territory when in unfamiliar environments, so if you’re concerned about ‘accidents’ occurring, keep them in tiled or easy-to-clean areas, such as in a laundry or bathroom.

“To help them along, create a safe space that your pet can retreat to, and which can be entirely theirs.”

2. Setting the rules

Dogs have a pack mentality, and you want to be seen as the leader. This doesn’t mean you need to be an authoritarian – just be firm and consistent, using simple commands to let them know what is expected of them and where they fit in the hierarchy.

Cats will naturally try to scratch their surroundings, with household furniture often the target. It’s important you set the rules and discourage this behaviour early on. Chat to your vet, who will be able to advise on the various ways you can teach them good habits.

Whether to let your cat outside or not is a hot topic of debate, and there are some good arguments on both sides. At the very least, your new feline friend should stay inside for the first month to establish your house as their new home.

3. Training

While it’s recommended you enrol your new pup into a training school, there are also a few things you can do yourself to help teach them good habits. Dogs benefit most from standardised and repeated commands, backed up by positive reinforcement.

Some tips include:

  • Repeatedly using the same words for each desired action.
  • Giving treats to reward good behaviour.
  • Using the right tone of voice – dogs can understand when they’re being praised.

Remember that animals don’t have a sense of right and wrong like humans. They operate on instincts and learned behaviour. Be persistent but fair, and remember: you’ll only get out as much love as you put in.

For more tips around managing the first few days with your new furry friend, check out the RSPCA’s guide.

If you’re considering getting a pet for your family, save a life and make it a rescue, and Medibank will provide three month’s worth of free pet insurance. Find out more at lovemyrescue.com.au.

Latest Articles

Wellbeing

Thrush: signs to look out for

75% of women will experience thrush at least once in their.

Read more
Wellbeing

How to keep your pet cool in summer

The pet safety tips you need to know for hot days.

Read more
Wellbeing

How to stay smoke-free in summer

Dr Sarah White shares some tips for summer parties.

Read more
Wellbeing

Do you know these beach safety essentials?

Bondi Rescue's Trent Maxwell shares his top tips.

Read more
Wellbeing

Succeeding at work as an introvert

You don’t need to ‘fake it ‘til you make it’.

Read more
youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickWellbeing and mindfulness 1Physical Health 1Positive psychology 101 1Wellbeing and mindfulness 4All about gut health 1Understanding Genetics 4Planning for Pregnancy 2During Pregnancy 3The mind-gut connection 4The mind-gut connection 1New Parents 3Page 1Group 10During Pregnancy 2Page 1Physical Health 2Planning for Pregnancy 1Positive psychology 101 1Positive psychology 101 4Planning for Pregnancy 4Understanding Genetics 1Physical Health 4Planning for Pregnancy 3Nutrition 4New Parents 1New Parents 3 CopyMovement for your mind 4Wellbeing and mindfulness 2Nutrition 2sob-icon__mind-bodysob-icon__man-with-laptopAll about gut health 2Positive psychology 101 3Positive psychology 101 2Physical Health 3Wellbeing and mindfulness 3All about gut health 3genetics-changing-what-your-givenUnderstanding Genetics 2During Pregnancy 1Movement for your mind 2Movement for your mind 1Movement for your mind 3During Pregnancy 4