The countdown for the festive season is just around the corner and for those of you with little ones, Christmas lists will be rearing their heads soon, as many dream of the perfect pup, cute kitten or fluffy bunny under their tree.
Here at Rosewood we encourage the idea that pets make a house a home, but the sad reality is that many families choose this time of year to adopt and more often than not, are not prepared. With two cats abandoned every hour according to the RSPCA, we share our top tips for bringing a new family member safely and responsibly into your home.
The Right Fit For Your Family
Family life is extremely busy at the best of times, so before welcoming a new friend to the mix, stop to think about how much time, money and space you have to give a new companion.
All pets have totally different needs and spatial requirements, from small and independent pets like tropical fish to a totally dependent and demanding puppy, so choosing the right pet to fit your lifestyle is the first step towards a happy home.
Always do your research on breed types and their needs, there is plenty of advice online and reputable pet breeders and rescue centers will be able to give you their advice on how to handle your new friend.
A Costly Reward
With unexpected vets bills, pet insurance, specialised foods, toys are more, pets can inevitably rack up quite a large bill for their owners - with PDSA estimating the monthly cost of having a dog is between £50 to £80.
Keeping the costs down can be achieved quite easily, firstly, by adopting your friend rather than buying. This is often a highly rewarding experience and will certainly save you some cash, whilst also rescuing an animal in need of its forever home.
Whilst pets may feel like a costly investment, the lifetime reward your furry friend will bring you is worth every penny twice over.
Travelling in Style
Bringing a pet home to their new family is such an exciting time, so to minimise stress for both you and your furry it’s important to check you’ve got everything you need for a relaxing journey.
Make sure your pet has a comfortable and secure journey with the Rosewood Carrier Park Avenue, attaching easily to the car seat belt, this carrier will help relax your pet on a sometimes stressful trip.
It’s often recommended to take a toy from their previous home carrying a familiar scent, to relax your cat or dog, but where this isn’t possible and you want to provide extra comfort, we would always recommend a fleece blanket to snuggle up to such as our Tall Tails Houndstooth Pet Fleece Blanket - super stylish too!
Introductions to the Family
If you already have a pet in your home, it’s important to think about how your new friend may fit into this dynamic. When making the first introductions, it’s key to keep a close eye on both of their behaviour and look out for any signs of stress or aggression. You may find that your first pet becomes territorial, in which case they’ll need some extra care and support from you.
When your new pal arrives home, you may be tempted to introduce them to your family, friends and even neighbours over the fence. Whilst socialising your new pet is a crucial part of their development it’s important not to overload them in the first few days. Always make sure that family members, little and large, know how to safely interact with your new animal - especially if this is your first pet as grabby hands can be frightening for new pets.
Adults vs Little Ones
Whether you’re bringing home a small puppy or adult dog, preparing for all eventualities is wise. In the early stages, you may find you’re struggling to get your pet to wander out into the garden, especially in the frosty winter. Our Rosewood Puppy Pads are a great help for frightened or untrained dogs, as accidents can happen quite easily when introduced to new environments.
Making kittens feel right at home is largely linked to their beds - you’ll soon find that cats of all ages love a cosy corner - so providing them with this from the offset will ease them into their new surroundings. The 40 Winks Teddy Bear Cat Bed is extremely cosy and will give your new friend a safe space in your home.
Some small animals, like Syrian hamsters, can quite easily entertain themselves with access to a wheel, tunnels and gnaws, but most rabbits and rodents greatly benefit from having a companion, but even then providing them with activities in their home or pen such as our Boredom Breaker range will help relax and distract your small friend and ease them into family life. Give them hours of fun with the Maze-A-Log Treat Challenge, perfect for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters and even ferrets.
With lots to think about before making the commitment it can become overwhelming. Avoid hasty decisions and prevent stress for both you and your new family member by planning ahead and taking precautions to provide for your pet, before they arrive.
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