Eight Things to Consider When You Adopt a New Pet   - News - Leicester Animal Aidfeature image

Eight Things to Consider When You Adopt a New Pet

Visiting our lovely cats and dogs and finding a new pet to share your home is a special time. When you’ve got to know each other, there are likely some preparations to make before your new arrival joins the household.

Here are a few of the things to think about before welcoming your new pet home.

Prepare everyone

Consistency and persistence will certainly be key to helping your new pet settle in, and they’re just as important to you (and the other humans in your home) too. If you share your home with family or friends, discuss the commitment you’re all taking on. Be clear about the acceptable behaviour and boundaries for your new pet, and the positive reinforcement to help them on their way.

Home and garden

Create a safe, stimulating environment for your new pet. Make sure your home isn’t dangerous, and lock away anything that could be poisonous. Check garden gates and fences are fully escape-proof for dogs, especially if they can jump.

Cats especially like a home that’s varied, complex and exciting, with high places they can climb and leap from, quiet areas to hide, scratching places, and plenty to play with. (So ensure much-loved ornaments are in a safe place.)

Make a schedule

Caring for a new pet means there are some things that need doing regularly. So it’s worth making a to-do list for those tasks. Start as you mean to go on, and they’ll very quickly become routine. Our team will discuss your new pet’s particular needs in more detail, but here’s a short list of some general things to remember.

    • Feeding times
    • Water changes
    • Play & exercise
    • Health checks (see Healthcare, below)
    • Grooming
    • Tidy & launder your pets' bedding (don’t wash everything at once – their smell helps the surroundings feel more familiar)


Home healthchecks are part of the schedule that we just talked about. Basic weekly checks can include inspection of their coat, skin, ears, eyes and teeth. Ensure your pet is comfortable with this, and give plenty of praise and a tasty treat as a reward often helps.

And be sure to register your new pet with a vet as soon as you can. It’s not just a matter of being prepared if they should become ill – there are annual vaccinations, usually performed at the same time as a general healthcheck. And vets do more than treat your pet medically; they can also offer useful general health care and nutritional advice, or recommend a qualified trainer if you have behavioural concerns.

Safety and stability

No surprises and a stress free environment is what your new pet wants. Be thoughtful when managing their exposure to things like visitors, fireworks, and changes to their surroundings.


While some cats and dogs like being your one and only companion, others are more social and may thrive on the stimulation and companionship that another new pet may provide. It’s something to consider!

Making introductions

Whether it’s other animals or other people, the most important thing is to go slow, and let your pet set the pace. Give them time to settle in. (For cats: perhaps a room where they won’t be disturbed, with food, water, bedding and anything else they need.) Be prepared to take this slowly as it may take some time. When your pet is ready to meet the rest of the household, then it is baby steps again… don’t try to force things. Introducing pets to other pets or pets to children requires great care and attention.

Most importantly, be patient!

Getting to know you new pet takes time, understanding their personality and behaviour is a journey you’re both on together. Enjoy the adventure.