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It’s National Pet Day! At Darwin’s, we’re celebrating by sharing some of our own Darwin’s pets and giving you some helpful tips on how to prep your forever home for a new dog or cat.

1

Prepare your space. Before bringing home your new pet, decide where he’ll be spending most of his time. This may be your family room, your bedroom, or wherever works best in your home for your new pal to sleep and relax. Make sure this space is prepared by furnishing it with a pet bed, toys, and cleaning supplies for any accidents.

2

Pet proof! Audit your home, and determine what may need to go and what may need to be moved for safety. Many household plants can be dangerous for cats and dogs, and all household cleaners, chemicals, and prescriptions need to be moved out of reach of a new pet. To protect your furniture and floors, consider puppy pads and deterrents to scratching or chewing.

3

Take it easy. Animals can sense our tension, frustration, and anxiety. It’s important to relax and go with the flow when introducing a new family pet. Though training can be frustrating and worrying about the transition is common, stay calm and have fun. After all, you two are in it for the long haul.

4

Create a feeding schedule. Find out what your pet was eating before he came home. Some shelters will even provide a first week of food. This is important to transition him to his new diet with you, and get you both on a regular feeding routine. For food transition tips, check out Darwin’s transition center!

5

Be flexible. For all your planning and research, your pet will have a personality of his own. So be flexible, and introduce things at his own pace. Maybe his favorite spot won’t be where you thought. Or maybe training isn’t going as smoothly as planned. Don’t fret! Take this time to bond and learn.

6

Take him to the vet. His prior home may have already covered his vaccinations, neutering, and even his microchip. But it’s still crucial you get your new furry friend in for a visit with your trusted vet. This check-up will let you know about any health concerns early, and it will let you and your new cat or dog get to know your local veterinarian.

7

Set aside time to bond. It goes without saying, but spending time playing and having fun with your pet is what it’s all about. Don’t get caught up in the routine, and instead, take moments to snuggle, play, and bond.